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Chris Gin / Castle Rock / New Zealand

Photographer Chris Gin captured this evocative view of Castlepoint in New Zealand’s lush Wairarapa region. From 162 meters above the water, travelers can survey pods of dolphins and whales.

Published on Oct 11, 2017

Castle Rock
is part of a scenic reserve in Castlepoint, within the Wairarapa region, which is tucked into the southeast corner of New Zealand’s North Island. The Deliverance Cove Track guides hikers to this craggy perch in about 30 minutes along a well-formed trail and offers spectacular views of the coastline from 162 meters above the water. Within a small area, this section of the coast features pine forests, a lagoon and a reef, not to mention frequent strong winds. Out to sea, dolphins, fur seals and even small whales are common in the surrounding waters. Castlepoint was named in 1770 by Captain Cook, who was struck by the similarities of Castle Rock to man-made battlements, though the name Wairarapa, which translates as “glistening waters,” comes from the observation of a Maori explorer—a bipartisanship of nomenclature that exemplefies the cooperative spirit of Kiwi culture.


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