Baring Head transformation reaches next phase
Two former lighthouse keeper’s cottages and an old generator building are well on the way to being transformed into accommodation and a visitor centre in East Harbour Regional Park.
Greater Wellington Regional Council Eastern Harbour Park Ranger, Jo Greenman, says once renovated, the buildings at Baring Head (Ōrua-Pouanui) will encourage more visitors into the area.
“The Friends of Baring Head alongside many other volunteers are working hard to create a new destination in Wellington.
“We already have stunning views here, but once there’s shelter, a visitor centre and even a place for people to spend the night – this will be a great destination.
“Being able to stay within metres of an operating lighthouse will be a very unique experience,” Jo says.
The lighthouse, which opened in 1935, became automated in 1989 which lead to the closure of its nearby buildings.
A design has been drawn up to turn the old generator building into a visitor ‘storytelling’ centre where park-goers can read about local Maori history as well as the history of the lighthouse itself.
All of the main buildings have had their roofs replaced and two have been stripped, repaired and externally painted. Dulux is generously sponsoring this project with products, funds and volunteers’ time.
“The next phase will be to rewire and refurbish the inside of the generator building which we are hoping to have up-and-running as a visitor centre within the next 12 months,” Jo says.
The Friends of Baring Head also plan to restore the surrounding gardens and create a discovery trail.
Greater Wellington Parks Portfolio leader Prue Lamason says it’s great to see the next stage of this detailed project underway.
“We always want to encourage more people into our regional parks so it’s just amazing to see the progress that has been made at Baring Head so far.
“The work couldn’t be done without the commitment of our dedicated volunteers so a big shout out to them for their on-going efforts,” Cr Lamason says.
If anyone would like to get involved in the work happening at Baring Head through funding, skills or materials visit www.baringhead.org.nz