What does a lighthouse do?
  • A lighthouse warns ships and boats about rocks and reefs underneath the sea.
  • A lighthouse uses a flashing light directed out towards the sea as a signal.
  • Each lighthouse uses a different flashing pattern or speed of flashes.
  • The lighthouse at Waipapa point was built after the passenger ship Tararua hit a reef and sank. It was built in 1884.
  Did You Know?
  • The first lighthouse in New Zealand was a beacon in the Wellington Harbour in the 1840’s.
  • There are now over 40 lighthouses around the New Zealand coastline.
  • All the lighthouses in New Zealand now run automatically - they don’t have keepers.
  • And they pretty much now all run on solar energy.
Signal your friends
One evening play a game of Hot and Cold with your friends using a torch and a toy. Hide the toy outside and then work out a code system with your friends using a torch. Flashing slowly on and off, on and off might mean that they’re "cold" or a long way from the hidden toy. Flashing on and off really fast several times might mean that they’re getting "hot" or near the hidden toy. As your friends move around use the torch to signal them their position. When the toy is found, it’s that persons turn to hide the toy and become the "lighthouse" with the torch.
  • Make a map of New Zealand marking where all the lighthouses are. Draw in the rocks which lie below the water.
  • Lighthouses need to be strong to stand the battering of storms and waves. What do you think a lighthouse would be made of? See if your library has a book about lighthouses.
What do you call a lighthouse with the lights turned off?
A dark house.

At night a man turns out the light and goes to bed, the next day he loses his job, why did he lose his job?
He was a lighthouse keeper and he turned out the lights the night before!
By Anna Christian

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