Tuhawaiki (Jacks) Point

Get technical and historical information and resources about Tuhawaiki (Jacks) Point lighthouse.
Tuhawaiki Point 1
Maritime NZ
A shot of Tuhawaiki (Jacks) Point lighthouse and surrounding homestead.
View larger image [JPG: 3072x2304, 96ppi, 2.47MB]


Lighthouse overview

Tuhawaiki Point, or Jacks Point as it is also known, is about 5 kilometres south of Timaru on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

In January 2020, Tuhawaiki (Jacks) Point was solarized with mains power disconnected.

Lighthouse feature: Details
Location: latitude 44°27’ south, longitude 171°16’ east
Elevation: 29 metres above sea level
Construction: cast iron tower
Tower height: 9 metres
Light configuration: flashing LED beacon
Light flash character: white light flashing once every 10 seconds
Power source: solar power
Range: 9 nautical miles (16 kilometres)
Date light first lit: 1904
Automated: 1904
Demanned: 1930


Getting to Tuhawaiki Point Lighthouse

Tuhawaiki Point Lighthouse is accessible to the public from the nearby beach.

There is no public access to enter the lighthouse.

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The history of Tuhawaiki Point Lighthouse

Tuhawaiki Point, or Jacks point, gets its name from Hone (Jack) Tuhawaiki, a Maori chief belonging to the Ngai Tahu and Kai Tahu tribes.

The Tuhawaiki Point Lighthouse was constructed on site in 1903 by the Timaru harbour board. It was built to overcome the ineffectiveness of the harbour light.

The lighthouse originally resided on Somes Island in 1866.

Operation of the Tuhawaiki Point light

In 1903, the tower was fitted with an incandescent light. This was a relatively untried lighting method in New Zealand at that time. The incandescent light worked by oil vapour at high pressure being sprayed into a mantle, which once ignited produced a brilliant white light. These lights required less maintenance than oil burning lights.

Tuhawaiki Point Lighthouse is now fitted with a flashing beacon which is illuminated by a 100 watt tungsten halogen bulb.

The light is powered by mains electricity backed up by battery power in the event of power failure.

The light is monitored remotely from Maritime New Zealand’s Wellington office.

Life at Tuhawaiki Point light station

Tuhawaiki Point Lighthouse had a sole keeper, who lived on station until the light station was fully automated in 1930. The light was maintained by harbour employees from the nearby port of Timaru.