Day 253 on the Road
Cape Palliser Lighthouse & Seal Colony
Today we are taking a road trip from Wellington to Cape Palliser! If you want to see more inspiration for your NZ trip, make sure to check out our 365 Days: 365 Activities over on YouTube!
Today guys we explore the southernmost point of the North Island of New Zealand. It’s confusing to me but we’re gonna explore it.
This morning we are leaving Wellington capital city super early. That’s it we are on the last leg of New Zealand’s biggest gap year. After exploring the whole west coast of the North Island, after exploring the whole South Island including Stewart Island we are now exploring the rest of the North Island. that’s the whole east coast, that’s the whole Central North Island and that’s the whole Northland. it’s gonna be an epic finish.
This morning we’re having a bit of a road trip companion right here.
Our trip is starting with the rugged coastline of the Wairarapa district of the Wellington region where we are meeting the locals. Right here at Cape Palliser is a huge fur seal colony and one of the more limited places you can actually see seals on the North Island.
Most of the New Zealand fur seals are quietly waking up yawning but some of them are fighting it makes it for a really awesome show and Laura and I are suckers for wildlife. You guys know that by now. So we are taking a lot of time checking them out. We are obviously staying at a very respectable distance from them because we don’t want to disturb them but we want to get some awesome pictures.
We just arrived at the bottom of Cape Palliser this is the southernmost lighthouse of the North Island. It’s actually the southernmost point of the North Island. And there is over 200 steps to climb to get all the way up there.
Alright so that’s usually the part where we start giving you a lot of facts about the place that we are visiting but I’m gonna start with a tip. There is actually over 250 steps, not over 200 steps, and if you are facing such a wall of stairs don’t go at it at full speed from the get go because you’re gonna start dying, literally dying, out of breath after only a hundred steps and that’s exactly what’s happening to us. Laura and I are struggling our way up it is absolutely painful and the last few steps are a torture.
My face feels so heavy.
After finally catching my breath I realise why we climbed all those stairs. Right at the top of Cape Palliser we get amazing views of the surrounding coastline which is super rugged and of course we get close up views of this really iconic and picturesque lighthouse.
The lighthouse has been here since 1897 and I do not envy the early lighthouse keepers that had to haul cans of oil and kerosene up a track to get up here. That must have been so much more painful than the steps we’ve just taken today.
Because it was such a effort to get up here we make sure to spend loads of time soaking in the views, taking loads of pictures of this point which is actually the southernmost point of the North Island. In fact, it’s considerably more south than the towns and Blenheim and Nelson in the South Island.
There is one thing for sure. That the way down is much much easier.
So after embracing those amazing views we are finally making our way down from those stairs. it is actually considerably easier believe it or not. oh wait, of course you can believe it. Have you seen how hard it was to go up?!
The Cape Palliser Lighthouse was an awesome thing to visit and that’s sadly the only thing we’re gonna visit on this beautifully rugged coast. There is heaps more to visit in this area and if you do have more time, our favourite stuff to do here is the Putangirua Pinnacles which is a spot where the Lord of the Rings was filmed. But our drive today is rather long. We are making our way all the way to the heart of the Manawatu region to a place called River Valley.
There is a little bit of traffic. We had to come to a stop to let the other vehicles pass.
Don’t worry guys, it looks like a picture perfect opportunity and you will get this one any time you road trip in New Zealand. I’m telling you there is cattle and sheep everywhere.
After a super long drive we finally make it to River Valley which is an adventure lodge pretty much in the middle of nowhere and we’re gonna be spending the next few days here so make sure to join us for our next episodes.
And I am just a heap on the floor once again. I am a mess at Cape Palliser. If the staircase doesn’t take your breath away then the views sure will.