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.