NEW ZEALAND LIGHTHOUSES
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The Rangitoto lighthouse was first built in 1882 20 1887 17 the concrete tower was the first lighthouse to be built using Wilson's Portland cement and was intended to be painted with red and white bands. 20
But because of disagreements between the Auckland Harbour Board and the Marine Department, the light was not lit until 1905. 20 The lighthouse was first illuminated by a gas light supplied by the Railways Department, in 1925 the light was replaced with an incandescent lamp. This in turn was replaced in 1926 with a acetone acetylene light. 20
The acetylene was produced by dripping water onto carbine. A water tank was mounted on the tower to hold the water. 17
In 1929 a underwater cable was installed and the light was electrified. 20
in 1960 the tower was painted in the intended paint scheme of red and white stripes. 20
After a cable fault in 1982 the lighthouse is now powered by solar power. 20
For information on Rangitoto Island:
Rangitoto Island Historical Conversation Trust http://www.rangitoto.org/index.htm
Fullers have tours to the island. It's a 30 minute ferry ride from Auckland. Take the 4 wheel drive tour of island to summit which includes good views of harbour and lighthouse, the driver will stop close to the lighthouse for photos on way back.
Alternately, hike 2 hours to the light but there is no water or food on the island and it is always hot, dry and dusty.
Fullers has 3 trips per day in summer and the ferry passes close to Bean Rock Lighthouse on the way back.
See reference page for more details.
a. Rangitoto Island Historical Conversation Trust http://www.rangitoto.org/index.htm
Text and photographs. Copyright © 1999-2009 Mark Phillips. All rights reserved.
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Last Updated: February 21, 2011