Tiritiri Matangi

Get technical and historical information and resources about Tiritiri Matangi lighthouse.
Tiritiri Matangi 1
Maritime NZ
An aerial shot of Tiritiri Matangi lighthouse and surrounding homestead.
View larger image [JPG: 2272x1074, 144ppi, 3.3MB]


Lighthouse overview

Tiritiri Matangi lighthouse is situated on Tiritiri Island in the Hauraki Gulf. It marks the approach to Auckland Harbour some 28 kilometres to the south.

Tiritiri Matangi is the oldest lighthouse still in operation in New Zealand. It was also the first lighthouse to be built by the Government.

In 2019, the lighthouse was fitted with a 24 volt Flashing LED beacon, replacing the rotating beacon.

Lighthouse feature: details
Location: latitude 36°36' south, longitude 174°54' east
Elevation: 91 metres above sea level
Construction: cast iron tower
Tower height: 21 metres
Light configuration: 24 volt flashing LED beacon
Light flash character: white light flashing once every 15 seconds
Power source: batteries charged by solar panels
Range: 18 nautical miles (33 kilometres)
Date light first lit: 1865
Automated: 1984
Demanned: 1984


Getting to Tiritiri Matangi

Tiritiri Matangi lighthouse is located on Tiritiri Matangi Island and is accessible to the public.

There is no public access to enter the lighthouse

Tiritiri Matangi island is a wildlife sanctuary administered by the Department of Conservation and is a popular day trip from Auckland.

Find this on the map:


Tiritiri Matangi photos

You can download a four page photo gallery of Tiritiri Matangi lighthouse dating back as far as 1865 to some more recent shots, depicting operationas of the lighthouse and life on Tiritiri Matangi Island.

Photo gallery [PDF: 7.6MB, 4 pages]


The history of Tiritiri Matangi

Lighthouse construction

Construction of the lighthouse was very difficult and cost £5,747. It took 4 months to dig down through 3 metres of thick, boggy, clay-like mud to reach ground that was hard enough to build on.

Building materials for the lighthouse were shipped to the island and then carted in sledges by bullocks over the slippery banks to reach the construction site. Despite the challenges of construction, the original tower is still standing. The light itself, however, has undergone many changes.

The light was first lit on 1 January 1865.

Tiritiri Matangi 3
McLean and Stilman
The original 1861 tower designs for Tiritiri Matangi by McLean and Stilman Civil Engineers, George St., London.
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Related information:

Lighthouse 150th celebration booklet

On 1 January 2015, Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi celebrated the sesquicentennial of the lighting of Tiritiri Lighthouse.

[PDF, 1.24Mb, 9 pages]