From the carpark, a loop track takes you to the lighthouse. It follows the coast before returning slightly inland.
The track is suitable for families of all ages including wheelchairs
A side track takes you a view of where the light house keepers house once stood. This deviation is only 50 m long so is worth a visit. Return back along the same track to continue your journey.
From Invercargill follow signs indicating the Southern Scenic Route head east towards Gorge Road on The Gorge Road Invercargill highway. Follow this to Fortrose.
Where signposted turn right at Fortrose and follow the Fortrose Otara road for approximagely 20 minutes. Where signposted, turn right onto Waipapa Otara Road and follow this to the end.
At the road end you will reach a carpark. Park considerately as space is limited.
There are toilets, an information kiosk, and seating to shelter or each your lunch (take your rubbish away).
Parking also caters for larger vehicles and a small number of buses.
Sea lions/whakahao can be aggressive if provoked. Keep a minimum 10 m distance between you and whakahao.
Sea lions/whakahao can be found on the beach near the lighthouse or further inland amongst the coastal tussock.
Shortened from the original Maori name of Waipapapa, meaning shallow waters, this is the site of New Zealand’s worst civilian shipwreck. In 1881 the SS Tararua ran aground on Waipapa Reef and 131 of 151 passengers and crew died.
The lighthouse, built after the disaster, stands as a poignant reminder.