The lighthouse was built in 1941 961 ft above sea level. - the last manned lighthouse to be built in New Zealand. It was automated in 1987 and the keeper was withdrawn. The flashing light is visible for 31 miles and guides shipping from Australia as it passes between the Three Kings and Cape Reinga. On the lighthouse reserve there is a radio beacon for shipping and the Cape has been an important weather-reporting station. Every year many thousands of photos are taken of the lighthouse and the signpost giving the direction to many places including London, Sydney, Tokyo, the Equator, Bluff, the South Pole, Vancouver, Los Angeles and the Tropic of Capricorn.