Puysegur Point

Puysegur Point

Puysegur Point is located in the far southwest of the South Island of New Zealand.[1] It lies within Fiordland National Park on the southern head of Preservation Inlet. It lies 145 kilometres west-northwest of Invercargill. It is the site of a lighthouse station now automated but for many years the home of 3 married permanent lighthouse keepers. The original wooden lighthouse was burnt down in 1943 by a man who had recently left a psychiatric hospital and made his way down to Coal Island across the fjord from the lighthouse. He decided the light was a deliberate plot to keep him awake at night by shining in his window so took matters into his own hands. He held all the keepers hostage with a rifle, smashed the radio telephone and set fire to the lighthouse. The concrete lighthouse which replaced it has now in turn been replaced by two automated beacons. A large earthquake[2] in this region on 15 July 2009 pushed Puysegur Point closer to Australia by 30 cm.[3] Humpback whales pass the point during annual migrations.[4]


  1. "Place Name Detail: Puysegur Point". New Zealand Geographic Placenames Database. Land Information New Zealand. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
  2. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/eqinthenews/2009/us2009jcap/, retrieved 2009-08-24
  3. http://www.theage.com.au/world/quake-moves-new-zealand-closer-to-australia-scientists-20090722-dtcq.html, retrieved 2009-08-24
  4. Dawbin H.W., 1995 The Migrations of Humpback Whales which Pass the New Zealand Coast. Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 1868-1961. Volume 84, 1956-57. pp.147-196. Department of Zoology, Victoria University College, Wellington. National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved on 09 July 2014

Coordinates: 46°09′26″S 166°36′31″E / 46.1573°S 166.6087°E / -46.1573; 166.6087

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