Pencarrow Lighthouse Open Day - 160th Anniversary


Visit a Wellington icon property at Wellington Anniversary weekend on a guided tour to the Pencarrow Lighthouse, celebrating its 160th anniversary.  Go up in the Lighthouse and view the magnificent scenery across Wellington Harbour and the Cook Strait.

Open Day at Pencarrow Lighthouse

The lamp at Pencarrow was lit for the first time on New Year’s Day 1859 making it the first permanent lighthouse to be built in New Zealand. Mary Jane Bennett became the keeper at Pencarrow after her husband, George (its first keeper) was tragically drowned in a boating acciden.  To this day, she was New Zealand’s only woman lighthouse keeper. The light beamed for 76 years until it was replaced by an automated light at Baring Head to the east.

Departure points

Two coaches will depart Wellington CBD at 11am and will make a second pick-up in Petone:

11am: Wellington Railway Station, adjacent to platform 9, and
11.30am:  Carpark beside the Petone Settlers Museum on The Esplanade.

Please be at the departure point at least 15 min prior to the departure time as the coaches will leave on time.

Return: the coaches will depart around 2.30pm for drop off around 3pm in Petone, and about 3.30-3.45pm  back in Wellington.

Be prepared

Bring a packed lunch and drink for a picnic at the lighthouse. Bring a jacket, hat, sunscreen and good walking shoes. 

A good level of fitness is required as there is a 15 minute walk up a grass track and pathway to the lighthouse from the drop-off point once the coach reaches Pencarrow Head.

Guest speakers

There will be two guest speakers at the Lighthouse, author Helen Beaglehole and Paul Cummack, conservation architect, to talk about its history and conservation. There will also be some special prizes for a quiz on the Lighthouse and its importance to Wellington. Take in the spectacular views of Wellington Harbour and the Cook Strait while you enjoy your picnic lunch.

Booking is essential as seats on the coaches are limited. There is no back-up day. 


 In the event of rain or inclement weather, the trip will be cancelled. A cancellation will be posted on 2ZB on the morning of 19 January if the tour is off.

Event Details


  • Saturday 19 January 2019
  • 11am - 4pm

How Much?

Adult: $25; Heritage New Zealand member: $20; children 15 years and under: $15. Includes coach transport.

Make a Booking

Advance bookings are essential - seats on the coaches are limited.   Please book (and pay) by Thursday 10 January.

Payments to be made on line to Heritage New Zealand at 03-0502-0939456-00. Mark payment: Pencarrow Open Day and your name as a reference.

You can also book through Eventfinda.

For more information and to register, call or email David Watt, Central Region Outreach Advisor, Heritage New Zealand on (04) 494 8322 or mob 027 2466 339, email