Historic lighthouse to be revealed in all its glory

The Akaroa Lighthouse. Photo: Newsline / CCC
The Akaroa Lighthouse. Photo: Newsline / CCC
The machinery inside a well known Canterbury lighthouse is set to be revealed in all its glory.

A heritage incentive grant of $4872 has been given to the Akaroa Lighthouse Preservation Society, a registered charity, so visitors can view the original machinery inside the Akaroa Lighthouse. 

The Christchurch City Council grant will be used for maintenance, conservation and display of the mechanism and machinery inside the historic lighthouse, and support the society to provide public access.

The funding makes up half of the $9744 cost of the planned work.

It is New Zealand’s only operating decommissioned lighthouse and is one of only a handful around the world to be regularly opened up to the public.

The lighthouse is currently closed, but the society plans to re-open it after the improvements have been carried out. 

Council head of urban regeneration, design and heritage Carolyn Ingles said it is a notable part of Akaroa’s history.

"Making sure this landmark can open to the public regularly is very important.

"We’re also keen to help the society display the original winding and clockwork machinery in a safe, accessible way.”

The lighthouse is run by community volunteers and relies on grants and donations to keep open.

The work will improve access to the original lighthouse's machinery, including the winding and clockwork mechanism that rotates the lens and prisms.

Lighting and protective glazing will be used to put the machinery on display.

Built in 1878, the lighthouse originally stood on the eastern head of Akaroa Harbour. In 1977 it was closed and replaced with an automated tower.

There were plans to dispose of the lighthouse by pushing it over a cliff but the community formed the Lighthouse Preservation Society to save it.

It was moved to its current location and restored in 1980 and was then opened up to the public.

The society plans to hold a 40th anniversary celebration in October to mark the lighthouse's move to its current location. 






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