Driving around the southern roads in the North Island often lulls you into believing that this pocket of New Zealand is mostly rural farmland with more sheep than you could ever imagine.
Once leaving the comfort of the Wairarapa wine region, it doesn't take long for the rolling green hills, budding vineyards and gentle mountains to fade into something a bit more wild. Reminiscent of the volatile South Island, the winding ocean road that leads to the famous Cape Palliser Lighthouse is anything but calm.
Frequently washed out from behemoth waves, you'll witness a few groups of houses on a narrow road that barely pass for towns before heading on towards the lighthouse. Normally there is a large seal colony that inhabits these rough waters that will give you a show if you get too close. But don't worry, you will smell them long before seeing them.
Perched high on the rocks overlooking the turquoise rough waters, the lighthouse monitors the cape offering unparalleled views that remind you that this southernmost point of the North Island truly feels like the end of the world.