Cape Brett / Rakaumangamanga

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Cape Brett Lighthouse

© Fullers GreatSights Bay of Islands

Cape Brett / Rakaumangamanga – Guiding light

At Rakaumangamanga – Cape Brett you can enjoy a place of outstanding scenic beauty. This stunning coast is steeped in history and has long been a welcoming point of arrival, from early waka to the first seaplanes. The light reflecting off the crystalline rocks once helped guide the earliest travellers to a safe landfall in this new homeland.

In 1906, the 14-metre lighthouse was built here at the entrance to the Bay of Islands, protecting seafarers from the rugged coast. For the next 70 years it was looked after by up to three families who lived in this beautiful yet isolated spot.

In 1978, a smaller automated light was installed. With automation came the end of the settlement. Today one lighthouse keeper’s cottage remains, which is now a Department of Conservation hut – a solitary reminder of the challenges of being a lighthouse keeper in this remote place.

The Rakaumangamanga region, which stretches back into Pēwhairangi (the Bay of Islands), is of spiritual and traditional importance to Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) Māori. The light at the end of Rakaumangamanga – Cape Brett has guided and protected visitors to New Zealand for generations.

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Landmarks Whenua Tohunga

Discover the places that have shaped our nation and created our stories. History comes to life at these nine significant Northland Landmarks.

30 km north east of Russell,
NZTopo50 map sheet: AV30, Grid/NZTM2000 coordinates: E1721030, N6106972, Northland

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