Castlepoint & Tinui

Over to the east of Wellington and the Wairarapa is the Pacific Ocean: but the hills get in the way and there are no tarmac roads, so the coast is hard to reach. Thankfully a little to the north are Castlepoint and Riversdale. But the particular attraction is the lighthouse, and the lovely pile of rocks and cliffs around it.

Kiwis treasure their lighthouses, and they really freak out about Castlepoint. It’s made of steel and was shipped out in sections from Britain about 90 years ago. These days it’s all automated, so you can’t go up to the top or drink tea with the jolly lighthouse keeper, but it remains a lovely spot to walk up to and take photographs from – or for a spot of fishing.

Tinui is little more than a road junction on the way to Castlepoint and Riversdale, but after a foodless day in Castlepoint I stopped at the Tinui Cafe & Bar and had a Red Pepper & Feta Muffin that I’ll remember fondly for a long time.

Tinui’s claim to fame is that it was the first place ever to have an ANZAC Day service after the First World War: they mark this nowadays by including Gallipoli on the village signpost and taking Remembrance seriously at the village school.

They also do a nice line in ‘cute’, with a restored Police Station and a Jail.