Australian Lighthouses in the Spotlight

Australian lighthouses in the spotlight

Macquarie wb 1
Photograph: Winsome Bonham – Macquarie lighthouse in Sydney was the first Australian Lighthouse.

Monday 6 July 2015 8:28AM

I have always been fascinated by lighthouses. As a child I’ve often wondered what happens inside these small but very tall, peculiar houses, even though I understood their purpose (to prevent accidents and save lives). I have been in a few lighthouses over the years and I think my curiosity is somewhat satisfied that not much goes on in them. I know it could not be a very comfortable place to live, but lighthouses do have amazing views. The other thing that always holds my interest in lighthouses are their architectural designs.

In this  ABC story by Ann Jones writes about the anniversary of the Australian lighthouses and I have added a few more pictures of the historical architects I have found on the public domain.

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service. With its enormous coastline, Australia plays host to more than 300 lighthouses, and as Ann Jones learns, many of them are architecturally and technologically unique.

The first lighthouse in Australia was the Macquarie Lighthouse at the entrance to Port Jackson (otherwise known as Sydney Harbour), first lit in 1818, well before federation.

Cape Moreton, Queensland lighthouse (1857) designed by Edmund Blacket. Public Domain

It’s not the one you see there today, though it was very much like it. Apparently the stone they built it on was a bit soft and the lighthouse had some structural issues, so they rebuilt it later in the 1800s.

Unknown.jpg Cleveland Point
Cleveland Point. Another Queensland light house. The original lighthouse was established in 1864 -1865 as a wooden hexagonal tower. Wikipedia

It’s charming. A tower plonked on a rectangle, a quintessential lighthouse perhaps; it’s easy to imagine a lighthouse keeper wandering out of the downstairs accommodation with a storm light and winding his way to the top of the tower to light a whale oil lamp.

Hornby af 2
Photograph by Annette Flotwell of the Hornby lighthouse in South Head, NSW.

More on ABC

Lighthouses of Australia East Coast

Lighthouses of Australia

16 thoughts on “Australian Lighthouses in the Spotlight”

  1. I’ve always loved lighthouses. My favorite is the one near our beach house, the Fenwick Island Light in Fenwick Island, Delaware. There’s even a book about it. BTW, how’ve you been? It’s been too long since we got in touch…are you on Facebook?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You need to get together with my eldest daughter, Joycelin. Nicola (who is 42) did a detailed study of one at North Foreland in Kent for her PhD, It was a ‘chemistry thing’ she did, all about the effects of water on the materials of the lighthouse over time. Now, doesn’t that sound fascinating …? Perhaps not. Well, it was to her, so that’s all that matters, I suppose.
    I like lighthouses to look at. Like you, I find then fascinating. We went out to one when we were in Australia, but I can’t remember right now what it was called. It was at the point they reckoned was the furthermost point east in Australia, so I’m sure you’ll know where I mean. It was so windy there that it blew my hat clean off my head and down the cliff! Serves me right for wearing it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It was in Queensland, so I imagine that’s what it was called. I remember mostly how windy it was! I’ll have a look on your link, so thanks for that. We did have photos, stored on our old comuter – which crashed, and we lost everything because we hadn’t saved things anywhere else. We were total computer novices ten years ago. (I still am, but don’t tell anyone!)

        Liked by 1 person

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