Commissioned in 1870, the lighthouse at Farewell Spit was among those promoted by James Balfour of the Marine Department. The original structure was wood rather than stone or metal because Balfour was determined to build lighthouses quickly and cheaply. The shore was not far above sea level, so the light needed to be set high to warn seafarers of the sand spit. In the early 1890s it was discovered that the wooden lighthouse had been weakened by the wind and abrasive sand. It was replaced by this steel latticework structure in 1897. In the interwar years the lighthouse was serviced by trucks which travelled along the spit at low tide.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Department of Conservation
Photograph by P. R. Dingwall
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