I made a list of all my favourite things - a rugged coastline, roaring seas, a lighthouse, sea birds, even hectors dolphins and then I wished for them to be together. Imagine how I felt when I discovered they could all be in one place, and this paradise was only a few hours from home.
Cape Campbell is a working lighthouse on a farm 60kms from Blenheim. Chosen as the set of The Light Between Oceans due to its captivating beauty, rugged charm and its ability to feel like it belongs in a time long past, it really is a fairy tale.
You can walk out to the lighthouse during the day, it takes 1.5 hours each way. I don't recommend this though unless you have no other option. Instead, read along and experience Cape Campbell my way.
Driving across the farm is the first part of a wonderful adventure. Swamp Harriers soar, sheep scatter and cows glare as we manoeuvre the car around them. The road is gravel and although a 2WD would cope in summer, a 4WD is recommended in winter. We wound our way down through the farm, along dusty roads and through numerous gates, reading the directions carefully and feeling the anticipation grow, it's like an adult version of a treasure hunt, each clue leading us closer to our destination.
After a long sweeping corner, we had our first glimpse of the ocean, a short while later we stumbled upon the crooked hut. Built for weary legs when Cape Campbell was an organised farm walk, the crooked hut has everything you need to make a cuppa, it even has a brilliant loo with a view!
Heading north, the road fits snugly between the sea and the hillside. Pied and Black Shags roost on jagged rocks, fur seals dose in the sun and Black-Backed gulls wail into the howling wind. In the distance the lighthouse appears, just like it does for wary sailors, it guides us to our destination, thankfully though, there is no dangerous reef ahead for us.
The accommodation at the lighthouse is wonderful, there is a gorgeous cottage that has everything you need, numerous bunk rooms and the newly renovated Singleman quarters which are all perfect for sitting at the window trying to spot dolphins in the bay, perhaps with a glass of wine in hand.
My favourite part of Cape Campbell is the epic landscape in the changing light. I have been blessed to be there as howling storms roll in, when clear nights have given me mind blowing views of a meteor shower over the lighthouse, amazing sunsets and bluebird days. You can only experience all aspects of this incredible place by staying a few nights and a few times. It is a place I will keep coming back to, as it feels like home and a holiday all at once.
For more information about Cape Campbell find them on Facebook - Experience Cape Campbell.