Locally known as “the Nuggets”, this is a prominent headland on the rugged and scenically beautiful east coast of Otago, 50 miles south of Dunedin and 19 miles south-east by road from Balclutha. A lighthouse on the point, first lit in 1869, flashes at 12-second intervals. On the north side of the point a cove affords shelter to a small fishing fleet, and nearby is a holiday camping area, Kaimataitai. The headland consists of a resistant strike ridge on steeply dipping hard sandstone, rising more than 400 ft above the sea.
The name “Nuggets” probably dates from the sealing and whaling era. The Maoris, however, knew it as Tokata Point. When Frederick Tuckett drew his map outlining the Otago Block which was sold to the New Zealand Company by the Maoris in July 1844, the coastal boundary is shown as running from north of Otago Harbour to Tokata Point. On Tuckett's map the point has eight off-shore rocks which are shown as the Nuggets. There are approximately 20 of these rocks, each of which had a Maori name.
by Bryce Leslie Wood, M.SC., New Zealand Geological Survey, Dunedin.