Catlins, NZ // Nugget Point Lighthouse

the structure of Nugget Point Lighthouse may not be as picturesque as its surroundings - but the thing you have to remember about lighthouses is that they are mainly built for function. is this light high enough and bright enough to be seen out on the water? will it stand through storms and keep boats from coming too close to the hazardous rocks below? many lighthouses are beautiful buildings with stunning backdrops, but first and foremost they are lifesavers.

even if the lighthouse doesn't impress you, you have to agree that the surroundings are pretty incredible. green hills give way to jagged cliffs and turquoise seas, foaming with life around the rocks below. in fact, these rocks are the "nuggets" which give the point its name.

we visited on an overcast morning which turned bright and beautiful not 10 minutes after we left. I was maybe a little upset about this. but considering our original plans had been to visit the day before after camping [both the camping and the visit being cancelled thanks to downpours] I suppose I can live with the clouds.

to be honest, we ended up here thanks to Pinterest. if you search for Nugget Point you'll see all sorts of sunrise and starlight images featuring this view. but it's not exactly on the way to anywhere. the Catlins national forest area is located in the far southeast of New Zealand, where most tourists don't quite make it. the Nugget Point Lighthouse is an hour and a half drive from Dunedin, or two hours from Invercargill. but for a lighthouse lover like me - these views were worth it.

in fact: my love of lighthouses is genetic. my mother has always loved them, and growing up in Michigan I had the opportunity to visit many around the Great Lakes. I've seen brick lighthouses and steel, tall lighthouses and short, ones on the shoreline and lighthouses at the end of man-made piers.

but I think I can safely say that visiting Nugget Point was a once-in-a-lifetime lighthouse experience.

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