Nugget Point Lighthouse

Holiday Travel Guide
Nugget Point Lighthouse showing rugged coastline

Sitting high above the water’s edge, this historic lighthouse has been a fixture of the Catlins for more than a century.

Take a short drive from the centre of Kaka Point to reach the Nugget Point Lighthouse, one of the star attractions of the Catlins. Climb to the base of the lighthouse for sweeping views of the coast. Peer down at the five rocks below, known by locals as the Nuggets. At dusk the lighthouse is among the most popular spots in the region to watch the sunset and is a great place for a picnic dinner.

Enjoy the natural wonder and man-made history at Nugget Point Lighthouse. Erected between 1869 and 1870, the lighthouse had its oil wick lit for the first time on July 4, 1870. For nearly 80 years the flame guided ships up and down the coast before being replaced by an electric light in 1949. Since the late 1980s the lighthouse has been unmanned, but its long legacy of lighthouse keepers and maritime history continues to attract visitors.

Peer down from the lookout point immediately below the lighthouse to watch for the animals that live on or near the beach. Fur seals are common visitors to the Nuggets, while the larger sea lions, elephant seals and leopard seals also stop by the beach at times. Capture photos of dolphins playing in the waves offshore or make the short walk to Roaring Bay to watch as yellow-eyed penguins scurry across the sand at dusk.

Twilight is the most popular time to visit Nugget Point and its lighthouse, as it is one of the South Island’s most impressive spots for viewing sunsets. Pack a picnic to enjoy as you watch the coast illuminated by the fading sun.

Reach Nugget Point Lighthouse by car from Kaka Point in just 15 minutes. The more energetic can follow the road on foot for about 10 kilometres (6 miles) to reach the lighthouse. Ample parking is available and there is no admission fee for the area. The lighthouse itself does not allow visitors.

50 Cheap Hotels Near Nugget Point Lighthouse

Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park
Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park
2 out of 5
324 Newhaven Rd, Surat Bay, The Catlins, New Haven, Otago
The price is NZ$94 per night from 25 Oct. to 25 Oct.
Nestled on the beach, this New Haven campsite is within 9 mi (15 km) of Teapot World, Catlins Lake and Jack's Blowhole. Cannibal Bay Beach is 10.2 mi (16.4 km) ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (62 reviews)
"Reception is very friendly and informative."

Reviewed on 16 May 2021

Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park
The Kaka Point Motels
The Kaka Point Motels
4 out of 5
24 Rata Street, Kaka Point
The price is NZ$152 per night from 26 Oct. to 26 Oct.
Situated by the sea, this motel is within a 5-minute walk of Kaka Point Scenic Reserve and Kaka Point Beach. Nugget Point Lighthouse and Cannibal Bay Beach are ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (136 reviews)
"Lovely clean property was easy to communicate with owner good view of the sea. Really a must if going to the Catlins"

Reviewed on 12 Oct. 2021

The Kaka Point Motels
Private Bush Clad Seaside Hideaway
Private Bush Clad Seaside Hideaway
8 Poole Road, Willsher Bay, Ahuriri Flat, Otago
Situated by the ocean, this holiday home is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Kaka Point Beach and 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Kaka Point Scenic Reserve. Nugget Point Lighthouse ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (74 reviews)
Poole Road, Kaka Point
"Nice, warm crib. Front lock needs fixing, though."

Reviewed on 27 Jul. 2021

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Private Bush Clad Seaside Hideaway
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Top Nugget Point Lighthouse Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park
Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park
2 out of 5
324 Newhaven Rd, Surat Bay, The Catlins, New Haven, Otago
The price is NZ$94 per night from 25 Oct. to 25 Oct.
Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park
The Kaka Point Motels
The Kaka Point Motels
4 out of 5
24 Rata Street, Kaka Point
The price is NZ$152 per night from 26 Oct. to 26 Oct.
The Kaka Point Motels
Private Bush Clad Seaside Hideaway
Private Bush Clad Seaside Hideaway
8 Poole Road, Willsher Bay, Ahuriri Flat, Otago
Private Bush Clad Seaside Hideaway
Kaka Point Holiday House
Kaka Point Holiday House
5 Miro St, Kaka Point, Otago
Kaka Point Holiday House
Surat Bay Lodge & Backpackers Hostel
Surat Bay Lodge & Backpackers Hostel
2 out of 5
19 Surat Bay Road, New Haven, South Otago
Surat Bay Lodge & Backpackers Hostel
Kepplestone by the Sea
Kepplestone by the Sea
3.5 out of 5
9 Surat Bay Rd, New Haven, OTA
Kepplestone by the Sea
Kaka Point Luxury Spa Accommodation
Kaka Point Luxury Spa Accommodation
26 Esplanade, Kaka Point, OTA
Kaka Point Luxury Spa Accommodation
Great location to get away with family and friends.
Great location to get away with family and friends.
16 Kamahi Street, Kaka Point, Otago
Great location to get away with family and friends.
Pounawea Waterfront Motels
Pounawea Waterfront Motels
3.5 out of 5
43 Park Lane, Pounawea, Owaka
The price is NZ$150 per night from 29 Oct. to 29 Oct.
Pounawea Waterfront Motels
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.