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Photograph Waipapa Point Lighthouse, the Catlins, NZ

Photograph Waipapa Point Lighthouse, the Catlins, NZ

Waipapa Point Lighthouse, Waipapa Lighthouse Road, Waipapa Point, Southland, New Zealand

Photographs and blog post by Susan Gan, Australia

Why is photographing Waipapa Point Lighthouse on the Snap Spotz photographer’s bucket list?

Waipapa Point Lighthouse may not be the most impressive looking lighthouse but it is the southernmost lighthouse in New Zealand and one of the last two timber lighthouses in New Zealand.

Waipapa Point Lighthouse is situated in a beautiful part of New Zealand on the Catlins Coast. The point features wild and rugged coastlines with sea lions snoozing on the beach. You should definitely consider taking a photo of Waipapa Point Lighthouse to your photography bucket list.

Waipapa Point Lighthouse - Susan Gan
Waipapa Point Lighthouse – Susan Gan

When is the best time to photograph Waipapa Point Lighthouse, New Zealand?

Waipapa Point Lighthouse can be photographed at anytime of the day but would make a stunning sunrise or sunset photo.

Snap Spotz - Waipapa Point Lighthouse - Susan Gan
Waipapa Point Lighthouse – Susan Gan

Where is the best spot to photograph Waipapa Point Lighthouse?

It depends on whether you want a closeup photo of Waipapa Point Lighthouse or if you want to take a landscape photo of Waipapa Point Lighthouse.

In my opinion, the best place to take a photograph of Waipapa Point Lighthouse is from further down the beach so that you include the rugged, windswept coastline. There are several tracks from both the car park and the lighthouse leading to the cliff edge.

Tips or recommendations to photograph Waipapa Point Lighthouse.

The beach surrounding the lighthouse is a popular location for Sea Lions, if you are lucky you might get to see one.

There are toilet facilities near the photo site.

Sea Lion at Waipapa Point Lighthouse - Susan Gan
Sea Lion on the beach near Waipapa Point Lighthouse – Susan Gan

Ease of access to photograph Waipapa Point Lighthouse

Accessibility rating between 1 and 10. 1 being wheelchair accessible, 10 being a difficult (and possibly dangerous) hike requiring rock climbing experience!

Rating = 2

Excluding the remoteness of the location and the fact that it is an hour’s drive from the closest city of Invercargill, I have given Waipapa Point Lighthouse an accessibility rating of 2.

There are signs in the car park saying it is wheelchair accessible however as you can see from the photo below, the path leading up to the lighthouse is gravel and didn’t look like it would be that easy to push a wheelchair.

The gravel pathway leading up to the Waipapa Point Lighthouse.
There is a gravel pathway leading up to the Waipapa Point Lighthouse.

Waipapa Point lighthouse is a lighthouse located at Waipapa Point, Southland, New Zealand. It was first lit on 1 January 1884. The lighthouse was built in response to the wreck of the passenger steamer Tararua on reefs off Waipapa Point on 29 April 1881, with the loss of 131 lives.


Meet the photographer

Susan Gan | Thrifty after 50 and Snap Spotz

Susan Gan | Australia
Susan Gan | Australia

Camera Settings

CameraCanon 6D
LensEF 24 – 70mm 1:2.8
Camera Settings1/1,000 sec at f/6.7, ISO 200
Tripod, filters, wireless remoteNone
Photo editing toolAdobe Lightroom
Resources / Apps for preparationInternet research

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Snap Spotz Pin - Waipapa Point LIghthouse - Susan Gan

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