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Located at the northern end of the Catlins coast down the road from Kaka Point is nugget point. Sitting 76 m (250 ft) above the cold rippy waters is the lighthouse warning nearby vessels of the rocky islets just out in front called the Nuggets. The lighthouse was built in 1870 and was originally fuelled by oil. In 1949 the oil lamp was replaced with a diesel powered electric lamp. In 1901 Walter Hutton Champion was the lighthouse keeper along with his wife Alice. Now that’s an amazing job and a cracking location to live. I know this isn’t a lot of people’s cup of tea, but I could happily sit alongside the lamp with a hot drink being shown we have no control over Mother Nature as massive swells pound the south island.

My first attempts of capturing a photograph of nugget point two months before never really yielded the results I was looking for. My mind’s eye imagines lighthouses in moody stormy seas and with heavy skies and of course some theatrical light. Clear starts and evening don’t cut the mustard for me sadly. A few days before we flew out to Australia I was back on the cliff top with some unfinished business. Unfortunately the swell wasn’t up to much but the skies where heavy and a lone shaft of light came about ignited the lighthouse and nuggets. Somewhere on the path is my partner in crime Kara, she didn’t fancy the climb up to this spot, looking back on it, I don’t blame her.

Copyright Notice © 2012 Russell Pike


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