Nugget point is found on the Otago coast and is probably the most iconic landform on the Otago landscape. It is located just north of the Catlins Coast down the road from Kaka Point. This steep headland has a lighthouse at the cliff edge that is surrounded by rocky islets. Nugget Point had been considered a significant danger in particular to small vessels trading along the coast to the Clutha River.The lighthouse was built in 1869 and started operating on 4 July 1870. Originally powered by an oil burner, it was converted to a 1000 W lamp in 1949 with electricity provided by a diesel generator until the 1960s, when the lighthouse was connected to mains electricity.
A five minute walk takes you to the lighthouse, where you’ll enjoy amazing views along the coastline in both directions. If you look down onto the rocks directly below the lighthouse, you’ll see fur seals lolling about, playing in rock pools and generally having fun. Bring binoculars for close-up viewing of this breeding colony.
Nugget Point is also home to sea lions, sooty shearwaters, shags, yellow-eyed penguins, spoonbills and a breeding colony of gannets. Occasionally, elephant and leopard seals visit the area. If you watch the water for a while, you might see Hector’s dolphins.