Finding the Light

When we were at Bluff on 13 Nov I wanted to take a look at the Stirling Point Lighthouse, one of the many navigation markers for ships. We parked where the tar-seal ends and then walked down the gravel no-exit lane to find the lighthouse. We’ve only seen it from a distance before. Southland, New Zealand

For:   Which Way Photo Challenge 15 November, 2018

Which Way:  Stirling Point Lighthouse at Bluff

This post is more about the “way” rather than the lighthouse itself. Its spring in NZ and we were amazed to find that along with the expected native flowers, there’s a forest of Pride of Madeira thriving along the coastal edge in Bluff. We’ve seen this naturalised in dry, coastal areas further north but had no idea it was growing this far south! Pride of Madeira is a species of Echium.


In the above photo you can see flower spires of Pride of Madeira behind the sign, our native cabbage trees Cordyline australis flowering well, and in the foreground is another native plant – its from the potato family and rather weedy but has lovely flowers as you can see in the photo below. Both photos taken by Nigel


Above photo: Usually referred to by its Maori name of poroporo, the botanical name is Solanum laciniatum. The pretty flowers become green egg-shaped berries that ripen to yellow or yellow-orange. The berries are very pretty (but toxic). They can grow quite tall, up to about 3 metres high.


In the above photo you get a view of Stirling Point Lighthouse hiding behind dense spires of Pride of Madeira. We walked down the gravel lane to the lighthouse.


Above: another view of the lighthouse as we got closer, slightly obscured by the unopened flower heads of our native flax (Phormium sp.) The old dead head in the left bottom corner betrays the presence of agapanthus here as well, a South African plant.

Below: Stirling Point Lighthouse


Two extra photos that I took of the plants:



The Pride of Madeira flower spires are TALL!

Image credits: First two photos taken by Nigel, all the others by Liz
Posted by Liz; Exploring Colour (2018)

19 thoughts on “Finding the Light

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    1. Your comment made me smile.. thanks so much! We probably only had a couple of hours in Bluff that day but we both took so many photos. We were really lucky to see a ship arrive at the harbour entrance and then we went to Stirling Point and saw the lighthouse, and there were all these wonderful plants in flower that we hadn’t expected. We had a wonderful time!

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  1. Cool building and a beautiful spot! I was surprised that the light house wasn’t taller. I guess it would survive the earthquake but I’m imagining it getting run over by a tsunami…

    Those flower spikes are amazing!

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    1. From my background reading, the lighthouse on Dog Island about 5 Km away (faintly visible in one photo on my “Port Of Call” post) is the tallest lighthouse in NZ. But Stirling Point one is squat! Yes, the flower spikes amazed me!

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        1. They do, and part of that for me is the stories of the lighthouse keepers and their families who used to live there, most lighthouses being extremely remote. These days I believe all of them are automated.

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    1. It is Dries! What happens is that we go to Invercargill and do our things there, and then I’ll suggest to Nigel that we go to Bluff and off we go. On a bad weather day I wouldn’t suggest it so my Bluff photos always show nice days! 🙂

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