Lighthouses of Australia: New South Wales

Located in the southeastern part of Australia, the state of New South Wales faces east on the Tasman Sea and includes the nation's largest metropolitan area, Sydney. It has about 35 historic light stations and an impressive collection of surviving lighthouses. Many of these lighthouses were built during a single decade, 1875-1885, on designs drawn by James Barnet (1827-1904), who held the post of Colonial Architect from 1862 to 1890. The lanterns and galleries of Barnet's lighthouses have a distinctive and elegant style illustrated by the Barrenjoey Head lighthouse shown at the right.

Most New South Wales lighthouses are accessible, but only a few are open for climbing. Although there is no state preservation society, there have been a number of successful local preservation efforts.

Included on this page is the former Cape St. George Light, which is in the Jervis Bay Territory although it is surrounded by New South Wales.

Lighthouse management: coastal aids to navigation in Australia are maintained by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), but usually AMSA manages only the lighting equipment. In New South Wales, some of the light stations are parklands managed by the N.S.W. Office of Environment and Heritage. Many of the others are managed by the N.S.W. Crown Land Division.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights, Admiralty numbers are from volume K of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals, and U.S. NGA numbers are from NGA Publication 111.

General Sources
Lighthouses of New South Wales
The section of the Lighthouses of Australia site devoted to New South Wales lights.
Lighthouses and Lightvessels in Australia - New South Wales
Index to Wikipedia articles; most include photos.
SeaSide Lights - New South Wales
An excellent website by Garry Searle, with photos and accounts of most of the lighthouses.
Grant and Tracey's Lighthouse Page - New South Wales
Photos of most of the lighthouses posted by Grant Maizels.
Australian Lighthouses
This site, posted by Kevin Mulcahy, has a useful list of all Australian lighthouses linked to photos of some of them.
Brett Matthews - Lighthouses
A fine collection of photos of Australian lighthouses, mostly in New South Wales.
Leuchttürme Australiens und Ozeaniens auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.


Barrenjoey Head Light, Palm Beach, June 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Jean-Jacques Halans

Richmond-Tweed Region (Far North Coast) Lighthouses
* Point Danger (Captain Cook Memorial)
1971. Active; focal plane 44.5 m (146 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 20 m (66 ft) concrete monument, consisting of four pillars marked with the four principal directions of the compass, plus a bronze sculpture suspended between the pillars. An adjoining 1-story building houses the Point Danger Volunteer Marine Rescue station. Wikipedia has an article with a photo, a 2008 photo is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. In 2012-13, the Gold Coast City (Queensland) and Tweed Shire (New South Wales) Councils cooperated in a $200,000 project to restore the lighthouse. Located on the point (named by Captain Cook in 1770) southeast of Coolangatta and precisely on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. Site open, tower closed. Operator/site manager: NSW Maritime. ARLHS AUS-132; Admiralty K2845; NGA 5868.
* Fingal Head (2)
1878 (James Barnet). Station established with a post light in 1872. Active; focal plane 24 m (80 ft); flash every 5 s, red to the east and white in other directions. 7 m (23 ft) round sandstone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. The keeper's house was demolished in 1920; its foundation ruins are adjacent to the tower. This is one of five small lighthouses of this design built in 1878-80. A fine closeup photo is available, Wikipedia has an article with recent and historic photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Searle has a second postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a headland about 5 km (3 mi) southeast of Point Danger (the Queensland border). Accessible by road from the Pacific Highway just south of the Tweed River. Parking provided, and there is a public beach and picnic area just north of the lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: Tweed Shire Council. ARLHS AUS-073; Admiralty K2844; NGA 5872.
*** Cape Byron
1901 (Charles Harding). Active; focal plane 118 m (387 ft); white flash every 15 s; also a continuous red light, focal plane 111 m (364 ft), shown toward nearby reefs. 22 m (72 ft) round cylindrical concrete block tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story concrete block keeper's house. Entire lighthouse painted white. The original 1st order Henry-LePaute lens remains in use. Adam Campbell's photo appears at right, Wikipedia has an article with several photos, Searle has a nice page with many photos, a view from below is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Marking the easternmost point of Australia at longitude 153°38.2' E, this is one of the best known lighthouses in the country, attracting more than 500,000 visitors per year. It is a popular site for whale watching, and Southern Cross University's Whale Research Centre is located at the lighthouse. The two assistant keeper's houses are available for overnight rental. Located on the cape, at the end of Lighthouse Road east of Byron Bay. Parking provided. Site open daily (parking fee), tower open to guided tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the year and daily in the summer. Operator: AMSA. Site managers: Cape Byron Trust and NSW National Parks (Cape Byron State Conservation Area). ARLHS AUS-025; Admiralty K2838; NGA 5884.
* Ballina Head (Ballina, Richmond River) (2)
1880 (James Barnet). Station established 1866. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); four white flashes every 16 s. 7 m (25 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A 2nd order Chance Brothers Fresnel lens is in use. 1-story keeper's house. Brett Matthews has a good closeup photo, Wikipedia has an article with several photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This is one of five small lighthouses of this design built in 1878-80. In 2011, the state granted funds for repainting and repairs to the lighthouse. Located on a headland on the north side of the entrance to the Richmond River in Ballina. Site open, tower closed. Operator/site manager: NSW Maritime. ARLHS AUS-142; Admiralty K2834; NGA 5888.

Mid-North Coast Region Lighthouses
* Clarence River (Yamba) (2) (replica)
Replica of the 1880 lighthouse. Approx. 7 m (25 ft) round tower, similar in form to the Fingal Head and Ballina Head Lights, with lantern and gallery. The original lighthouse was demolished in 1956 to make way for a reservoir. After the reservoir was removed in 1980, volunteers launched an effort to build a replica of the lighthouse. The light tower was left unfinished, however, with no lantern. The building was (and is) occupied by the community radio station. In 2011 work resumed; a lantern from the South Neptune Island Light in South Australia was installed and work was completed by the end of the year. A 2012 closeup photo was available, the National Library of Australia has a 1996 photo, Lighthouses of Australia has a photo of the original (1/4 the way down the page), and Google has a satellite view and a distant 2008 street view. Located near the 1955 lighthouse in Yamba. Site open, tower status unknown. Owner/site manager: Yamba Radio 2TLC.
Cape Byron
Cape Byron Light, Byron Bay, November 2005
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Adam Campbell
* Clarence River (Yamba) (3)
1955 (station established 1866). Active; focal plane 41 m (135 ft); three white flashes every 15 s; also a continuous blue light is shown as the rear light of the North Channel Range. 17 m (60 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with fluted sides, lantern, and gallery. Entire lighthouse painted white. Matthews has a good closeup photo, Jon Bunch has a good photo, Wikipedia has an article with a closeup by Jason Armistead, and Google has a satellite view and a distant satellite view. The light serves as the rear light of two ranges. The mast from which the original 1866 light was displayed is on display at the Story House Museum in Yamba. Located on Pilot Hill in Yamba, about 30 km (19 mi) east of Maclean, south of the entrance to the Clarence River. On-street parking available. Site open, tower closed. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: Department of Lands. ARLHS AUS-058; Admiralty K2818; NGA 5920.
[North Solitary Island]
1975. Active; focal plane 190 ft; two white flashes every 10 s. 4 m (13 ft) fiberglass tower; no lantern. Wikipedia has an article with a photo, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located about 30 km (19 mi) north northwest of South Solitary Island. Site and tower closed. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: NSW Maritime Parks Authority (Solitary Islands Marine Park). ARLHS AUS-238; Admiralty K2813; NGA 5972.
South Solitary Island
1880 (James Barnet). Active; focal plane 58 m (190) ft; white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and double gallery, painted white; solar-powered lens. Three original 1-story stone keeper's houses. The original Fresnel lens was displayed at the Coffs Harbour Regional Museum; that facility was closed by flood damage on 31 March 2009 but the museum is reopening at a new site in 2014. Wikipedia has an article with excellent photos, a 2007 photo and a view from the sea are available, J. Warnes has an aerial photo, and Google has a good satellite view. The Solitary Islands are a restricted marine reserve, closed to the public. Ian Clifford reports on a rare visit to the lighthouse in 2000. In 2004, NSW National Parks spent A$440,000 restoring the buildings. There is a porposal to build a replica of the lighthouse at Coffs Harbour. Located at the summit of the island about 15 km (9 mi) northeast of Coffs Harbour. Site and tower closed; the lighthouse can be seen from boat and helicopter tours from Coffs Harbour. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: NSW Maritime Parks Authority (Solitary Islands Marine Park). ARLHS AUS-152; Admiralty K2812; NGA 5976.
* Smoky Cape
1891 (James Barnet). Active; focal plane 128 m (420 ft); three white flashes (separated by 3.1 s) every 20 s. 17 m (57 ft) octagonal concrete tower with lantern and gallery attached to a 1-story service building. The original 1st order Fresnel lens is in use. The principal keeper's house is operated privately as a bed and breakfast. The assistant keeper's house, coach house, and other buildings are also preserved. A photo is at right, Wikipedia has a article with several photos, Gordon Dobson has a fine photo, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. Located on the cape about 5 km (3 mi) east of the town of South West Rocks. Accessible by road, and parking is provided. Site open; tower closed (guided tours of the tower have been discontinued). Operator: AMSA. Site manager: NSW National Parks (Hat Head National Park). ARLHS AUS-149; Admiralty K2796; NGA 6016.

Smoky Cape Light, South West Rocks, September 2006
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Sterry2607
* Tacking Point
1879 (James Barnet). Active; focal plane 34 m (111 ft); four white flashes every 20 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cement brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story service building. Entire lighthouse painted white. Wikipedia has a article with several photos including the one at right, Bill Strong has a similar 2008 photo, and Google has a 2010 street view and a satellite view. This is one of five small lighthouses built similar to the Fingal Head Light. The site is popular for surfing and whale watching, and there is a surf livesaving club just below the light station. In 2004 two panels of the lens were damaged by vandals. Vandals struck again in July 2005, leading to calls for better management of the light station property. A project in 2013 repaired the building and addressed erosion problems at the station. In 2014, Rotary Club members helped build a new walkway to improve access to the lighthouse. Located on a spectacular rocky headland about 5 km (3 mi) south of Port Macquarie. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. Owner: Government Property N.S.W. Operator: NSW Maritime Authority. Site manager: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. ARLHS AUS-158; Admiralty K2788; NGA 6024.
* Crowdy Head
1878 (James Barnet). Active; focal plane 61 m (201 ft); two white flashes, separated by 2 s, every 10 s; red flashes are shown over reefs to the northeast. 7 m (24 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story service building. Entire lighthouse painted white. The 4th order Fresnel lens from this lighthouse was sold on eBay in 2002; it is now on display at the Sea Girt Light in New Jersey, U.S.A. Wikipedia has a article with several photos, Ann Cameron has an excellent photo, Rob Freijs has a nice photo, and Google has a 2008 street view and a satellite view. One of five small lighthouses built similar to the Fingal Head Light. Located on a headland about 6 km (4 mi) northeast of Harrington. Parking provided. Site open, tower closed. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: DNR. ARLHS AUS-062; Admiralty K2784; NGA 6028.
Tacking Point Light
Tacking Point Light, Port Macquarie, March 2012
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Quartl

Hunter Region (Newcastle Area) Lighthouses
* Sugarloaf Point
1875 (James Barnet). Active; focal plane 79 m (258 ft); white flash every 7.5 s; a continuous red light (focal plane 73 m (240 ft)) is shown over rocks to the south. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical brick tower with lantern, gallery, and external spiral stairway. 1st order Chance Brothers lens in use. Entire lighthouse painted white. Two 1-story keeper's houses. For many years one of the houses was occupied by resident caretaker Mark Sheriff, but in 2006-07 the houses were renovated for a new use as overnight accommodations for tourists. Wikipedia has an article with current and historic photos, Wikimedia also has the photo at right by J. Warnes, the park service has a closeup photo, Ian Clifford reports on a visit to the station in October 1999, with many photos, Lighthouses of Australia has a March 2006 feature article on the light station, and Google has a satellite view. This handsome tower was the first of the many lighthouses designed by James Barnet. Located on the point, a prominent cape about 3 km (2 mi) southeast of Seal Rocks (unpaved road). Parking provided. Site open, tower closed but a lookout provides great views. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: DNR. ARLHS AUS-155; Admiralty K2776; NGA 6048.
*** Nelson Head Inner (2)
1876 (station established 1872). Inactive since 2003. There's no tower; the light was shown through a window of a 3 m (10 ft) frame lantern room attached at one corner of a 1-story wood keeper's house. Building painted yellow. Matthews has a 2008 photo of this unusual lighthouse, Wikipedia has an article with several photos, Grant Maizels also has a good photo, and Google has a 2008 street view and a satellite view. The building is a maritime museum; an adjacent building houses a tearoom. Both buildings have a spectacular view across the mouth of Port Stephens, a large sheltered harbor. Since 1986 the Nelson Head Lighthouse and Rescue Station Trust has supported preservation of the station. The light was moved outside the lantern in 1995 and then discontinued in 2003. Located on a headland just northeast of the town of Nelson Bay. Site and lighthouse open daily. Owner/site manager: Coastal Patrol Port Stephens. ARLHS AUS-116; ex-Admiralty K2771; ex-NGA 6056.
Sugarloaf Point Light
Sugarloaf Point Light, Seal Rocks, December 2007
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by J. Warnes
Point Stephens
1862 (Alexander Dawson). Active; focal plane 38 m (126 ft); four white flashes every 20 s. 21 m (70 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. The original lantern was replaced with a smaller fiberglass lantern in 1973, when the light was automated. Caretakers lived at the station until 1991; the keeper's houses were burned by vandals within months after the keepers were withdrawn. The light was converted to solar power in 1990. This historic tower is endangered by its age and remote location. Wikipedia has an article with several photos, Brett Matthews has an excellent photo, Ian Clifford reports on a visit to the station in October 1999, with many photos, and Google has a satellite view. Located on an island south of the entrance to Port Stephens. Generally accessible only by boat, although it is possible to reach the island (a tombolo) over a narrow sandbar at low tide. Site open, tower closed. Operator: NSW Maritime Authority. Site manager: NSW National Parks (Tomaree National Park). ARLHS AUS-138; Admiralty K2770; NGA 6052.
** Nobby's Head (2)
1854 (station established 1821). Active; focal plane 35 m (115) ft; three white flashes every 20 s, the first two separated by 3 s and the third following after 8.5 s. 10 m (32 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Three 1-story keeper's houses, 3-story signal station, and other buildings. Fog siren (blast every 20 s). The entire station is floodlit at night. Brett Dickson has a photo of the lighthouse in action, Colin Stevenson has a view from the sea, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Wikipedia has an article including a 1902 photo, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse stands on the former Coal Island, which has been reduced in height and joined to the mainland by a causeway. The Newcastle Port Corporation plans to develop the site as a tourist attraction; in 2003 they selected the Nobbys Lighthouse Consortium to build a café and renovate the keeper's houses for overnight accommodations. The plan for this development was approved late in 2004, and in March 2005 the Consortium presented a development application to the Newcastle Council. As of early 2008, however, the plan was vetoed by the federal Department of the Environment, Heritage, and the Arts. In late 2010, the state Land and Property Management Authority took control of the station and announced plans to open it to the public. The first open house dates were announced in February 2011 and a regular schedule of openings began in October. Located atop Nobby's Head, a huge rock on the south side of the entrance to Newcastle Harbour. Site open every Sunday; tower open for occasional guided tours. Operator/site manager: Government Property NSW (Nobby's Head Lighthouse). ARLHS AUS-118; Admiralty K2728; NGA 6064.

Central Coast Region Lighthouses
*** Norah Head
1903. Active; focal plane 46 m (151 ft); white flash every 15 s; for coastwise shipping a continuous red light (focal plane 39 m (128 ft)) is shown to the northeast and a continuous green light (focal plane 44 m (145 ft)) to the southwest. 27 m (90 ft) round concrete block tower attached to a 1-story concrete block keeper's house, all painted white. The 1st order bivalve Fresnel lens with the original rotating mechanism remains in use. Several 1-story assistant keeper's houses, one occupied by a resident keeper and two others available for overnight accommodations. Brian Yap has a good photo, Wikipedia has an article with excellent photos including Yun Huang Yong's photo at right, Lighthouses of Australia also has a page for the lighthouse, and Google has a street view and a good satellite view. The Norah Head Reserve Lighthouse Trust works for the preservation and maintenance of the light station. In November 2003 the 100th anniversary of the station was celebrated. Located on a headland just southeast of Norahville, on the narrow strip of land separating Tuggerah Lake from the Pacific. Site open; tours of the tower available daily around midday. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: DNR. ARLHS AUS-119; Admiralty K2712; NGA 6152.
Norah Head Light
Norah Head Light, Norahville, September 2009
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Yun Huang Yong
** Barrenjoey Head (2)
1881 (James Barnet) (station established 1868). Active; focal plane 113 m (371 ft); four white flashes, separated by 2 s, every 20 s. 20 m (64 ft) round sandstone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story sandstone keeper's house. Tower unpainted; lantern painted white. The original 2nd order Chance Brothers Fresnel lens remains in use. Jean-Jacques Halans's photo appears at the top of this page, Wikipedia's article has an excellent photo, Malcolm MacDonald reports on a visit in 2002, and Google has a fine satellite view and a very distant street view. This magnificent and well-preserved lighthouse also enjoys a spectacular view. In January 2004 NSW National Parks announced plans for a complete restoration of the station and improvements in facilities and interpretation. The completion of this work was celebrated on February 1, 2005. In September 2013 firefighters were barely able to save the lighthouse from a raging bushfire; one of the outbuildings was damaged by the flames. In October 2014 a $3 million restoration plan was announced for the area; it includes making the keeper's cottages available for overnight accommodations. Located at the end of a long peninsula marking the south entrance to Barren Bay and Hawkesbury River. Parking provided (fee), but there's a steep climb on the 1.5 km (1 mi) trail to the lighthouse. Site open, tower open to guided tours on Sundays (reservations not required). Operator: AMSA. Site manager: NSW National Parks (Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park). ARLHS AUS-005; Admiralty K2702; NGA 6156.

Northeastern Sydney Area Lighthouses
* Grotto Point (Port Jackson Entrance Range Front)
1911 (Maurice Festu). Active; focal plane 19 m (61 ft); light occulting four times every 15 s; white shown on the range line, red to the right and green to the left. Approx. 8 m (26 ft) round domed concrete tower attached to a service building, all painted white. The lights are shown through a horizontal window about 2/3 of the way up the tower. Gillian Rodgers has an excellent closeup photo, a 2008 closeup is available, Grant Maizels has additional photos, and Google has a satellite view. This is one of four lighthouses designed by architect Maurice Festu in a style sometimes called "Disney Castle" today. Located in dense forest on a steep, rocky headland on the north side of the harbor, south of Balgowlah Heights. Accessible by a hiking trail off the Manly Scenic Walkway. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Sydney Ports. Site manager: NSW National Parks (Sydney Harbour National Park). ARLHS AUS-087; Admiralty K2638; NGA 6184.
* Rosherville (Parriwi Head, Port Jackson Entrance Range Rear)
1911 (Maurice Festu). Active; focal plane 43 m (142 ft); green flash every 3 s. Approx. 15 m (50 ft) round domed concrete tower, painted white; the light is shown through a window just below the dome. Albert Chetcuti has a closeup photo, a 2010 photo is available, Maizels has a photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This is one of four lighthouses designed by architect Maurice Festu in a style sometimes called "Disney Castle" today. Located on Parriwi Road north of Cyprian Street, on the south side of Middle Harbour in Mosman. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Sydney Ports. Site manager: Mosman Municipal Council (Parriwi Lighthouse Park). ARLHS AUS-145; Admiralty K2638.1; NGA 6188.
* Bradley's Head
1905. Active; focal plane 7 m (22 ft); green light, occulting every 3 s. 6 m (20 ft) round cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, painted white, mounted on a rock and connected to shore by a footbridge. Fog horn (four blasts, the first one 10 s and the others 4 s, every 30 s). J.J. Halans has a good photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This little lighthouse is located at the end of Bradley's Head, a point that projects into the north side of Sydney Harbour and commands a spectacular view. Parking is available at the end of Bradley's Head Road. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Sydney Ports. Site manager: NSW National Parks (Sydney Harbour National Park). ARLHS AUS-243; Admiralty K2662; NGA 6216.
* Robertson Point (Cremorne Point)
1910. Active; focal plane 8 m (25 ft); green light, occulting every 3 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, painted white, mounted on a rock and connected to shore by a footbridge. Guy Smiley's photo is at right, Gillian Rodgers has a closeup photo, Maizels has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Sibling of Bradley's Head Light. Located beyond the southern end of Milson Road in North Sydney. Parking is available at the end of Milson Road. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Sydney Ports. Site manager: North Sydney Municipal Council (Cremorne Point Reserve). ARLHS AUS-176; Admiralty K2664; NGA 6220.
Robertson Point Light
Robertson Point Light, North Sydney, November 2006
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Guy Smiley

Downtown Sydney Lighthouses
* Fort Denison (Pinchgut)
1913. Active; focal plane 19 m (61 ft); four white flashes, separated by 2 s, every 15 s. 6 m (20 ft) round tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on a round 19th century stone fortification (a Martello tower). Lantern painted black. Fog bell. Matthew Riedel has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view. In October 2003 the lantern of the lighthouse was removed for restoration; it was returned in May 2004. Fort Denison (1857) is a historic monument on a small island in Sydney Harbour just downstream from the famous Harbour Bridge. The island is open to guided tours (reservations required; fee). Site open, tower closed. Operator: Sydney Ports. Site manager: NSW National Parks (Sydney Harbour National Park). ARLHS AUS-235; Admiralty K2666; NGA 6224.
*** Cape Bowling Green
1874 (relocated 1987). Reactivated (unofficial, maintained by the museum); focal plane about 19 m (60 ft); four white flashes every 20 s. 16 m (50 ft) round frame tower covered by galvanized iron sheets, with lantern and gallery. Built on Cape Bowling Green about 75 km (45 mi) south of Townsville, Queensland, this lighthouse was relocated twice to escape beach erosion. The lighthouse was replaced and dismantled in 1987. Under AMSA's sponsorship it has been reassembled and reactivated, with its original 3rd order Chance Brothers lens and its original characteristic. A photo is at right, Liz Lawley has a 2009 closeup, Maizels has a photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on the wharf at the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour a short distance south of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Site and tower open to guided tours daily. Owner/site manager: Australian National Maritime Museum. ARLHS AUS-246.
* Lightship CLS-4 Carpentaria
1917. Decommissioned 1983. 22 m (72 ft) single-masted steel lightship; round cylindrical light tower with lantern amidships. During its career the ship served in the Gulf of Carpentaria; off Breaksea Spit near Sandy Cape, Queensland; and in Bass Strait. Entire ship painted red. Lighthouses of Australia has a good photo, another photo is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Since 1987 the ship has been moored at the wharf at the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour a short distance south of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Site open daily. Owner/site manager: Australian National Maritime Museum. ARLHS AUS-053.

Vaucluse Area Lighthouses
Shark Island
1913. Active; focal plane 12 m (40 ft); three red flashes every 8 s. 12 m (40 ft) round cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Christian Polsinelli has an excellent closeup, Wikipedia's article has a historic photo, Waterways Construction has a photo from a recent restoration, and Google has a satellite view. The island is open to the public, but capacity is limited to 30 and reservations are required. Located just off the northern point of an island in Sydney Harbour, 1 km (0.6 mi) southeast of Bradley's Head and west of Vaucluse. Accessible only by boat; visible at close range from the island and at longer range from the Bradley's Head Light and from many places in Vaucluse. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Sydney Ports. Site manager: NSW National Parks (Sydney Harbour National Park). ARLHS AUS-267; Admiralty K2656; NGA 6208.
Cape Bowling Green Light
Cape Bowling Green Light, Sydney, September 2008
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by FlashFlyGuy
* Vaucluse Bay Range Rear (2)
1910 (Maurice Festu) (station established 1884). Active; focal plane 84 m (275 ft); continuous red light. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical tower with a conical roof; the light is displayed through a window. Tower painted white. Lighthouses of Australia has a photo by John Ibbotson, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. One of four lighthouses designed by architect Maurice Festu in the "Disney Castle" style, this lighthouse and its companion front light are not well known. Located 945 m (0.59 mi) south of the front light, in the front garden of the house at 12 Wentworth Road in Vaucluse. Site and tower closed, but the lighthouse is easily seen from the street. Operator: Sydney Ports. Site manager: private. ARLHS AUS-285; Admiralty K2650.1; NGA 6204.
Vaucluse Bay Range Front (2)
1910 (Maurice Festu) (station established 1884). Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); continuous red light. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical tower with a conical roof; the light is displayed through a window. Tower painted white. Lighthouses of Australia has photos by John Ibbotson, a view from the harbor is available, and Google has a satellite view. This is one of four lighthouses designed by architect Maurice Festu in the "Disney Castle" style. Located on the bay side of 80 Wentworth Road, on the east side of the entrance to Vaucluse Bay in Vaucluse. There is no view from the street, so the lighthouse is best seen from the water. Site and tower closed. Operator: Sydney Ports. Site manager: private. ARLHS AUS-178; Admiralty K2650; NGA 6200.
Western Channel Pile Light
1924 (reconstructed in 2008). Active; focal plane 9.5 m (31 ft); red light occulting once every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) octagonal cylindrical tower with lantern and two galleries, mounted on piles. A 2011 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse marks the western end of the Sow and Pigs Shoal. Sydney Ports had slated the lighthouse for replacement in 2007, but it collapsed into the water on the afternoon of 12 December 2006. James Wood's photo taken in May 2006 shows the lighthouse leaning dangerously. The lighthouse was reconstructed using the original lantern on a new tower replicating the original; the light was reactivated on 18 December 2008. Located in the harbor off Vaucluse. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: Sydney Ports. ARLHS AUS-286; Admiralty K2644; NGA 6192.
Eastern Channel Pile Light (2)
1924 (station established 1908). Active; focal plane 9.5 m (31 ft); green light occulting once every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) octagonal cylindrical tower with lantern and two galleries, mounted on piles. Scott Campbell has an excellent photo, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse marks the eastern end of the Sow and Pigs Shoal. It is scheduled for replacement by Sydney Ports; hopefully it will be preserved like the western light. Located in the harbor off Laing's Point in Vaucluse; there must be a good view from the Laing's Point Reserve at the end of Pacific Street. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: Sydney Ports. ARLHS AUS-284; Admiralty K2652; NGA 6196.
* Hornby (South Head Lower)
1858 (Alexander Dawson). Active; focal plane 27 m (90 ft); white light, 2 s on, 3 s off. 9 m (30 ft) round sandstone tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white vertical stripes. Several 1-story sandstone keeper's quarters. A photo is at right, Katka Pruskova has a 2012 closeup, Wikipedia's article has several photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. This historic light station was transferred to the park service in 1977 after serving for more than 40 years as Army housing. The keeper's houses have been restored. Located on the headland at the southern entrance to Jackson Bay and Sydney Harbour, north of the town of Watson's Bay. Accessible by a short walk from parking at Camp Cove, at the foot of Cliff Street in Watson's Bay. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Sydney Ports. Site manager: NSW National Parks (Sydney Harbour National Park). ARLHS AUS-093; Admiralty K2636; NGA 6180.

Hornby
Hornby Light, Vaucluse, June 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by zoom_eric

** Macquarie (South Head Upper) (2)
1883 (James Barnet) (station established 1818). Active; focal plane 105 m (344 ft); two white flashes every 10 s; tower floodlit at night. 26 m (85 ft) round sandstone tower with lantern and gallery attached to a 1-story sandstone keeper's house. Entire lighthouse painted white. 1st order bivalve Fresnel lens (1933) in use. Head keeper's house (1840) and assistant keeper's house (1881). Additional modern assistant keeper's houses (1970) are leased to private caretakers; in 2004 one of these leases was for sale for AU$1.95 million. This is Australia's oldest light station (a light was maintained here as early as 1791), and this is probably its best-known lighthouse. Barnet's design is based on Francis Greenway's design of the 1818 lighthouse; foundations of the earlier lighthouse are visible. A rare gas-powered generator (state of the art in 1883) is on display. Scott Davies's photo is at right, the Harbour Trust has a page for the light station, Wikipedia's article has several photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a good satellite view. The first lighthouse was built of soft sandstone that did not stand up to the weather. The present lighthouse was automated in 1976 but continued to be staffed until 1989. The grounds were transferred to the Harbour Trust in 2001. In 2007, the bimonthly guided tours of the lighthouse were suspended to permit interior restoration work. Tours resumed in early 2008. In 2014, one of the keeper's houses was on sale for $7 million. The lighthouse is about 3 km (2 mi) south of the entrance to Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour). Located on Old South Head Road in Vaucluse; parking provided. Ferries link Vaucluse to downtown Sydney, and city buses also operate to the site. Site open; tower open only to bimonthly tours (reservations required). Operator: AMSA. Site manager: Sydney Harbour Federation Trust. ARLHS AUS-218; Admiralty K2632; NGA 6316.
Macquarie Light
Macquarie Light, Vaucluse, May 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Scott Davies

Botany Bay Lighthouses
* Endeavour (Henry Head)
1955. Active; focal plane 27 m (87 ft); white light, 2 s on, 1 s off. 4 m (13 ft) round masonry tower, painted white. David Robinson has a photo, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse is named for Captain James Cook's flagship Endeavour; Botany Bay was Cook's first point of contact with the Australian continent, in April 1770. Located on a headland on the north side of the entrance to Botany Bay, east of Laperouse and adjacent to the New South Wales Golf Club on the south side of Sydney. Accessible by a short walk from the La Pérouse Museum. Site open, tower closed. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: NSW National Parks (Kamay Botany Bay National Park). ARLHS AUS-268; Admiralty 2623; NGA 6324.
Cape Bailey
1950. Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); four white flashes, separated by 2 s, every 16 s. 9 m (30 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with lantern, painted white. Solar-powered lens. Brett Matthews has a great closeup photo, Wikipedia's article has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the headland at the south side of the entrance to Botany Bay. Accessible by a hike of about 2.5 hours round trip from the end of Solander Road in Kurnell. Site open, tower closed. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: NSW National Parks (Kamay Botany Bay National Park). ARLHS AUS-019; Admiralty K2622; NGA 6404.

Illawarra Region (Wollongong and Kiama Area) Lighthouses
* Wollongong Harbour (Wollongong Breakwater)
1871 (Edward O. Moriarty). Inactive since 1974 (a decorative light is displayed on special occasions). 12 m (40 ft) tapered round wrought iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Doug Barton has a good closeup photo, Wikipedia's article also has a closeup, Brett Matthews has a photo of both Wollongong lighthouses, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The lighthouse was seriously deteriorated before a 1978-79 restoration stabilized its condition. In 2000-02 a complete restoration returned the lighthouse and its lighting equipment to its original configuration, and the light was relit in connection with an international lighthouse conference in Sydney. Located at the end of the breakwater on the southeast side of Wollongong Harbour; easily accessible by walking the breakwater. Owner/site manager: NSW Maritime Authority. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS AUS-172.
* Wollongong Head
1936. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); white light, 4.5 s on, 1.5 s off; red lights are displayed over shallow water to the north and south. 25 m (83 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with fluted sides, lantern, and gallery; entire structure painted white. Michael Wignall has a 2010 photo, Rowen Atkinson has a closeup, Wikipedia's article has a nice photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The cannons near the lighthouse were installed in 1879. Located at Flagstaff Point just south of Wollongong Harbour; parking available at the end of Endeavour Drive. Site open, tower closed. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: DNR (Flagstaff Hill Park). ARLHS AUS-173; Admiralty K2614; NGA 6416.
* Kiama Harbour
1887 (Edward Moriarty). Active; focal plane 36 m (119 ft); four white flashes, separated by 2 s, every 16 s. 15 m (51 ft) round cylindrical concrete-clad brick tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Original 4th order Chance Brothers lens. The principal keeper's house was destroyed by vandals in the 1920s. The 1-story assistant keeper's house, used for many years as a residence for harbor pilots, is now a museum and visitor center. Chris Simmons's photo is at right, David Kelleher has a lovely sunrise photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. In 2014 there was a controversy over a proposal to paint an Anzac (World War I) memorial logo on the lighthouse. Located in Kiama, about 30 km (20 mi) south of Wollongong, on Blowhole Point, a tourist attraction in its own right. Accessible by road; parking provided. Site open, pilot's house museum open Friday through Monday, tower closed. Operator/site manager: NSW Maritime Authority (tower), Kiama Pilot's Cottage Musuem (pilot's house). ARLHS AUS-236; Admiralty K2598; NGA 6496.
Kiama Harbour Light
Kiama Harbour Light, Kiama, December 2005
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Chris Simmons

Shoalhaven Region and Jervis Bay Territory Lighthouses
Crookhaven Heads (2)
1904 (station established 1882). Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); quick-flashing white light. 7 m (23 ft) round cylindrical brick tower with lantern attached to 1-story service building; lighthouse painted white. Endangered. This isolated lighthouse has been vandalized repeatedly. It was restored during the 1990s, but was quickly vandalized again. Brett Matthews has a good photo, a January 2008 photo by Matthias Kohrt and Helena Clemens-Kohrt shows the lighthouse in a severely deteriorated condition, Wikipedia's article has a historic photo from 1908, and Google has a satellite view. The condition of this historic lighthouse was recognized as a disgrace, and in 2010 the state government set aside A$100,000 for restoration. In February 2011 the Shoalhaven City Council established a citizens' steering committee to guide improvements at the station. Inmates from the South Coast Correctional Centre were put to work clearing the grounds around the lighthouse, and in December 2011 the lantern was airflifted by a Australian Navy helicopter to be restored in the prison's shop. Peter Ermel has a February 2012 photo of the partially restored lighthouse without its lantern. Sadly, in 2013 the council backed away from the project and moved to disband the steering committee. Crown Lands was willing to provide some funding for restoration, but only if the Council agreed to assume responsibility for maintenance. In July 2014 the committee formally disbanded, putting an end for now to restoration efforts. Located on the south side of the entrance to the Shoalhaven River east of Nowra. The lighthouse is accessible by a short hike through the bush; parking is available at the north end of Prince Edward Avenue in Culburra Beach. Site open, tower closed. Operator/site manager: NSW Maritime Authority. ARLHS AUS-061; Admiralty K2594; NGA 6500.
* Point Perpendicular (1)
1899. Inactive since 1993. 21 m (70 ft) round cylindrical concrete block tower attached to a 1-story concrete block keeper's house. Entire lighthouse painted white, except the gallery rail is black. The active light (focal plane 95 m (311 ft); white flash every 10 s) was moved to a white 19 m (62 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower next to the historic building. The keeper's houses were reported for sale. Phil Whitehouse's photo is at right, Wikipedia's article has excellent photos, Oliver Frank has a 2007 photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. Possibly endangered; the military's plans for this site are not known. Located at the end of the Beecroft Peninsula south of Currarong, marking the north side of the entrance to Jervis Bay. Site and tower closed (fenced), but the lighthouse can be viewed at close range. According to the Wikipedia article, access is sometimes blocked by the military during gunnery exercises. Site manager: Australian Department of Defense. ARLHS AUS-137; Admiralty K2588; NGA 6504.
* Cape St. George
1860. Inactive since 1889. Ruins of a round stone tower attached to a stone keeper's house. Brett Matthews has a good photo, Wikipedia's article has a historic photo, and Google has a satellite view. Though it was built in the wrong place, the lighthouse served for three decades before being replaced by the Point Perpendicular Light. From 1917 to 1922 the lighthouse was used for target practice by the Royal Australian Navy. The park service has stabilized the picturesque ruins against further decay. This site is in the Jervis Bay Territory, a small section of New South Wales transferred to federal control in 1915 and administered since then by Commonwealth authorities. Located about 3 km (2 mi) south of the southern entrance to Jervis Bay, off Stony Creek Road, a gravel park road, about 16 km (10 mi) southeast of the town of Jervis Bay. Parking provided; it's an easy walk to the lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. Site managers: Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community and Australian Dept. of the Environment (Booderee National Park). ARLHS AUS-048.

Point Perpendicular Light, Currarong, December 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Phil Whitehouse
* Warden Head (Ulladulla)
1873 (relocated here in 1889) (Edward O. Moriarty). Active; focal plane 34 m (112) ft; two white flashes every 10 s. 12 m (40 ft) tapered round wrought iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Brett Matthews has a fine photo, a 2007 photo is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Sibling of Wollongong Harbour Light (see above). Originally built on the breakwater at Ulladulla; Wikipedia's article has a historic photo showing the light at its first location. The keeper's house was relocated in the 1920s to Milton, where it is used as a doctor's office. In 2008, a $65,000 project repainted the lighthouse and carried out some needed structural repairs. Located on the headland south of Ulladulla. Accessible by road; parking provided. Site open, tower closed. Operator/site manager: NSW Maritime Authority. ARLHS AUS-166; Admiralty K2584; NGA 6520.

South Coast Lighthouses
* Burrewarra Point
1974. Active; focal plane 62 m (203 ft); four white flashes every 15 s. 10 m (33 ft) elliptical cylindrical white concrete tower; solar-powered lens. No lantern. Brett Matthews has a good photo, Wikipedia's article has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of Burri Point Road south of Rosedale and about 25 km (15 mi) southeast of Bateman's Bay. Site open, tower closed. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: unknown. ARLHS AUS-016; Admiralty 2577.6; NGA 6556.
** Montague Island
1881 (James Barnet). Active; focal plane 80 m (262 ft); white flash every 7.5 s. 21 m (69 ft) round granite tower with lantern and gallery. Tower unpainted, lantern painted white. The original Fresnel lens, removed in 1986, is on display at the Narooma Lighthouse Museum in Narooma. At least two 1-story keeper's houses. Kelly Spinks has a good photo, the park service has a fine panoramic view, Wikimedia's article has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. The island, located about 15 km (9 mi) southeast of Narooma, is a wildlife reserve famous for its seabirds, fairy penguins, and seals. Access to the island is restricted. Starting in late 2005, Conservation Volunteers Australia opened the keeper's houses for overnight stays by up to 11 people. In 2014, the houses were renovated and the accommodations upgraded. Lighthouses of Australia has an interview with a former keeper. Located at the highest point of the island. Site and tower open to guided tours from Narooma (reservations required). Operator: AMSA. Site manager: NSW National Parks (Montague Island Nature Reserve). ARLHS AUS-110; Admiralty K2576; NGA 6568.
*** Green Cape (1)
1883 (James Barnet). Inactive since 1992. 29 m (95 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Lower section of the tower is square pyramidal, upper section octagonal cylindrical. The original 1st order Fresnel lens is mounted in the lantern. Two 1-story assistant keeper's houses are available for overnight rental. The active light (focal plane 39 m (118 ft); two white flashes every 15 s) is on a 15 m (49 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower that stands beside the historic lighthouse. Adrian Tritschler's photo is at right, Wikimedia's article has good photos, Don Shearman has a 2007 photo, and Google has a distant satellite view of the station. This is Australia's oldest concrete lighthouse. Lighthouses of Australia Bulletin has a July 2004 feature article on the light station and its history. Located on a prominent headland about 40 km (25 mi) southeast of Eden. Site open, tower open to guided tours Thursday through Monday in the summer, also Monday, Thursday and Friday in the winter (reservations recommended). Operator (new tower): AMSA. Site manager: NSW National Parks (Ben Boyd National Park). ARLHS AUS-085; Admiralty K2570; NGA 6588.

Green Cape Light, Eden, November 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Adrian Tritschler

Information available on lost lighthouses:

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Notable faux lighthouses:

  • The Ben Boyd Tower (1847), in Ben Boyd National Park, was built privately as a lighthouse but never placed in service. A closeup photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. The tower is on the south side of the entrance to Twofold Bay.
  • Bert Egan Memorial, at the Eden Killer Whale Museum, is an operational lighthouse with a historic Fresnel lens; although it is lit nightly the light has reduced intensity and is not intended as an aid to navigation. The museum is on Imlay Street in downtown Eden. Google has a street view and a satellite view.
  • The Luna Park Lighthouse, in an amusement park near the Sydney Harbour Bridge, is not a working lighthouse. Google has a street view and a satellite view.
  • The Narooma Lighthouse Museum, home of the original Montague Island Light lens, includes a faux lighthouse. The museum is in Ken Rose Park on Princes Highway in Narooma. Google has a street view and a satellite view.

Adjoining pages: North: Eastern Queensland | South: Victoria

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Posted April 2004; checked and revised June 26, 2014. Lighthouses: 41. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.