Lighthouses of Australia: Tasmania

Australia's island state of Tasmania is located off the southeastern coast, separated from Victoria by the 240 km (150 mi) wide Bass Strait. Shaped roughly like a shield, Tasmania is a little over 300 km (190 mi) in diameter. The island is accessible by air and also by the ferry steamer Spirit of Tasmania, which makes regular sailings from Melbourne on the mainland to Devonport in Tasmania.

The most accessible lighthouses in Tasmania are on the north coast, where a series of handsome towers can be reached easily by road. Elsewhere, many of the lighthouses are in more remote locations. Lighthouse preservation has become a concern in the state as several historic lighthouses have been deactivated in recent years. Although there is no state preservation society, there have been strong local efforts at many sites.

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. Many of the stations are managed by Tasmania Parks and Wildlife.

Note: The International Hydrographic Organization defines South East Cape, the southern tip of Tasmania, to be the point of division between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. However, in Australia the waters between the Australian continent and Antarctica are considered part of the Southern Ocean.

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 Tasmania
The section of the Lighthouses of Australia site devoted to Tasmania lights.
Lighthouses and Lightvessels in Australia - Tasmania
Index to Wikipedia articles; many include photos.
Lighthouses from the Air - Tasmania
Feature article in the April 2002 Bulletin of Lighthouses of Australia; includes aerial photos of the light stations.
Tassie Lights
Dr. Joseph Ferrari's January 2004 article on Tasmanian lighthouses in Lighthouse Digest.
SeaSide Lights - Tasmania
An excellent website by Garry Searle, with photos and accounts of most of the lighthouses.
Lighthouses in Tasmania
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Australian Lighthouses
This site, posted by Kevin Mulcahy, has a useful list of all Australian lighthouses linked to photos of some of them.
Leuchttürme Australiens und Ozeaniens auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.

Mersey Bluff Light
Mersey Bluff Light, Devonport, March 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Stephen Barnett

King Island Lighthouses
Note: King Island is in the Bass Strait off the northwestern corner of Tasmania. The island is roughly 50 km (30 mi) long and has a permanent population of about 1700. Currie, on the west coast, is the principal settlement. Commercial air transportation is available from Devonport and from Melbourne. There is no car ferry service, but cars can be rented on the island.
** Currie Harbour
1879. Reactivated (inactive 1989-1995, now maintained by the King Island Council); focal plane 46 m (151 ft); white flash every 6 s. 21 m (70 ft) square wrought iron skeletal tower with central cylinder, lantern, and gallery. The original 1st order Fresnel lens was replaced by a 4th order lens in 1940. Prefabricated in England by Chance Brothers, the entire lighthouse is painted white. A photo is at right, Searle has a fine page for the lighthouse, John Tierney has a 2007 photo, a view from the sea is available, Wikimedia has a view across the harbor, and Bing has a satellite view. The 1-story keeper's quarters has been a museum since 1980. The lighthouse was built to help steer ships away from King Island, which blocks the central part of the eastern entrance to Bass Strait. The light was moved to a steel pole in 1989, then returned to the tower following public protests. Located at the foot of Lighthouse Street in Currie, on the western side of King Island. Accessible by road; parking provided. Site open; museum open every afternoon September through June; tower closed. Owner/operator: King Island Council. Site manager: King Island Historical Society. ARLHS AUS-063; Admiralty K2189; NGA 6928.
* Cape Wickham
1861. Active; focal plane 85 m (280 ft); two white flashes, separated by 3 s, every 10 s. 48 m (157 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. The keeper's houses were demolished in the 1920s. The original lantern and 1st order Fresnel lens were transferred to Point Quobba Light, Western Australia, in 1946. Searle has a good page with many photos, Greg Noakes has a photo, Wikimedia has historic photos, and Bing has a fine satellite view. This is Australia's tallest lighthouse. In fact, this was the tallest lighthouse in the Southern Hemisphere when it was built, and it is still the tallest stone lighthouse in the Hemisphere. It is one the world's great landfall lights; navigators rounding the Cape of Good Hope steer all the way across the Indian Ocean aiming for Cape Wickham. The lighthouse marks the southern side of the main entrance to Bass Strait, standing opposite Cape Otway, Victoria. In November 2011, there were celebrations for its 150th anniversary. Located on the northern point of King Island. Accessible by paved road; parking provided. Site open, tower closed. Operator/site manager: AMSA. ARLHS AUS-050; Admiralty K2186; NGA 6936.
Stokes Point
1952. Active; focal plane 44 m (143 ft); four white flashes every 16 s. 9 m (30 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower without lantern, painted white. Winsome Bonham has an aerial photo, another aerial photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the southernmost point of King Island, marking the southern entrance to Bass Strait. Accessible by a gravel road from Currie (some local guidance is recommended). Site open, tower closed. Operator/site manager: AMSA. ARLHS AUS-239; Admiralty K2190; NGA 6924.
Currie Island Light
Currie Harbour Light, Currie, February 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Flying Cloud

Western North Coast Lighthouses
Note: This section of the coast is marked by a series of sharp, rocky promontories projecting into Bass Srait.
[Cape Rochon (3)]
Date unknown (station established 1924). Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); white flash every 5 s. 4 m (13 ft) square white fiberglass tower. The original lighthouse, a square tower with lantern and gallery, was destroyed by a bushfire in January 1963; its foundation pad remains. Google has a satellite view. Located at the northeastern corner of Three Hummock Island, one of the Hunter Islands just off the northwestern tip of Tasmania. Accessible only by boat. Site open but difficult to reach, tower closed. Admiralty K3520; NGA 6964.
Highfield Point (Highfield Bluff) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1924). Active; focal plane 49 m (161 ft); three flashes every 15 s, white or red depending on direction. Approx. 16 m (52 ft) round white fiberglass tower. Google has a very distant street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located in a farm field off Green Hills Road about 4 km (2.5 mi) north of Stanley. Site and tower closed, but the lighthouse can be viewed at a distance. Admiralty K3524; NGA 6968.
* Highfield Point (Highfield Bluff) (1)
1924. Inactive. 6 m (20 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with lantern, painted white. Sibling of Round Hill Point. A 2012 closeup photo is available, Google has a good street view, and the lighthouse is centered in a Bing satellite view. This small lighthouse was originally located on Highfield Point, a rocky cape north of Stanley. Replaced by a fiberglass light (previous entry), it was relocated to the Stanley waterfront as a memorial to local sailors. Located on the waterfront at Wharf Road. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: unknown. ARLHS AUS-092.
* Rocky Cape
1971. Active; focal plane 64 m (210 ft); white flash every 10 s. 9 m (30 ft) square cylindrical metal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Fresnel lens in use. A 2011 closeup photo and a 2009 photo is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. The lighthouse commands a sweeping view of Bass Strait. Located at the end of Rocky Cape Road about 7 km (4 mi) north of the town of Rocky Cape. Accessible by a short walk from the parking area at the end of the road. Site open, tower closed. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: Tasmania Parks and Wildlife (Rocky Cape National Park). ARLHS AUS-144; Admiralty K3531; NGA 6980.
** Table Cape
1888. Active; focal plane 180 m (590 ft); two white flashes every 10 s; red flashes are shown east and west indicating shallow water close to shore. 25 m (82 ft) round brick tower, painted white. An unusual "flyover" gangway provides access to the tower. The keeper's houses were demolished in 1926. David Boon's photo is at right, Barry Polden has a fine 2011 photo, an April 2007 photo is available, Wikimedia has a 1948 historic photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a distant street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The tower was renovated and the lantern rebuilt by AMSA in 1979. This historic lighthouse is a well known landmark on Tasmania's north coast. It is so high, its light is sometimes obscured by low clouds. In May 2008, the Waratah-Wynyard Council appropriated A$185,000 for improvements to allow public access to the lighthouse, and tours began in 2010 with support from Van Diemen Quality Bulbs, a nearby tulip farm. Tours were suspended in April 2013 when the guide retired, but a new guide was being sought. Located on the cape about 8 km (5 mi) north of Wynyard. Accessible by a gravel road; parking available. Site open, tower open to guided tours. Operator/site manager: AMSA. ARLHS AUS-157; Admiralty K3532; NGA 6984.
* Round Hill Point
1923. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white flash every 5 s; red flashes are shown over rocks to the west northwest. 7 m (22 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with lantern, painted white. Original 6th order Chance Brothers Fresnel lens in use. Mulcahy also has a photo, another photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the headland east of Emu Bay, just off the Bass Highway about 5 km (3 mi) east of Burnie. Site open, tower closed. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: unknown. ARLHS AUS-147; Admiralty K3535; NGA 7020.
Table Cape Light
Table Cape Light, Wynyard, November 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by David Boon

Central North Coast (Devonport-Georgetown Area) Lighthouses
*
Ulverstone Range Front (1)
Date unknown. Inactive. Approx. 6 m (20 ft) square pyramidal wooden tower with lantern, painted white. The lighthouse, which formerly stood at the entrance to the Leven River, has been relocated to the Ulverstone Local History Museum. A postcard view is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view of the location. Located at 50 Main Street, just off Alexandra Road, in Ulverstone. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Ulverstone Local History Museum . ARLHS AUS-270.
* Mersey Bluff
1889. Active; focal plane 37 m (122 ft); four white flashes, separated by 3 s, every 20 s. 16 m (51 ft) tapered round brick tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with vertical red stripes on the seaward side of the tower. The original 4th order Fresnel lens was replaced by a 2nd order lens in 1952. The keeper's houses were demolished in 1966. Stephen Barnett's photo is at the top of this page, Searle has a good page with several excellent photos, Wikimedia has several photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. This elegant lighthouse, with its unusual daymark, is familiar to passengers on the ferry Spirit of Tasmania arriving from Melbourne. The distinctive red stripes were added in 1929. Located on a headland at the end of Bluff Road, northwest of the entrance to the Mersey River in Devonport. Accessible by paved road; parking provided. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: Devonport City Council. ARLHS AUS-108; Admiralty K3550; NGA 7032.
* Devonport Entrance Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); continuous red light. 7.5 m (25 ft) square metal tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white with a red vertical stripe on the range line. Another photo is available, Michael Wilson has a photo showing both range lights, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of a short pier on the west side of the Mersey River in Devonport, near Formby Road and Victoria Parade. Site and tower closed, but the lighthouse can be viewed from nearby. Admiralty K3553; NGA 7056.
* [Devonport Entrance Range Rear]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); continuous red light. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal metal tower slanting backward and supported by a steel mast; the light is displayed from a bracket about 2/3 of the way up. Lighthouse painted white with a red vertical stripe on the range line. Michael Wilson has a photo showing both range lights, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located beside Formby Road 145 m (475 ft) south of the front light. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K3553.1; NGA 7060.
* Tamar River Leading Light South (Middle Channel Range Rear)
1882. Active; focal plane 17 m (54 ft); continuous red light. 7 m (22 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern roof is red. Two original 1-story keeper's houses, known collectively as Belfont Cottage, are available for overnight rental. A closeup is available, Mulcahy has a photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located beside Low Head Road about 400 m (1/4 mi) southeast of the She-Oak Point Light. Site open, tower closed. Operator/site manager: Marine and Safety Tasmania. ARLHS AUS-224; Admiralty K3569.9; NGA 7108.
* Tamar River Leading Light North (She-Oak Point)
1882. Active; focal plane 11 m (35 ft); continuous light, white or red depending on direction. 7 m (23 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A 2010 closeup photo is available, there's another closeup, Mulcahy has a photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse displays its red light as a leading light for ships entering the Tamar River and as the front light for the upstream Middle Channel Range. The white light serves as the leading light for the downstream Sea Reach Range. Located on a point just off Low Head Road about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) southeast of Low Head Light. Site open, tower closed. Operator/site manager: Marine and Safety Tasmania. ARLHS AUS-159; Admiralty K3570; NGA 7104.
* Dotterel Point Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 5 m (16 ft); continuous green light. 6 m (19 ft) round stone (?) tower, painted white. Searle has two photos at the bottom of his Low Head page, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This lighthouse lines up with Low Head Light as a range for ships bound downstream. Located on the shore of the Tamar River 660 m (0.4 mile) south of Low Head Light. Site open, tower closed. Operator/site manager: Marine and Safety Tasmania. ARLHS AUS-287; Admiralty K3566.1; NGA 7092.
*** Low Head (2)
1888 (station established 1833). Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); three white flashes, separated by 5 s, every 30 s; a continuous red light (focal plane 37 m (121 ft)) is shown to the west over Hebe Reef. 20 m (66 ft) tapered round, stucco-clad brick tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with a red horizontal band. Four keeper's houses are available for overnight accommodation. A 1-story fog signal building housed Tasmania's only fog horn from 1929 to 1973; the diaphone horn is still in place. Sarah Olmstead's photo is at right, Wikipedia's article has a 2010 photo, Janelle Schafer has a fine December 2007 photo, Wikimedia has several photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Also at Low Head is Australia's oldest surviving pilot station, established in 1805. The buildings of the light and pilot stations are protected as the Low Head Historic Precinct; one of the buildings houses a maritime museum and another has a restaurant and gift shop. Located on the tip of a very sharp promontory on the east side of the Tamar River entrance about 6 km (4 mi) north of Georgetown. Accessible by paved road. Site open, tower closed. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: Low Head Pilot Station and Maritime Museum. ARLHS AUS-101; Admiralty K3566; NGA 7088.
Low Head Light
Low Head Light, Georgetown, New Year's Day 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Sarah Olmstead

Swan Island, Goose Island, and Deal Island Lighthouses

Note: Swan Island, Goose Island, and Deal Island are in the eastern portion of the Bass Strait, off the northeastern corner of Tasmania.
Swan Island
1845. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white flash every 7.5 s. 27 m (89 ft) round rubblestone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; solar-powered lens. Principal keeper's house and assistant keeper's house, the latter known as Eliza's Cottage after the wife of an early keeper. Jeff Jennings has a 2009 photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This is the oldest Bass Strait lighthouse. Except for a small area around the lighthouse, the island is privately owned; it was recently sold. Located on an island about 5 km (3 mi) from Lyme Regis, just off the northeastern tip of Tasmania in Banks Strait. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator/site manager: AMSA. ARLHS AUS-156; Admiralty K3602; NGA 6652.
Goose Island
1846. Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) round rubblestone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; solar-powered lens. The original Fresnel lens is on display at the Maritime Museum of Tasmania in Hobart. An AMSA photo is at right, Jeff Jennings has a 2009 photo, and Google has a satellite view. All other station buildings were demolished in the 1930s. The station was powered by a wind generator from 1985 to 1990. Located on a small, rocky island off the west coast of Flinders Island in Bass Strait. Accessible only by boat or helicopter. Site and tower closed. Operator/site manager: AMSA. ARLHS AUS-081; Admiralty K3600; NGA 6644.
Deal Island
1848. Inactive since 1992. 22 m (72 ft) round granite tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A 1st order Fresnel lens installed in 1937 remains in place. The keeper's houses were demolished, but a 1-story superintendent's house survives. Matt Bezzina has a 2010 photo, Jeff Jennings has a 2009 closeup photo, Winsome Bonham has an aerial photo, Wikimedia has a 1917 historic photo, and Google has a satellite view. This historic light station was built by the joint efforts of New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania to help ships through the dangerous Kent Group, a scattering of small islands and rocks at the eastern end of Bass Strait. With a focal plane of 305 m (1000 ft), it was the highest light in Australia. (However, it is not the highest light in the Southern Hemisphere, as is sometimes claimed. The Gran Almirante Grau Light at Callao, Peru, has a focal plane of 309 m or 1014 ft.) The tower began to show signs of serious deterioration within a few years of deactivation in 1992. In 1998 the state of Tasmania demanded and got possession of the light station from AMSA. The Australian Bush Heritage Fund and Friends of the Kent Group National Park worked for restoration and preservation of the lighthouse, and the Tasmanian Conservation Trust has helped restore and maintain the superintendent's house. A September 2003 report found the restored station to be in relatively good condition. Volunteer caretakers have kept the Fresnel lens and rotating mechanism in working order. Located on a headland at the southern end of the island in Bass Strait. The island is accessible only by boat; the light station can be reached by a hiking trail. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Tasmania Parks and Wildlife (Kent Group National Park). ARLHS AUS-064.
Goose Island Light
Goose Island Light
Australian Maritime Safety Authority photo

East Coast Lighthouses
Eddystone Point
1889. Active; focal plane 42 m (139 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 35 m (116 ft) tapered round granite tower with lantern and gallery. Tower unpainted, lantern and gallery painted white. Several keeper's houses, now unoccupied. Searle has a page with several photos, Abdulrahman al-Daithan has a 2011 photo, a 2009 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view and a distant satellite view. There has been concern about the future preservation of this light station, although it appears to be in good condition. In March 2011, preservationists were outraged to learn that the powerful light had been replaced by a small solar-powered plastic lens, without any warning to the public. This was done because the lighthouse was judged to be critical hazard to migrating muttonbirds (short-tailed shearwaters). Located on the cape, a sharp promontory near the northeastern corner of Tasmania, about 35 km (22 mi) east of Gladstone over rough roads (4WD recommended). Site open, tower closed. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: Tasmania Parks and Wildlife (Mount William National Park). ARLHS AUS-069; Admiralty K3606; NGA 6656.
Eddystone Point Front
1889. Inactive. 4 m (13 ft) round lantern, painted white. This auxiliary light was used "until the time of electrification," according to Lighthouses of Australia. Located about 30 m (100 ft) southeast of the main lighthouse. Site open, tower closed.
Cape Tourville
1971. Active; focal plane 126 m (413 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white, attached to a 1-story circular service building. Andrew Moor's photo is at right, Hank Shiffman has a good photo, Wikipedia's article has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. This modern tower replaced the Cape Forestier Light. Located on a headland on the east side of the Freycinet Peninsula about 9 km (6 mi) east of Coles Bay. Accessible via steep and rough park roads (4WD recommended). Parking provided. Site open, tower closed. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: Tasmania Parks and Wildlife (Freycinet National Park). ARLHS AUS-049; Admiralty K3608; NGA 6664.
Point Home Lookout
1971. Active; focal plane 57 m (187 ft); white light occulting every 6 s. 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Fresnel lens. Small stone equipment building. A photo is available (next to last photo on the page), and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a headland east of Triabunna. Site and tower closed (surrounded by private land); the lighthouse should be distantly visible from ferries between Louisville and Maria Island. Operator/site manager: AMSA. ARLHS AUS-134; Admiralty K3609.8; NGA 6672.
Cape Tourville Light
Cape Tourville Light, Coles Bay, August 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Andrew Moor
Tasman Island
1906. Active; focal plane 276 m (906 ft); white flash every 7.5 s. 29 m (95 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern and double gallery, painted white. The current lantern and lens were installed in 1976. The original 1st order Chance Brothers lens is on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney; the original lantern is in storage for display at the Maritime Museum of Tasmania in Hobart. At least three 1-story brick keeper's houses, now abandoned. Wikimedia has two aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. This historic and isolated light station is endangered; severe weather has caused rapid deterioration of the keeper's houses. Lighthouses of Australia has a report of a 2004 visit, with many photos; there is also a report by Christian Bell of a September 2005 visit. The centenary of the station was celebrated in March 2006. Located on a rocky island off Cape Pillar, about 25 km (15 mi) southeast of Port Arthur, marking the southeastern corner of Tasmania. Accessible only by helicopter; backpackers can get a distant view of the lighthouse from the end of the Cape Pillar Track in Tasman National Park. Site and tower closed. Operator: AMSA. Site manager: Tasmania Parks and Wildlife (Tasman National Park). ARLHS AUS-160; Admiralty K3614; MGA List 6716.

Hobart Area Lighthouses
Iron Pot Island (Derwent)
1832. Active; focal plane 20 m (65 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 12 m (40 ft) square rubblestone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with a single broad red horizontal band at the top of the tower. The keeper's houses have been demolished. A good photo is available, Jim van Ommen has a photo, Wikipedia has a photo by Peter Shanks, the National Library has a historic photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. This is Australia's oldest surviving lighthouse and second oldest light station (after Macquarie Light, Sydney). Located on a small rocky island on the east side of the entrance to the Derwent Estuary about 25 km (15 mi) south of Hobart. Accessible only by boat; visible distantly from the northern end of Bruny Island. Site and tower closed. Operator/site manager: TasPorts. ARLHS AUS-095; Admiralty K3622; NGA 6728.
* Sandy Bay Point (Blinking Billy)
1900. Inactive. Approx. 6 m (20 ft) octagonal metal (?) tower, painted white; lantern roof painted red. Active light (focal plane 7 m (23 ft); continuous blue light) on a post nearby. Very little information is available on this lighthouse. Waymarking.com has several photos, Winsome Bonham has a photo, and Google has satellite view. Located on Sandy Bay Point, also called Blinking Billy Point, off Sandy Bay Road about 6 km (4 mi) southeast of downtown Hobart. Accessible by a short walk in a city park. Site manager: Hobart City Council (Nutgrove Beach Park). ARLHS AUS-269; Admiralty K3627.6; NGA 6740.
* Piersons Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 87 m (285 ft); white or red light depending on direction, occulting once every 8 s. 5 m (17 ft) partially enclosed square pyramidal metal tower, painted white. Jaiden Lovell has a photo, Ollie Miller has a 2013 closeup, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. This light and the Iron Pot Island Light frame the entrance to the Derwent Estuary. Located on a high bluff off Tinderbox Road about 10 km (6 mi) south of Kingston. Accessible by road with parking provided. Site manager: Kingborough Municipality (Piersons Park). Admiralty K3623; NGA 6730.
** Cape Bruny (1)
1838 (John Lee Archer). Inactive since 1996. 13 m (42 ft) round rubblestone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. The keeper's houses have been demolished. The active light (focal plane 93 m (305 ft); white flash every 10 s) is nearby on a 4 m (13 ft) fiberglass tower. Justin Martin's photo is at right, a 2007 closeup is available, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. This is Australia's fourth oldest light station and second oldest lighthouse. The designer, John Lee Archer (1791-1852) was the colonial architect in Tasmania from 1827 to 1852. The lighthouse was built to mark the entrance to the D'Entrecasteaux Channel, the protected passage between Bruny Island and the Tasmanian mainland. (Island and channel are named for the French explorer Bruni d'Entrecasteaux, who discovered the Derwent Estuary in 1793.) The station was transferred to Tasmania Parks and Wildlife in 1998. Located at the end of Lighthouse Road at the southwestern point of Bruny Island. The island is accessible by ferry from Kettering to Barnes Bay. Site open; tower open to guided tours daily (reservations required). Site manager: Tasmania Parks and Wildlife (South Bruny National Park). ARLHS AUS-024; Admiralty K3654; NGA 6868.
Cape Bruny Light
Cape Bruny Light, Bruny Island, December 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Justin Martin

West Coast Lighthouses
Maatsuyker Island (1)
1891. Inactive since 1996. 13 m (43 ft) round concrete-clad brick tower, painted white. The original 1st order Chance Brothers lens is in place and operational. The keeper's house is occupied by a resident caretaker. There is an active light (focal plane 140 m (459 ft); white flash every 7.5 s, except every fourth flash omitted) on a small fiberglass tower nearby. A closeup photo by Jeff Jennings is at right, and Bing has a distant satellite view. This is Australia's southernmost lighthouse, standing in latitude 43° 40' S. Deep within the Roaring Forties, the light station suffers almost constant gales and some 250 days of rain every year. The station is endangered. Tasmania Parks and Wildlife has supported volunteer caretakers at the station since AMSA withdrew paid keepers in 1998; generally couples are recruited to serve assignments of four months. However, there is still great concern over conservation of the historic station. Caretaker Richard Jermyn made a report from the station in the June 2003 Lighthouses of Australia Bulletin. Volunteers repaired the keeper's houses in 2011. Located on a rugged island about 15 km (10 mi) off the southwestern tip of Tasmania. Access is generally by helicopter, although sea kayakers also visit the station. Site open if you can get to it; the caretaker may provide tower tours. Site manager: Tasmania Parks and Wildlife (Southwest National Park). ARLHS AUS-104; Admiralty K3656; NGA 6880.
Cape Sorell
1899. Active; focal plane 51 m (167 ft); two white flashes, separated by 5 s, every 15 s. 37 m (121 ft) tapered round tower, painted white. The keeper's houses were demolished in 1988. Giles Thomas has posted a photo, Winsome Bonham has an aerial photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a prominent cape about 5 km (3 mi) northwest of the entrance to Macquarie Harbour, on the central west coast of Tasmania. Site open but difficult to visit; it is accessible by a hike of 8 km (5 mi) round trip from the south side of the harbor entrance, which can be reached by charter boat from Strahan. Tower closed. Operator/site manager unknown. ARLHS AUS-046; Admiralty K3660; NGA 6892.
Maatsuyker Island Light
Maatsuyker Island Light, Southern Ocean, July 2006
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Jeff Jennings
Entrance Island
1892. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); flash every 2 s, white or red depending on direction. 8 m (26 ft) hexagonal frame tower on a square stone base. Entire lighthouse painted white. Craig Grahford's photo is at right, another photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse and its twin at Bonnet Island guide ships through Hell's Gate, the exceptionally narrow entrance to Macquarie Harbour. Located on a small island on the west side of Hell's Gate. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator/site manager: TasPorts. ARLHS AUS-205; Admiralty K3664; NGA 6896.
Bonnet Island
1892. Active; focal plane 14 m (45 ft); flash every 3 s, white, red, or green depending on direction. 8 m (26 ft) hexagonal frame tower on a square stone base. Entire lighthouse painted white. A good photo is available, Geoff Wise also has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse and its twin at Entrance Island guide ships through Hell's Gate, the exceptionally narrow entrance to Macquarie Harbour. Located on a small island about 3 km (2 mi) south of Hell's Gate in Macquarie Harbour. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator/site manager: TasPorts. ARLHS AUS-091; Admiralty K3668; NGA 6900.
Sandy Cape
1953. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 5 s. 6 m (21 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower without lantern, painted white. Winsome Bonham has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a rocky (not sandy!) point about 50 km (30 mi) south of Bluff Hill Point. Operator/site manager: unknown. ARLHS AUS-206; Admiralty K3676; NGA List 6916.
Bluff Hill Point
1982. Active; focal plane 52 m (171 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 13 m (43 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white, attached to a 1-story circular service building. Sibling of Cape Tourville. A closeup photo is available, Winsome Bonham has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of Bluff Hill Road near the westernmost point of Tasmania about 11 km (7 mi) northwest of Arthur River. The road is not paved, so 4WD is recommended. Site open, tower closed. Tower closed. Operator/site manager: unknown. ARLHS AUS-008; Admiralty K3677; NGA 6920.
* [West Point]
1916. Inactive since 1982. The lighthouse, a square pyramidal skeletal tower with enclosed lantern and gallery, was demolished after being replaced by the Bluff Hill Point Light. The concrete foundation pad remains. Google has a satellite view of the area. Located on the northwestern point of Tasmania, near Marrawah, about 40 km (25 mi) north of Bluff Hill Point. Accessible by a gravel road; the road was improved in 2009, but 4WD is recommended. Site open. Site manager: Tasmania Parks and Wildlife (West Point State Reserve). ARLHS AUS-271.

Entrance Island Light, Macquarie Harbour, August 2005
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Craig Grahford

Information available on lost lighthouses:

  • Cape Forestier (Lemon Rock), on a small island off Cape Tourville. Although this historic lighthouse was replaced as recently as 1971, there seems to be nothing about it on the Internet: no photos or accounts. ARLHS AUS-031.

Notable faux lighthouses:

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Adjoining pages: North: Victoria

Return to the Lighthouse Directory index | Ratings key

Posted new April 26, 2004. Checked and revised July 3, 2014. Lighthouses: 34. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.