Friday, September 24, 2010

NEW ZEALAND

The Cape Reinga lighthouse stands on a spectacular site overlooking the meeting of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, at the northern extremity of New Zealand. First lit in 1941, this lighthouse replaced the Maria Van Diemen Lighthouse built in 1879 on nearby Motuopao Island. The 10 m (33 ft) octagonal concrete tower with black lantern roof was originally powered by diesel-generated electricity. The station was automated and the last keeper was withdrawn in 1987. In April 2000, the light was powered from battery banks charged by solar panels. Approximately 10,000 people visit the Cape Reinga lighthouse each year.