The most powerful light on the New Zealand coast is that on Stephens Island, with a visibility of 32 miles from its elevation of 600 ft. This light is for ships approaching the Cook Strait from the west. (The island is also famous for being one of the few breeding grounds of the almost extinct tuatara lizard.) Cape Reinga light marks the northern tip of the mainland of the North Island, and Puysegur Point the south-western tip of the South Island. An unusually interesting site for a lighthouse is that on the tip of the 26-mile-long sand spit at Farewell Spit, where lightkeepers in the past have planted trees to form an oasis which is conspicuous from seaward, and almost as valuable as the light itself.
by Peter Edward Muers, Section Officer (Lighthouses), Marine Department, Wellington.