Touring New Zealand's North Island by Campervan
East Cape Lighthouse and East Island (known to the Maori as Whangaokena).
A lighthouse began operation on East Island in 1900 (it took 2 years to build it due to harsh conditions), but earthquakes and landslides caused it to be moved to the mainland
in 1922. To the Maori, the island is tapu (sacred), and some believe that the earthquakes occurred to drive the invaders away (earthquakes and landslides on the island
have apparently stopped).
In the 22 years that the lighthouse on the island operated, 3 lighthouse keepers and their families lived there. Three of their children and 5 victims of shipwrecks
were buried on the island during those years.
The current cast-iron tower is 14 meters high (shorter than the original) and 154 meters above sea level. It was fully automated in 1985.