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. 

In July 2023, Baring Head/Ōrua-pouanui was added to The New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero, further protecting and preserving the site. 

We are continuing to support the Friends of Baring Head Trust to restore the park environment and redevelop and enhance the lighthouse complex. We’re working towards having the two former lightkeepers’ cottages and garage hut available for overnight stay bookings. In the meantime, you can enjoy the park's history on a wonderful day visit. 

If you want to help the Friends Group out with weeding or planting, contact the Friends Group at

Image shows native vegetation restoration plantings within the lighthouse complex. As they grow they will provide shelter. The lighthouse complex perimeter shelter belt is also being restored. It’s a windy exposed spot, so always take warm and windproof layers for your visits.

Native vegetation restoration plantings within the lighthouse complex will provide shelter as they grow. The lighthouse complex perimeter shelter belt is also being restored. It’s a windy exposed spot, so always take warm and windproof layers for your visits.  

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.

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. 

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.

Redevelopment reference material

Updated July 20, 2023 at 11:29 AM

Get in touch

0800 496 734