Artist Solomon D Silviera (center)

Manukau Heads infamous tidal sandbar caused New Zealand’s most disastrous shipwreck February 1863 grounding of warship HMS Orpheus.

Painting by local artist Solomon D Silviera captures the tragedy that claimed 185 lives.

The same signal mast was later toppled in an act (still unproven) of indigenous Maori rebellion. Treasure and relics from the Orpheus and other harbour wrecks continue to be found.


Lighthouse lantern

Manukau Heads Lighthouse was New Zealand’s number 12 and the first to burn paraffin (also known as Kerosene) when lit in 1874.

During the following 112 years it was illuminated by oil vapor, acetylene gas, and electricity.

It was, also rebuilt (1944) on a concrete base and officially retired  in 1986, when all lantern parts were paced in storage.


Sienna Yoakley commemorates first lighting 8 June 2008.

In 2006 the lantern and prisms were reunited in a timber replica of the original tower in it s current location (almost 1 kilometer north of original site).

It reopened as a non-working visitor experience with a symbolic relighting 132 years and 23 days from the date of inauguration.