With its fossil-rich limestone reef, lighthouse and magnificent 162 metre high Castle Rock, Castlepoint is one of the most spectacular sites along the Wairarapa coastline. The area was named in 1770 by Captain Cook, who observed that Castle Rock resembled the battlements of a castle.
The reef, lagoon, sand dunes and Castle Rock are all part of Castlepoint Scenic Reserve. There are two short walks to explore Lighthouse Walk (30 minutes return) and Deliverance Cove Track (1.5 hours return).
Castlepoint's beach is often visited by dolphins and fur seals. Look also for sea birds - white-fronted terns, red-billed gulls and black shags inhabit the south end of the reef; reef herons and black-backed gulls nest on the sheer cliffs of Castle Rock.
If you're botanically inclined, hunt for the Castlepoint daisy, Brachyglottis compactus, which grows on the crumbled limestone of the reef and Castle Rock. Castlepoint is the only place in the world where you'll find this particular daisy.
If you decide to stay longer than a day, there is a camping ground and self-contained accommodation available.
Nestled in the heart of New Zealand's North Island, Tararua Forest Park is a natural playground for outdoor enthusiasts and a sanctuary for those seeking to immerse themselves in pristine wilderness. This expansive park is a testament to nature's grandeur, offering a mosaic of landscapes that beckon adventurers of all kinds.
As you explore Tararua Forest Park, you'll be enchanted by its diverse beauty. Dense native forests blanketing rugged ranges, cascading waterfalls hidden in verdant valleys, and meandering rivers cutting through deep gorges paint a captivating picture of untouched nature.
The park's extensive network of hiking trails caters to all levels of experience, making it accessible for both seasoned trekkers and families looking for a day of adventure. Whether you're venturing through dense forest canopies, climbing alpine peaks, or embarking on a multi-day journey through this untamed paradise, every step reveals new and awe-inspiring vistas.
Tararua Forest Park is not only a haven for hikers but also a treasure trove of biodiversity. Birdwatchers will delight in the chance to spot native species such as the playful kaka and the elusive whio (blue duck). The park's pristine environment provides a sanctuary for these and many other unique creatures.
Whether you're camping beneath starry skies, cooling off in crystal-clear streams, or simply listening to the symphony of nature, Tararua Forest Park promises an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It's a place where you can find solitude, reconnect with the natural world, and discover the true essence of New Zealand's wild beauty.
For those with a thirst for adventure and a love for unspoiled landscapes, Tararua Forest Park offers an invitation to immerse yourself in nature's grandeur. It's a place where every journey unveils a new chapter in the story of Aotearoa's wilderness. Visit Tararua Forest Park and let the untouched beauty of this pristine realm leave you inspired and rejuvenated.