The Akaroa Lighthouse is registered by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a Category II heritage building, with register number 3343. When the Akaroa Lighthouse was built in circa 1879, coastal shipping was the principal form of transport and communication in New Zealand. Lighthouses were essential for the efficiency and safety of this service. The original site at Akaroa Head was selected in 1875. It remained in use on this site until 1977. In 1980 it was cut into three sections, taken to its present site, reassembled and restored. The light may still be lit on special occasions. The lighthouse is open for public inspection.