Lighthouse and cliffs at sunrise, Castlepoint, Wairarapa

The Wairarapa coast has a well-deserved reputation for being exposed and dangerous, not only due to a relative lack of safe anchorages but also because of regular storms that frequently bring high winds and heavy swells. Castlepoint, however, is one of the few parts of this coast where there is natural shelter from the open ocean. Here, a unique natural breakwater of limestone runs parallel to the coast to enclose the shallow and sandy Deliverance Cove, offering a safe harbour to local boaties and fishing vessels on a coast that is otherwise wild and unforgiving.

The reef owes its origin to an active fault that runs parallel to and slightly offshore from the coast. Shell-rich limestone from below the sea floor has been thrust upward along this fault to eventually reach above the sea surface, forming a natural breakwater that shelters what is now Deliverance Cove. While the cove itself is shallow, the exposed seaward side of the reef plunges spectacularly into deep water, making it a popular and productive fishing spot where locals and visitors often gather to try their luck.

Sunrise at Castlepoint

View south from Maunganui Bluff

Pingao on dunes, 90 Mile Beach

Evening twilight over Rangitoto Island

Coastal cliffs, Tongaporutu

Piha, West Auckland

Pingao, Mangawhai Heads, Northland

Castlepoint Lighthouse at sunrise

Coastal cliffs at sunset, Tongaporutu

Australasian gannets, Muriwai

Sand dune, 90 Mile Beach

Twilight over Mt Taranaki

Pools at low tide, Oakura Beach

Waves on rocks, 90 Mile Beach

Australasian gannet colony, Muriwai

Wreck of the "Gairloch", Oakura Beach

Sunrise over Rangitoto Island