Wellington and the Wairarapa Sights

Cape Palliser

  • Nautical Site/Lighthouse

Published 08/30/2016

Fodor's Review

Named by Captain Cook, Cape Palliser marks the eastern end of Palliser Bay. You can’t miss its lighthouse, a candy-striped classic erected in 1897. Climb the 250 (the sign says 258) wooden steps for terrific views up and down the wild coastline. Below the lighthouse, splashing in the surf and basking on the rocks, are members of the North Island's only resident fur seal colony. You'll be able to get pretty close for photos, but not too close—these animals are fiercely protective of their young. Don't get between seals and pups, or seals and the ocean.

To reach it from Martinborough, start at Memorial Square and turn left into Jellicoe Street, this becomes Lake Ferry Road. After 30 km (18½ miles) turn left at the Cape Palliser road sign; from there it’s another 35 km (21½ miles) to the cape itself. You’ll pass The Pinnacles on your left; after this the road deteriorates and is unpaved in places. It is a bleak and dramatic drive, though not particularly hard if you take care. The travel time from Martinborough is approximately 80 minutes.

Sight Information


Featherston, Wellington, New Zealand

Published 08/30/2016


Book A Trip



  • CARS

What's Nearby

  • Sights
  • Hotels

See all sights in Wellington and the Wairarapa