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East Harbour Geology Day Trip

Sunday 9 April 2017, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm


Registration of interest for this tour is now closed.

Hamish’s trips covering geological highlights have been very popular events over the last few months.

Final arrangements for this tour are now in place. The day trip details have changed since initial publication.  This trip still incorporates the rugged coast of the East Harbour Regional Park, but the specific area we will be exploring will be around Pencarrow Head, rather than further east at Turakirae Head.

The venue is the Parangarahu Scientific Reserve on the south east coast.  There is a brochure attached at this link, with maps and a description of the area.

There are two important privileges that apply to our group. Firstly, we will travel by coach all the way to the base of the Lighthouse Track, thus avoiding a 2 hour walk from Burdan’s Gate.  Plus, you will enjoy special access to the lighthouse, normally not open to the public.

Pencarrow Light was the first permanent lighthouse built in New Zealand and was constructed from 480 sections of cast iron that were shipped from England. Its first keeper, Mary Jane Bennett was the first and only female lighthouse keeper in New Zealand. The light was decommissioned in 1935, when it was replaced by the Baring Head lighthouse, and offered to Heritage New Zealand in 1966. The lighthouse is now registered as a Category I historic place.

After viewing the lighthouse, and taking in the spectacular views overlooking the harbour and Cook Strait, we will explore the Pencarrow lakes, Kohangapiripiri and Kohangatera. This will be a two – three hour walk. The lakes are home to several rare species of wildlife, and are New Zealand’s  last relatively unmodified wetlands. Both lakes are dammed by gravel and sand banks that are old earthquake raised beaches. The lakes were once popular eeling grounds for Taranaki Whanui however few eels remain and the aim is now to restore fish habitat and migratory paths to support the return of eels to the lakes.




Participant’s checklist

  • You will meet outside Te Papa main entrance in time for the coach to depart at 9:30am. You will be returned to Te Papa about 5pm


  • For the overall benefit of the group, all participants must possess a moderate level of mobility, including the ability to undertake a walking tour of 2-3 hours duration, including using stairs, walking over gravel roads, beaches, farmland and other uneven surfaces.

What you will need to bring:

  • You will need your own picnic lunch.
  • Warm and rain proof clothing and strong comfortable walking shoes. Pencarrow Head is a rugged environment and the weather can be changeable. It’s sure to be windy so wear something warm.
  • Sunblock, a hat and your own refreshments including water. There are no amenities at Pencarrow (and that includes toilets).


In the event that we may need to cancel or postpone the trip.  We will advise you by:

  • Posting an announcement at the top of this page of the website
  • Advising participants by email, and by text or phone to the phone number you have provided
  • In the event of postponement you will have the option of retaining your booking for a new date, or having your payment refunded.  In the event of cancellation, your payment will be refunded in full.

$25 per person, includes return coach transport from Te Papa, and parking at Te Papa.


Sunday 9 April 2017
9:30 am - 5:00 pm
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