East Harbour Regional Park

A backdrop to Eastbourne and Wainuiomata, East Harbour's sheltered valleys and sweeping bays offer bush clad retreats and exhilarating views over Wellington harbour and headlands





East Harbour Regional Park

East Harbour Regional Park is a contrast of native forest and rocky coastline, providing a magnificent backdrop to Wellington Harbour.

There are two distinct areas. To the north, the hills between Eastbourne and Wainuiomata are clothed in some of the best beech/rata forest in the Wellington area. In contrast, the damp valley floors contain lush semi-swamp forest including kahikatea, pukatea and nikau palms.

East Harbour Regional Park view over Days Bay Wharf
East Harbour Regional Park walkers CREDIT Jeff McEwan Capture Studios
East Harbour Regional Park CREDIT Jeff McEwan Capture Studios
East Harbour Regional Park info boards CREDIT Jeff McEwan Capture Studios

To the south, the Parangarahu Lakes Area provides sweeping views and diverse geological features. It cradles the nationally significant freshwater wetlands of Kohangatera and Kohangapiripiri and is home to a wealth of native plants and wildlife.

East Harbour is a great spot for cycling, walking, tramping, and hunting.

The Pencarrow Lighthouse was New Zealand's first permanent lighthouse and was run by New Zealand's only female lighthouse-keeper, Mary Jane Bennett, who took over the post for ten years - when her husband George, the former keeper, tragically passed away. She lived alone with her six children in this rugged and spectacular coastline from 1855 to 1865.

The cast iron tower was made in England and then erected on Pencarrow Head, at the entrance to Wellington Harbour. It was first lit on New Year's Day 1859 and beamed its cautionary message for 76 years, until it was decommissioned and replaced by the Baring Head lighthouse.

Located within the Park, the lighthouse makes for a pleasant day-trip. Walk or cycle the 8km gravel track to the lighthouse from Burden's Gate, at the south end of Eastbourne (8km walk). 

pencarrow lighthouses aerial view of coast and lake
pencarrow lighthouse close up of top lighthouse cyclists taking in view

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