Australian lighthouses in the spotlight
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.
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.
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.