Lighthouses of Australia Project - AUGUST 99 BULLETIN
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Tasmanian Expedition (Part 4)
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Dear Friends

Shorter Bulletin at Last!

To keep the bulletin with the last expedition report short some stories have been held over to next month.

Next month will feature an excerp from a site about one families immigration to Australia to man a remote Tasmanian Lighthouse.

Also, we hope to feature a company that reproduces posters of original Australian lighthouse plans. I have had many requests for plans over the last 2 years so I think this one will be of interest.

Meanwhile enjoy this month.


Tasmanian Expedition Report: (Part 4 of 4):

Part 1: May 1999 Bulletin
Part 2: June 1999 Bulletin

Part 3: July 1999 Bulletin

[by Deborah Taylor]

Day 9: Friday 23. 4. 99

Another cold morning, quick stop at the office of the magazine 40° South then off to the airport. Where is that airport? Lost again. Maybe we ought to skip the bit about going the wrong way up a major highway and those considerate council workers dashing out to warn the oncoming traffic with lights flashing and all that stuff. The trouble was, we were still lost, so when we came back again we gave the council men a nice wave and a big smile, - you could almost hear them saying "get ready, here come those bloody Victorian's again!" And, with Lighthouses of Australia and the Web site across the back window, we figured we were going to come home to some pretty interesting eMail.

Well, time to stop teasing the locals, airport here we come. TasAir patiently waiting and ready our pilot is John Pugh who has prepared a flight plan that will take us directly to spend as much time as possible circling the Tasman Island Lighthouse for Smithy to photograph.

Smithy shooting over Tasman Island [Photograph: Deborah Taylor]
Smithy shooting over Tasman Island
[Photograph: Deborah Taylor]

The impressive Tasman Island Lighthouse in an equally impressive setting [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The impressive Tasman Island Lighthouse in an equally impressive setting
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

This too is an impressive lighthouse and in an equally impressive setting. It would have been wonderful if we could have landed and explored the place, though you wouldn't want to stray too close to the edge - it's a long way down on all sides. Fairly rough ride in places but like the boat trip to Cape Sorell, scary is sometimes exhilarating.

The Tasman Island Lighthouse is set in a harsh environment [Photograph Courtesy: AMSA]
The Tasman Island Lighthouse is set in a harsh environment
[Photograph Courtesy: AMSA]

On the return journey we go via Iron Pot. Having been on the island the previous day it is now a bit strange seeing it from the air. The isolation of this small rocky island and the danger of its surrounding reefs is even more apparent.

The Iron Pot Lighthouse from the air [Photograph Courtesy: Ed Kavaliunas]
The Iron Pot Lighthouse from the air
[Photograph Courtesy: Ed Kavaliunas]

After being buzzed by a couple of RAAF aircraft on a training run we return safely to terra firma.

The pilot, John Pugh with Malcolm and Smithy [Photograph: Deborah Taylor]
The pilot, John Pugh with Malcolm and Smithy
[Photograph: Deborah Taylor]

Back to Hobart, round and round and round we go again. Back to 40° South to pickup back issues, then head out of Hobart up to the historic town of Richmond. Stopped to photograph the old Catholic Church, its ancient cemetery, then Anglican Church and finally lunch.

Heading now for Triabunna to shoot Point Home Lookout Lighthouse. Lost again, maybe because something to with the east side.

The end of the road brings us to a wood chipping depot. We figure that Malcolm looks too suspicious with his long hair and beard, he might be shot on sight. We vote Smithy's out best bet with his five day growth in check jacket. The truckie is very helpful.

Finally we find the farmhouse where we are expected but no-one is home. About five minutes later the son of the owner arrives and gives us the key to the gate for access to the road to the lighthouse.

A lovely place, shame about the lighthouse [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
A lovely place, shame about the lighthouse.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

Arrived at Point Home Lookout Lighthouse - toilet block job but amidst beautiful scenery including Maria Island in the background, we say worst thing here is the lighthouse. Bit of exploring around the water edge, there is no sand here only beautiful smooth and round rocks that make a loud rumbling sound as the waves invade then recede.

We decide to climb up the easy way. Hmmm. Managed to save a special rock.

Simple job next - the super - market then make our way to Swansea for the night. The hostel here is a beautiful rambling old house by the sea. The house is owned and run by Leonard, a quiet spoken, older man who collects natural things, enjoys photography and classical music. The brochures in the foyer are weighted down with sea shells, and the whole place is instantly appealing little notes with directions are all signed with 'thanks Leonard', the sea almost laps at the door, and Leonard and his two large dogs have an enviable lifestyle indeed.

Day 10: Saturday 24.4.99

Paradise again with the standard issue Cape Tourville Lighthouse [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
Paradise again with the standard issue Cape Tourville Lighthouse.
The light replaces the Cape Forestier Lighthouse that was on Lemon Rock, the distant point on the far left of the picture.

[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

Off to Freycinet, a long drive through incredible rocky mountains. Cape Tourville Lighthouse replaced Cape Forestier in 1971, unfortunately with the same government issue type as Point Home Lookout. Set amidst spectacular scenery of cliffs end rugged dried bush. Lots of five minute stops for tourists.

Lemon Rock off Cape Forestier was the site of the original lighthouse [Photograph: Leonard Clipstone]
Lemon Rock off Cape Forestier was the site of the original lighthouse.
[Photograph: Leonard Clipstone]

Stopped at Bicheno for lunch in bought some dye remover for Malcolm's clothes. Smithy again! Threw a red t-shirt in with the whites at the last minute. Apparently pink underwear isn't all that cool with the boys. Found a place at St Helens to dry out clothes and top up our wallets and fuel tank.

Anson Bay turn off 2 kilometres, then 20 to 30 kilometres of gravel road to Eddystone Lighthouse. No one home at the keepers cottage - which ever one it was. Eddystone is a tall majestic granite structure with a tiny ancillary light in front and three keepers cottages to the rear.

Smithy and Malcolm at the Eddystone Lighthouse [Photograph: Deborah Taylor]
Smithy and Malcolm at the Eddystone Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Deborah Taylor]

A bit of exploration revealed weathered rocks covered with yellow in orange lichen; beautiful shells and bits and pieces. The colours of the rocks in the lighthouse glowed in the afternoon sun. We would have liked to have spent more time but the sun was setting and we had a fair way to go to reach Gladstone for the night.

The Gladstone Hotel with awaiting hot meal and bed was a welcome site [Photograph: Deborah Taylor]
The Gladstone Hotel with awaiting hot meal and bed was a welcome site.
[Photograph: Deborah Taylor]

Reached Gladstone by nightfall, treating ourselves to a hotel dinner and accommodation. Pure countryside. Locals, colourful as to be expected, unfortunately we arrived at a bad time as the cook was off sick and Josie, the publicans wife was left to juggle the kitchen end accommodation. A quiet night, apparently everyone was worn out by a long trip to Town (Launceston) to attend the Lee Kernaghan concert the night before. Apparently the cook was too sick to attend and that was as good as a doctor's certificate!

Day 11: Sunday 25.4.99

Sunday morning we headed out around 9:30 am after a quiet civilised breakfast with no dishes to do. Up another long gravel road again they finally onto bitumen and off to Low Head Lighthouse, near Georgetown. First stop is to shoot the two leading lights, The first situated inland is the rear light, a small rough stone tower painted red and white. The second, the front light, also a small rough stone tower simply painted plain white and closer to the river.

The Rear Tamar River Leading Light [Photograph: Ed kavaliunas]
The Rear Tamar River Leading Light.
[Photograph: Ed kavaliunas]

The Front Tamar River Leading Light [Photograph: Ed kavaliunas]
The Front Tamar River Leading Light.
[Photograph: Ed kavaliunas]

The main light is situated at the Heads, and a most impressive finish to the job. Low Head is a beautiful red and white 'fairytale' lighthouse sitting atop a small hill overlooking the entry to the Tamar River. We watched as a small yacht negotiated it way through the Heads a were reminded of the rough entry at Hells Gates in Strachan. The keepers house was only a few metres from the lighthouse though not the original structure as the first quarters were originally attached to in earlier tower.

Smithy, Deborah and Malcolm at Low Head, our last Tasmanian Lighthouse [Photograph: Ed kavaliunas]
Smithy, Deborah and Malcolm at Low Head, our last Tasmanian Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Ed kavaliunas]

Making our way back to the township we passed impressive row of all houses and barracks that comprised the old Low Head Signal Station, Australia's oldest continuous serving signal and pilot station. The original part of the building is now a museum. Unfortunately no one was available to answer questions but probably just as well as Smithy was behaving badly again, sticking he's head down a fog horn and making silly noises - amongst other things.

Next stop Launceston, and the panic is on to buy by all those promised souvenirs. "There was a honey farm somewhere here when I was last here 20 years ago?" promises Malcolm. Only a few hours left before everything closes, the race is on. But first of all a quick jaunt down Cataract Gorge, a deep gorge close to the centre of Launceston comprising of solid walls from which a path had been cut along one side.

Okay enough of that, back to panic state. Malcolm takes us on another 'honey' trek. Twenty years ago... this was this great little street... in this old town... Just down the road... here somewhere... .

Instead of looking for the 'big tree' we are on the quest of the wooden bowl for Jo. Me, I'll take anything that desperation throws my way, Hmmm... honey, cheese, yes - supermarket, only it's Sunday as they're all closed. Snobbery is only a state of mind! We're are all those yukky tourist shops when you need them? Smithy seems smuggly bemused by the rush.

Finally, as luck would have it, and luck only, we stumble onto in Old Mill converted to a gallery, at about 25 minutes past five. The sun is setting and we dash out of the car like a band of robbers determined to get a foot, anyone's foot, in the door before they close it on us. Arh! A wooden bowl - the Grail.

Well. Now we have five or six hours to fill before we catch the ferry back to the mainland at 11 pm. Coffee - pizza - pub. Unfortunately for us the pub closed early because of ANZAC day, so we spent the next hour or so loitering about Devonport before joining the long, long queue for the ferry.

Reduced to in intellectual battle of 'I Spy' and planning our revenge on the queue jumper ahead like hoping he gets the orange deck. Finally we move to the car park to await loading. Malcolm has to wait with the car, Smithy and I wait on the balcony outside the terminal and every now and then the trot off to the car and returns with two enamel panicans of wine. After a while we decide to go and annoy Malcolm and scribble meaningful things on the dusty windows.

The ferry as been delayed and boarding is late. We set sail at 2 am.

Day 12: Monday 26.4.99

The morning brings rough weather, strong winds and rain. We are travelling with the Moscow Circus. The long trip home is delayed by the weather and intermittent walks out on deck are limited.

Melbourne comes into view, we have been gone just less then two weeks but already it seems strange as it emerges from the bleak horizon.

Tasmania is far away in we are all fairly quiet and subdued. I guess it's like a book you've enjoyed reading - all the adventures and characters are forever held within the pages between covers.

Thankyou Tasmania.


Notice Board:

Information Regarding New Zealand Lighthouses

Philip Milward in New Zealand is working towards setting up a site on New Zealand Lighthouses.

He welcomes any enquiry regarding New Zealand Lighthouses.

So anyone with information or other material may wish to be involved in setting up this site should feel free to contact Philip.

Philip Milward
[Email Philip]

International Lighthouse / Lightship Ham Radio Weekend

0001 UTC August 21 to 2359 UTC August 22, 1999

Organized by GM4SUC. More than a hundred participant lighthouses / lightships from around the world, in almost 50 different countries. Radio amateurs of the world are invited to join us in the fun of the weekend by establishing a station at a lighthouse, lightship, or maritime light.

[Email Mike] for more information
Web page <http://www.dxbands.com/>


Department of Scrounge:

If anybody has any of this material on any Australian lighthouses including the ones listed at the Department of Scrounge it would appreciated, especially the high priority ones:

  • Original Colour Photographs
  • Historical Photographs or Postcards
  • History, experiences and anecdotes
  • Technical History

Please eMail <Keeper>


New Pages for Australia:

The Tasman Island Lighthouse The Tasman Island Lighthouse New.gif (158 bytes)
The Cape Naturaliste LighthouseNew.gif (158 bytes) The Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
The Montague Island Lighthouse The Montague Island LighthouseNew.gif (158 bytes)
The Low Head LighthouseNew.gif (158 bytes) The Low Head Lighthouse

If your e-mail does not display in HTML these pages can be accessed from the "New Listing for Month Index" at <http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/New/Index%20New.htm>


New Links for Australia:

Grant Maizels Bathurst Point, Rottnest Island Grant Maizels Bathurst Point, Rottnest Island New.gif (158 bytes)
The Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse near Seal RocksNew.gif (158 bytes) The Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse near Seal Rocks

If your e-mail does not display in HTML these pages can be accessed from the "New Listing for Month Index" at <http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/New/Index%20New.htm>


Also, New Links for World:

Linda's Lighthouse Page Linda's Lighthouse Page New.gif (158 bytes)
The Old Clare Island lighthouseNew.gif (158 bytes) The Old Clare Island lighthouse
The National Lighthouse Center and Museum The National Lighthouse Center and MuseumNew.gif (158 bytes)
Save the Cape St George Lighthouse SocietyNew.gif (158 bytes) Save the Cape St George Lighthouse Society
Vitar - The Lighthouses of Iceland by James Miller Vitar - The Lighthouses of Iceland by James MillerNew.gif (158 bytes)
The Pharos of Croatia (48 lighthouses for lease!)New.gif (158 bytes) The Pharos of Croatia (48 lighthouses for lease!)
The Point Cabrillo Light Station & Reserve The Point Cabrillo Light Station & ReserveNew.gif (158 bytes)
The Eshaness Lighthouse Northmavine, Shetland IslandsNew.gif (158 bytes) The Eshaness Lighthouse Northmavine, Shetland Islands

If your e-mail does not display in HTML these pages can be accessed from the "New Listing for Month Index" at <http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/New/Index%20New.htm>


Australian News:

Point Perpendicular to Celebrate 100 Years in August

Ian Clifford has informed me that planning for a centennary celebration by the Currarong Community is well underway.

The Currarong Seafare Festival incorporating the 100th year of operation of the Point Perpendicular Lightstation is planned for the 16th and 17th of October.

AMSA have now granted permission to relight the old tower from dusk until 11pm on the Saturday night. Activities planned include a Naval display, Seafarers Ball, tours of the old tower, market day and childrens activities amoungst other things.

The chairman of the organising committee is Dennis Richardson 61+2+4448-3500.

The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse is 100 years old [Photograph: Cyril Curtain]
The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse is 100 years old.
[Photograph: Cyril Curtain]

Information on access to the lighthouse was published in the July 1999 Bulletin.

Plight of Bustard Head Featured on TV and in New Book

The poor state of the Bustard Head Lightstation was featured in a segment on ABC TV's '7:30 Report' of July 29th.

The report cover the neglect by Federal and State authorites and the extent of vandalism since the light was demanned in 1986. It showed graphic footage and interviewed renown former Queensland lightkeeper and author Stuart Buchanan.

Stuart was at the lighthouse to launch his new book on the tragic history of this lighthouse. The last chapter features this recent degradation.

Anyone wishing to purchase Stuarts book; 'Lighthouse of Tragedy' should contact him at:

CORAL COAST PUBLICATIONS
PO BOX 90
SAMFORD
QUEENSLAND 4520

AUSTRALIA

PH: +61-(0)7-3289-1827

AUSTRALIAN PRICE $29.95 (POST FREE)
OVERSEAS PRICE - CONTACT AUTHOR


Thanks to the Following People for Their Help in July:

Adam Coleman (Contact Info)
Cathy Dunn (Info)
Robert Cook (Info)
Cyril Curtain (Photo)
Ian Clifford (Info)
Kevin Mulcahy (Contacts and Info)

Thanks to all the people who have put links to the site

Thanks to those who let me use their photos for thumbnails.


Regards until the September 99 Bulletin
Malcolm Macdonald

http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/


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