Story: Lighthouses

Proposed site at Cape Saunders

In 1874 marine engineer John Blackett accompanied Captain Robert Johnson to survey sites for future lighthouses. He prepared these sketches of two possible locations for a light at Cape Saunders, on the south coast of Otago Peninsula. His report explains that the site marked ‘D’ was 292 feet (89 metres) high, and would require a road from a recommended landing place almost two miles (3 kilometres) long. The second site, marked ‘E’, at Mātakitaki Point, was 180 feet (55 metres) high, and would require a shorter road. The lower elevation, he wrote, ‘gives it a very great advantage over the other as it lies below the line of fog which so frequently obscures the higher levels, as we had abundant opportunities of verifying during the trip.’ In the event Mātakitaki Point was chosen and a light shone there for the first time in January 1880.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1875, H-12a

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How to cite this page:

Helen Beaglehole, 'Lighthouses - Building', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 5 July 2022)

Story by Helen Beaglehole, published 12 Jun 2006