Skip to content

Focus on Baring Head/Ōrua-pouanui - redevelopment of the lighthouse cottages and compound

Focus on Baring Head/Ōrua-pouanui - redevelopment of the lighthouse cottages and compound

Updated 28 May 2021 11:12am

Baring Head/Ōrua-pouanui is a special place – it’s a stunning location on an iconic headland, it is the only lighthouse compound in NZ still in its original condition and is full of untold history! We need to preserve and protect these buildings and help them to tell their unique stories.

We are working with the Friends of Baring Head Trust to redevelop and enhance the lighthouse cottages and garden to reveal their stories and create wonderful opportunities for day visits and overnight accommodation.

We need your help to do this! Check out the Givealittle page to donate money or contact the Friends Group at to find out how you can get involved! 

Managing the transformation

The Friends of Baring Head are leading the charge to seek the funding required to make the project happen. They are a Registered Charity and have already achieved a lot in East Harbour Regional Park including restoring the pump house beside the Wainuiomata River.

The Friends are also active in restoring the ecological values and native vegetation habitat of Baring Head/Ōrua-pouanui and will manage the compound redevelopment project with ongoing support from a steering group and GWRC.

Overview of the restoration project

Approach to re-development 

The restoration project has been divided into seven discrete but related projects, each of which will become the focus of fundraising. The projects are:

  1. The Loo with a View
  2. Garage and sheds
  3. Power House visitor day centre 
  4. The Lookout 
  5. The Shelter Belt 
  6. The Discovery Trail
  7. The Drive

Want to get involved?

The Friends are looking for help to:

  • Restore the two light keepers’ cottages for overnight accommodation. This will be a wonderful place to stay in future
  • Refurbish the former generator building as a day visitor centre. This will be a great place to shelter from the wind and learn about the people, landscape and operational stories of Baring Head/Ōrua-pouanui
  • Restore the heritage gardens and surrounds. Heritage photographs illustrate what Baring Head/Ōrua-pouanui used to look like. Some of these features will be restored to their former glory
  • Tell the stories about the lighthouse keepers’ lives. Light keepers and their families lived here managing the light and the grounds until as recently as January 1989 when the lighthouse was automated and the last light keeper left
  • Donate time, funds and materials – contact the Friends of Baring Head to find out how you can assist

Join the Friends group to turn these plans into a reality. Find out more about their activities or check their Facebook page for updates.

More information

Future day visitor centre in the former Power House at Baring Head/Ōrua-pouanui