Aerial shot of Pencarrow Head with old Pencarrow Lighthouse on the hill, above new Pencarrow Head Lighthouse below

Talk about a lovely, lonely landmark. The 1859 lighthouse on Wellington Harbour’s windblasted Pencarrow Head radiates romantic isolation as vividly as the beam it once cast. Read the story of widow, Mary (and her gaggle of children), who took on the job as Aotearoa New Zealand’s first – and only – female lighthouse keeper.
Getting to the iconic landmark is half the fun!

Opening Hours

Open every day of the year

The lighthouse building itself is closed





Pencarrow Head
8km from Eastbourne
Wellington 5013

+64 4 472 4341

View of Pencarrow Lighthouse with children and green grass.

Photo: Grant Sheehan

Accessibility Accessibility

Unfortunately due to its remote location Pencarrow Lighthouse is not accessible.

Cafe Food and Drink

Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic with them to enjoy at Pencarrow Lighthouse or along the beach on the way. From the lighthouse there are spectacular views, watch planes come and go from Wellington Airport and see ferries enter and leave the harbour. Please remember to take all food and waste with you.

This is a smoke free site.

Pencarrow Lighthouse food and drink

More info

Children and whānau

Pencarrow Lighthouse is located in a remote, rugged landscape. While there are plenty of things for kids to do and plenty of places to explore, we recommend the walk/ride out to Pencarrow Lighthouse for children who are confident walkers or cyclists. It can get windy, but that just adds to the appeal! You can always take a kite.

There are no toilets along the track up to Pencarrow Lighthouse or at the lighthouse itself. Public toilets are located near the end of Pencarrow Coast Road, we suggest using these prior to your visit.


Things to remember

To ensure the lighthouse is kept for future generations Pencarrow Lighthouse building isn’t open to look inside. However, keep an eye on our website for occasional open days and organised visits.

Pencarrow Lighthouse has extraordinary views over Wellington harbour and surrounds, but just like the windy city is prone to high winds. Check the weather before you head off, as depending where you start from the round trip walk or cycle can take up to four hours. Remember to wear sensible shoes, take water and snacks with you, as well as a hat, sunscreen and jacket to prepare for four seasons in one day.

Historic black and white photo of Pencarrow Lighthouse keeper Mr R G Jones, in front of the lighthouse in 1958

Ngā Kōrero

Photo: The Dominion Post Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library

Not sure where to start?

There's more than meets the eye in Aotearoa New Zealand's coolest little capital. With plenty of heritage in the windy city, what will be your favourite?

Explore Te Whanganui-a-Tara | Wellington heritage
View of Wellington Cable Car and Wellington city from the Kelburn Lookout

Photo: Graeme Murray

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