Lighthouses of Australia Project - DECEMBER 00 BULLETIN
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Project Celebrates its Third Birthday!!

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Dear Friends
Around Australia Chasing Lighthouses (Part 2 of 3)
Deb and Smithy Get Married
Australian Lighthouse Tour

Letters & Notices
Department of Scrounge
Australian News
Join Proposed Lighthouses of Australia Inc
Thanks To
Text Only eMail
Past Bulletins

Dear Friends

Transition to New Editor

As I said 3 years ago I would do the Bulletin and the Project up until December 2000 after which there would be a high possibility of travelling overseas.

Despite a bit of a hiccup with my health there is still a good chance that I will be going early in 2001. Anticipating this and moving towards a team approach has been a great backup anyway as it is still going to be while before I am back up to full speed.

Ed "Smithy" Kavaliunas is Taking Over the Editorial of the Monthly Bulletin  [Photograph: Deborah Taylor]
Ed "Smithy" Kavaliunas is Taking Over the Editorial of the Monthly Bulletin
[Photograph: Deborah Taylor]

Ed Kavaliunas has worked with me on the last 2 Bulletins and has done most of the work on this one and the up and coming January 2001 Bulletin which we promise is coming out first thing in the New Year.

We have discovered ways of distributing the load and this should lead to more timely Bulletins with less burden for one individual alone.

The thing to remember is that you all have the ability to contribute. It may be a cutting from your local newspaper, following up a local issue or story with a phone call or getting a few photos of a local event.

Project Celebrates 3rd Anniversary

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36 monthly bulletins, 75 lighthouses represented, special pages making over 150 individual pages altogether is the result of 3 years of work by the hundreds of contributors and friends of the project.

Along the way we have had adventures to Tasmania, New South Wales and South Australia and this with other's adventures have been reported in the Bulletin.

Hopefully with the creation of Lighthouses of Australia Incorporated and your ongoing support we will see the same progress over the next 3 years.

If you wish to contribute further and help guarantee the future of the Project don't forget to pledge your support by filling out the expression of interest form at the end of this newsletter.

Deb and Ed's Wedding

Well here it is folks. Find below the pictures, the story, the tears of Ed & Deb's big wedding day at the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse.

Second Instalment of John Ibbotson's Trip

John continues to share with us his adventure across the top of Australia in part 2 of 3. John sees this as the final stage of preparation for a coffee table style book on Australian lighthouses as they were at the end of the 20th Century.

Malcolm Macdonald
Malcolm Macdonald
[Photograph: Deborah Taylor]

eMail Malcolm

Around Australia Chasing Lighthouses (Part 2 of 3)

Part 1: Nov 2000 Bulletin

[John Ibbotson]

The trip to Bustard Head on the LARC (a Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo Vessel) mentioned in Part I is definitely worth doing. For more information contact Glen or Annette at 1770 Environmental Tours on 07-4974-9422. Grant and Tracy Maizels were also on the trip and it was terrific to meet them after looking at all their photos in the bulletin.

About this time one of my Pentax 645's decided to malfunction. I sent it off to Ross Perkin at C R Kennedy in Melbourne who had it fixed and back to me in a week. Where possible I like to take photos with both my 645's in case one is not working or a film gets mislaid.

Cape Capricorn Lightstation From the Air Before the Last Refit [Photograph: AMSA]
Cape Capricorn Lightstation From the Air Before the Last Refit
[Photograph: AMSA]

North Reef from the Air [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
North Reef from the Air
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

From 1770 we drove into Gladstone only to find that the plane we were going to hire had a busted windscreen. Fortunately we were able to lease one in Rockhampton and flew out to Cape Capricorn and North Reef to take some aerial shots. Being 120 km out to sea in an old Cessna 172 was a great way to get the adrenaline flowing. Although I had spent a couple of days at North Reef a few years ago flying over it was worth the effort as it is one of Australia's great lighthouses.

Pine Islet Relocated at the Port of Mackay [Photograph: Pine Islet Lighthouse Preservation Society]
Pine Islet Relocated at the Port of Mackay
[Photograph: Pine Islet Lighthouse Preservation Society]

On our way to Townsville we stopped in Mackay to have a look at the old Pine Islet Light. It is well worth a visit. Unfortunately it is surrounded by a wire mesh fence around. Hopefully one day that will be removed as it detracts from the display.

Cape Cleveland From the Air [Photograph: Peter Braid]
Cape Cleveland From the Air
[Photograph: Peter Braid]

The New 32 Metre Cape Bowling Green Tower [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The New 32 Metre Cape Bowling Green Tower
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

The Old Cape Bowling Green Tower at Darling Harbour [Photograph: Australian National Maritime Musuem]
The Old Cape Bowling Green Tower at Darling Harbour
[Photograph: Australian National Maritime Museum]

In Townsville we hired another Cessna to take aerials of Cape Cleveland and the new 32 metre Cape Bowling Green tower. The old one of course is at Darling Harbour. The Townsville Maritime Museum, that is in the process of being built is also worth a visit. It has the Bay Rock lighthouse there and just up the street in the middle of a roundabout is the old Wharton Reef light. The museum also has the lights from Rib Reef, Penrith Island and Bow Reef but they are still in the process of being set up for display.

Bay Rock Relocated at the Townsville Maritime Museum [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
Bay Rock Relocated at the Townsville Maritime Museum
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

Low Isles Near Port Douglas [Photograph: Tina Alderson]
Low Isles Near Port Douglas
[Photograph: Tina Alderson]

Lowe Isles out of Port Douglas has been taken over by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Previously the lightstation was off limits but now there is a self guided tour around the lightstation. Unfortunately, as with all lightstations now owned by the Queensland National Parks Service, there is no opportunity to stay in the old keepers houses as they are used for staff accommodation. Hopefully sometime in the future they will be opened up to the public for overnight stays. Getting out to Lowe Isles is easy. Just catch the Quicksilver Wavedancer cruise that leaves each morning from Port Douglas.

The New Island Point Light is on the Communications Tower While the Old Light is Obscured by Lush Tropical Growth in the Foreground [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The New Island Point Light is on the Communications Tower While the Old Light is Obscured by Lush Tropical Growth in the Foreground
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

In Port Douglas there is another light called Island Point. The original structure is a short white tower with a red dome surrounded by lush and colourful tropical vegetation. Bougainvillea everywhere. Unfortunately houses have now been built around this light. Access from the beach below may be possible but I wasn't able to find a way up the hill. It has been replaced by a generic light on the local radio -TV tower. Retro-progress.

The Grassy Hill Lighthouse Has Been Reactivated With a Low Powered Harbour Light [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The Grassy Hill Lighthouse Has Been Reactivated With a Low Powered Harbour Light
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

By using the inland road Cooktown is readily accessible in a regular car although flying there from Cairns is quite economical. The Grassy Hill light is worth a visit. It was going to be deactivated but after requests from the local fishermen a low powered harbour light was installed.

The new Archer Point light south of Cooktown that replaced an elegant old tower in 1979 could quite easily win the ugly lighthouse prize. Watching the ships go by while eating lunch does make a visit to the site more palatable.

Back in Cairns it was time to board the coastal freighter 'Trinity Bay' for the 40-hour trip to Thursday Island. It leaves Cairns every Friday afternoon, arrives at Thursday Island early on Sunday and is back in Cairns on Wednesday. Bookings can be made through Sea Swift on 07-4035-1234.

On our trip north there were only 14 passengers although on the return trip it was going to have a full complement of 56. The crew were a lot of fun, the cabins and food were excellent and the captain, Bob O'Halloran was able to give me a lot of information about travelling around the Cape York area.

From a lighthouse photographic point of view the trip was a failure. Any of the larger reef towers we passed during the night and during daylight we were travelling along the outer edge of the reef where there are only a few small lights. The only stop on the trip north was at Lockhart River to unload freight for the aboriginal community there.

Booby Island [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
Booby Island
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

I doubt that Thursday Island is ever a bustling hive of activity but on a Sunday even a visit by Elvis would not have been noticed. The next morning under very hazy conditions we took a helicopter flight out to Booby Island. Unfortunately Alan Langdale who is currently living on the island was not there although his dog did come and check us out.

The tower at Booby is in good condition but the houses (with the exception of Alan's quarters) need some repairs and a good coat of paint. Although it is unlikely that Booby will ever become a holiday mecca for lighthouse buffs the lightstation infrastructure deserves to be maintained.

The Goods Island Lightship Anchored Between Friday and Goods Island [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The Goods Island Lightship Anchored Between Friday and Goods Island
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

On our way back we came across an old lightship anchored between Friday Island and Goods Island. It was in very poor condition although it did appear to have a newish Tupperware light on its 'tower'. I have not yet been able to determine whether it was being used or whether it is just waiting to be scuttled.

The Goods Island Lighthouse [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The Goods Island Lighthouse
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

The lighthouse on the top of Goods Island is very similar to the one on Grassy Hill at Cooktown and is in very good condition.

The 2nd Fitzroy Island Lighthouse has Been Converted to a Visitor's Centre [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The 2nd Fitzroy Island Lighthouse has Been Converted to a Visitor's Centre
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

After flying back to Cairns we visited Fitzroy Island. It's a pleasant day trip but take your own lunch as the resort prices are quite high. It's a long walk up to the tower there but well worth it. The 'old' tiled lighthouse built in 1974 is similar to the Point Cartwright light in Mooloolaba. It was replaced by the Little Fitzroy Island GRP light in 1992.

It was now time for the long drive to Darwin. From Cairns we drove back to Townsville and then to Charters Towers (a historic and interesting old mining town) and Mount Isa (another mining town but not as interesting). From there it was on to Tennant Creek (forgettable) and Katherine. A detour down Katherine Gorge was a pleasant break.

Charles Point From the Air [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
Charles Point From the Air
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

Before heading into Darwin we decided to detour to Charles Point. Unfortunately the road was closed about five km from the light. The road passes though a defunct Australian Broadcasting complex plastered with entry prohibited signs. As a result we ended up taking a helicopter flight to the light that did have the advantage of providing a lot more photo opportunities.

Cape Don [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
Cape Don
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

The other main destination in NT was the Cape Don light. It is on the Cobourg Peninsula about 150 km NE of Darwin. We flew out early one morning taking ariels of East Vernon Island and Cape Hotham lights on the way. Kathy Kerr, who runs the wilderness lodge there with her husband John, met us at the airstrip that is about 15 km from the lighthouse.

They use the old head keepers' house as the main lodge and are in the process of restoring one of the other houses. If you like lighthouses, marine life and fishing this is the place to go. (Kathy and John can be contacted at 08-8978-5145 (in Darwin) or 08-8979-0030 (at Cape Don)).

It would have been great to take a trip out to the Gulf and to the Wessel Islands in particular but the logistics, cost and time were against it so we continued on our way to Western Australia.

John Ibbotson <> Travelled across the top of Australia to complete photographing lighthouse for his new book [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
John Ibbotson <>
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

Read part 3 of Johns 3 part report on his adventure across the top of Australia in the January 2001 Bulletin.

Deb and Smithy Get Married

After a week of anticipation and last minute panics; do we have enough of these, did you remember the..., did we get such and such....., will we need????..., Saturday the 18th of November is all of the sudden on top of us. Anxious noting of weather forecasts during the week prove to be an unnecessary concern as the day unfolds to beautiful blue skies and little if any wind (not typical of Point Lonsdale!)

Smithy and Deb Show Off Their Marriage Certificate (Celebrant, Kerry Lingham looks on) [Photograph: Rodney Nicholson]
Smithy and Deb Show Off Their Marriage Certificate (Celebrant, Kerry Lingham looks on)
[Photograph: Rodney Nicholson]

Smithy and Deborah make their vows under the elegant Point Lonsdale Lighthouse with the spectacular panorama of the "Rip" in the background (the notorious entrance to Port Phillip Bay). As if decreed by some higher source, the day goes perfectly in all respects including an attendance by Malcolm who is allowed a day pass from hospital after a sudden unexpected short incarceration.

The Ceremony Under the Elegant Pt Lonsdale Tower [Photograph: Rodney Nicholson]
The Ceremony Under the Elegant Pt Lonsdale Tower
[Photograph: Rodney Nicholson]

This was particularly pleasing to us as we had chosen Point Lonsdale as significant in the bringing together of a long and lasting working friendship between the three of us, and also the beginning of the Lighthouses of Australia Project.

Smithy and Deb on the Beach at Pt Lonsdale [Photograph: Rodney Nicholson]
Smithy and Deb on the Beach at Pt Lonsdale
[Photograph: Rodney Nicholson]

Ed "Smithy" kavaliunas ><>
            [Photograph: Deborah Taylor]
Ed "Smithy" Kavaliunas <>
[Photograph: Deborah Taylor]

Read Ed and Deb's report on their trip to King Island, visiting the Cape Wickham and Currie Lighthouses in the January 2001 Bulletin.

Australian Lighthouse Tour

[PRISM Extract - Summer 2000]


The tour is a consequence of the Nova Scotia meeting that was mentioned in our last issue. It became clear to our two Australian representatives, Bob Adams and Donald Walker, that there was a large unmet demand for lighthouse tours in Australia. Encouraged by the interest in Australia expressed at the meeting, Bob has put together an exciting tour of the South East Coast for May next year. The 14 day tour will begin in Sydney on May 1st, 2001. Flights will be arriving from London and Los Angeles, bringing together lighthouse enthusiasts from Europe, Great Britain and the North America. Australians and others from our region can join the tour in Sydney, making it a truly international gathering.

Days - 1 & 2 following pick-up from Sydney Airport, the first two night's accommodation will be at the Manly Park Royal Hotel. This will provide visitors the opportunity to relax and unwind. Manly is by the ocean and near the entrance to the world renown Sydney Harbour. The popular Manly Ferry will take visitors by the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. As well a guided bus tour will journey to the southern side of Sydney Heads to visit the site of Australia's first Lighthouse - Macquarie Light built by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1818.

Macquarie Lighthouse
Macquarie Lighthouse

Day - 3 upon leaving Sydney, the tour will pass by the Olympic Stadium, scene of the 2000 Olympic Games en-route inland and south to the nation's capital, Canberra. The night will be spent at the Quality Inn Downtown Motel. Sights to see in this very small and beautiful city will include Parliament House, the War Memorial and Lake Burley Griffin.

Day - 4 will see the tour returning to the coast and arriving at Eden on the far south of New South Wales. The journey will pass through the historic townships of Tilba Tilba, Bermagui and Bega. The main attractions of the Eden area are the beautiful Twofold Bay, scene of one of the largest whaling stations during the 19th century; the visionary ghost town named after pioneer Ben Boyd, the National Park named in his memory and the very significant Green Cape Lighthouse.

Green Cape
Green Cape Lighthouse

Day - 5 is a rest day at Eden, with many options for the visitor to experience including hinterland forests and wide open sandy beaches. The area is famous for the wide variety of seafood delicacies and restaurants, with spacious accommodation in the Bayview Motor Inn close to the water's edge.

Point Hicks
Point Hicks Lighthouse

Day - 6 takes the tour along Highway #1 to Marlo where the legendary Snowy River meets the sea. The sighting of the Point Hicks Lighthouse from Cape Conran will be the high point of the morning. The journey then follows the coastal route along the South Gippsland Highway, passing one of the world's first National Parks, the dramatically spectacular Wilsons Promontory - southern-most point on the Australian mainland.

Cape Schanck
Cape Schanck Lighthouse

Day's end finds the tour at Portsea, on the Mornington Peninsula, with its grand views of the Melbourne skyline at night and the notorious 'Rip' at the entrance of Port Phillip Bay. Nearby a tour of the historic Cape Schanck Light will provide a special insight into this treacherous shoreline. Overnight accommodation will be in the luxurious Portsea Village Resort. Portsea historic township is famous for the variety of restaurants and cosy hotels.

Queenscliff Black Lighthouse
Queenscliff Black Lighthouse
Queenscliff White Lighthouse
Queenscliff White Lighthouse
Point Lonsdale Lighthouse
Point Lonsdale Lighthouse

Day - 7 sees the tour crossing the entrance to Port Phillip Bay on the Queenscliff Ferry, before spending the morning seeing the sights in the historic town of Queenscliff, with its maritime museum, Fort and two Lighthouses. The coastline at this point is appropriately referred to as 'The Shipwreck Coast'. The journey then follows the world renown and spectacular Great Ocean Road, visiting the famous surfing beaches of Torquay & Anglesea, before stopping to tour the 1891 Split Point Lighthouse at Airey's Inlet. The Great Ocean Road then carves it way along the coast to Apollo Bay, where the tour has a two day lay-over, staying at the superbly appointed waterfront Apollo Bay International Motel.

Split Point Lighthouse
Split Point Lighthouse
Cape Otway Lighthouse
Cape Otway Lighthouse

Day - 8 will be spent looking at coastal rainforests, waterfalls and the internationally known Cape Otway Lighthouse. This heritage Light was built in 1848 and today is the oldest light facility on the Australian mainland. An extensive tour of the historic complex and the 1859 Telegraph Building is included.

Apollo Bay is well known for its Rock Lobster fishing fleet and many restaurants in the town specialise in seafood delights.

Day - 9 sees the journey continuing along the Great Ocean Road to the rugged rock formations known as the Twelve Apostles. This spectacular limestone shoreline is the site of many shipwrecks, notably the Loch Ard in 1878. Overnight accommodation will be at the Southern Ocean Motor Inn overlooking Port Campbell bay, established as a whaling port in 1845.

Lady Bay Lower Lighthouse
Lady Bay Lower Lighthouse
Lady Bay Upper Lighthouse
Lady Bay Upper Lighthouse

Days - 10 & 11 will be spent in the port of Warrnambool, with its wonderful Maritime Museum and Lighthouse at Flagstaff Hill. Accommodation will be in the Norfolk Lodge. The district surrounding the town is famous for its dairy and seafood produce, with many superb restaurants to please the palate.

Griffiths Island Lighthouse
Griffiths Island Lighthouse
Whalers Bluff Lighthouse
Whalers Bluff Lighthouse
Cape Nelson Lighthouse
Cape Nelson Lighthouse

A full day's excursion is planned to include visiting Tower Hill (a state owned game reserve where many of Australian native wildlife and birds can be seen). further on the tour will pass through seafaring towns, Port Fairy (and it's quaint little harbour Lighthouse) and Portland. Nearby is the remote and spectacular Point Nelson Lighthouse, where a guided tour and historic presentation is programmed.

Day - 12 sees the tour leave the coast and journey inland to the historic gold mining city of Ballarat, founded in the gold rush era of the 1850's. Highlight of this city is a visit to the replica pioneer settlement of 'Sovereign Hill' and the Eureka Stockade, scene of early Australia's only rebellion against British rule.

Day - 13 has the tour travelling to the major city of Melbourne, staying at the St. Kilda Novatel on the Esplanade by Port Phillip Bay. A free day to relax and enjoy the sights of this beautiful 'garden' city .

Day - 14 Tour ends. Departure for home or journeys elsewhere in Australia late in day. Flights out of Australia will be from the Tullamarine International Airport only 25 kms to the north of the City.

The all-inclusive cost of the tour will be:

(ex Boston, USA) USD 2,900
(ex London, UK) Sterling 1,600
(ex Sydney, NSW) AUD 1,850 land content only

Bob Adams will be Tour Organiser and Guide for the entire tour from Sydney right to the end in Melbourne. Bob is currently the General Manager of the Cape Otway Lightstation (built in 1848). This facility caters for over 70,000 day visitors each year.

Bob spent most of his working career as a National Park Ranger, involved in the public land management of a number of large Alpine and Coastal National Parks in the State of Victoria. He is a historian and published author of the historic record of Mount Buffalo, one of the world's earliest National Parks. Bob's expertise is in commercial operation of lighthouses as viable tourist facilities, together with a wide knowledge in heritage Lighthouse restoration and presentation.

Donald Walker will be accompanying the tour along the Great Ocean Road. Donald is an eminent heritage Architect and historian, being the author of "Beacon's of Hope" a detailed account of the history of both the Cape Otway (Victoria) and Cape Wickham (Tasmania) Lighthouses. Donald's expertise is in his wide knowledge of the 'Shipwreck Coast', its shipwrecks and historic buildings, including the Lighthouses to be visited.

For more information contact:

Overseas: Peter Williams, Milford Marina, Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire SA73 3AF U.K.
Telephone 44 (0) 1646 698825 - e-mail

Australia: Bob Adams, Cape Otway Lightstation P.O. Box 41 Apollo Bay, VIC 3233
Telephone 61 (0) 3 5237 9240, fax 61 (0) 3 5237 9245, e-mail

Letters & Notices:

Primary Student Wanting to Ask Ex-Keepers Questions

Hi Malcolm

I am a teacher of year 3 at Glenorchy Primary School in southern Tasmania.

My class is doing a unit of work on Light and we have been looking at your web site which we really like.

We would like to email a lighthouse keeper to ask him/her some questions. Do you know of any that we can write to?

Yours sincerely Christine Gibbons <>

Looking for Thomas Cochran

Hi Malcolm

My name is Michelle and I'm searching my family history. Thomas COCHRAN is my GGGG grand father and he was a mariner and worked at a lighthouse.

The records I have say he was at a Pilot Station Manning River Taree. He was married to a lady named Ellen Lennen in Church of Rome Timonee Lwr Manning on 17 May 1858.

They had 5 children all their record show they were born at this Pilot Station Manning River Taree. My uncle tells me that my GGG grandmother Catherine Ellen COCHRAN was the first white woman born in the Manning River this was about 1859/60.

Do you have any records of Thomas COCHRAN as a keeper or get some information?

Thanks Michelle <>
Nelson Bay

Reply to "Shipwrecked, Jailed and Mutinied!"

We do get replies to the letters we post and sometime surprising how close to home. A while back subscriber Keith Banks solved the mystery of the missing Wilsons Promontory log books.

This month Byron Smith's enquiry posted in the November Bulletin was responded to by Stuart Walters, a member of our own Steering Committee who is also a descendent of Samuel Smith.

Hi Byron,

My name is Stuart Walters and I am a relative of yours as my great
grandfather was also Samuel Smith. His life story was recently published in a book that was released by The Flagstaff Maritime Museum in Warrnambool.

The name of the book is "Leading Lights". Our family supplied the newspaper article prior to its publication. You should also check out the Web Site "Defending Victoria" as it has a great information on the HMSCC Victoria and its role in the Maori Wars. It lists the name of people who were involved (including Samuel Smith). It has also the picture of the Crew that was taken in Melbourne in 1861 of which Samuel Smith wrote about in his life story.

I have gone through my family tree and you are not on it (yet). My branch of the family is descended from Charles Smith who was the 1st son of Samuel Smith. I would love to know more about yourself and your family and where you fit in the family tree. I do have all the details on Samuel Smith's children including their birthplaces, date of birth, spouses, date of death etc but very little on their families. I did visit the Armstrongs in Cann river two years ago and retrieved a lot of details from them (Do you know them?). We also had a family reunion in Molyullah in 1990 (were you there?) and compiled a family tree booklet.

Please tell me if you are doing a family tree and would like some information. Maybe we can catch up with each other one day.

Malcolm is currently setting up an association called "Lighthouses of Australia" and I have volunteered as acting secretary. Would you be interested in Joining? Please let us know if you are.

Regards Stuart Walters <>
Acting Secretary, Lighthouses of Australia

Feel free to post any request, letters, notices here regarding research, events etc for any Australian Lighthouse on this notice board.


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>

Australian News:

Split Point Opening - Date Still Uncertain

[PRISM Extract - Summer 2000]

Earlier this year AMSA granted permission for the still-operating Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet on Victoria's Surf Coast, which was first lit in September 1891, to be opened to the public, following a minor upgrade of facilities to ensure public safety and to protect the lighthouse's navigational equipment.

The Split Point Lightstation, Still Waiting to Open [Photograph:Ed Kavaliunas]
The Split Point Lightstation, Still Waiting to Open
[Photograph:Ed Kavaliunas]

As was the case with the other lights on the Victorian coast, except Point Lonsdale, Split Point was placed under the management of the Victorian Department of Natural Resources and the Environment in the mid-l990s.

The department has leased the lighthouse back to the Commonwealth Government. Under the terms of the lease, the department was required to obtain a licence from the Commonwealth to open the lighthouse to the public. Grant Hull, manager of coasts and land-use planning at the department's south-west region office, said that while permission had been granted, how often and for how long the lighthouse would be open was undecided. "We'd like to see it opened, certainly by summer," he said.

The Surf Coast Shire will manage public access to the lighthouse on behalf of the State Government. It is expected to appoint a tourism operator to conduct guided tours. The shire has already spent some of a $76,000 grant from Tourism Victoria to ensure the lighthouse is safe for public access and the navigational equipment inside is protected. It has also received a $363,000 grant to improve access to the lighthouse as well as drainage and parking.

The Split Point Lightstation in it's Heyday [Photograph Courtesy: Laurie Sharp]
The Split Point Lightstation in it's Heyday
[Photograph Courtesy: Laurie Sharp]

Originally named Eagles Nest lighthouse, Split Point lighthouse was one of a network of lighthouses built around the Australian coastline after recommendations by the 1873 Conference of the Principal Officers of the Marine Departments of the Australasian Colonies.

The original kerosene-burning wick was upgraded to a vaporised kerosene light in 1904 to increase the beam's intensity and range. In 1919, the light assembly was replaced with automatic acetylene equipment and the station was no longer manned.

Mains electricity was connected in 1972 and today the light source is a 1000-watt tungsten halogen lamp that has a range of 21 nautical miles.
As many of our Australian readers will know, the lighthouse was used as a location for the popular television series "Around the Twist".

The temporary sets and other facilities around the light attracted many curious visitors. The prospect of a permanent increase in tourist traffic that would be caused by the opening of the light has concerned some residents of small seaside town Aireys Inlet, where it is located, and a consultant was appointed to report on the impact of opening the lighthouse to the public.

We believe that the report has suggested ways to minimise this impact, particularly on people living adjacent to the lighthouse reserve. However, at the time of writing no actual date of opening has been announced., although it is hoped that this will be during this summer.

The Surf Coast Shire and the Aireys Inlet District Association have also recently announced plans to restore a small area of swampland known as the Allen Nobles Swamp next to the lighthouse precinct.

Anyone with any articles or stories effecting Australian Lighthouse are welcome to contribute them.

Join Proposed Lighthouses of Australia Inc.

In August I announced my intention of leaving the Project and the intention of forming a incorporated body to take over. The response so far has been quite positive with interest from people with all sorts of backgrounds and skills.

There is a little bit of "red tape" to go though with a period of 3-4 weeks to actually form the body. Once this is done we can officially receive the new members and start to function as a group.

There is still time to throw your hat into the ring, whether it just be a financial member or direct involvement on the committee, web pages, the bulletin or some other aspect that could enrich the site.

A charter has been developed and can be found on-line at <../../About/Charter.htm>.

A constitution has been developed and can be found on-line at <../../About/Constitution.htm>.

The suggested memberships and costs are as follows:

  • Individual Membership (12 months) $25 AUD

    Other groups/bodies with in interest in Lighthouses:

    • Non-Profit Organisation or Group Membership (12 months) $50 AUD
    • Small Business Membership (12 months) $100 AUD
    • Large Corporate, Government Department & Statutory Authority Memberships and Sponsorship by negotiation.

To join, visit the Membership page.

Thanks to the Following People for Their Help in December:

Jeanne Vanessa Eve (Historic Photo)
Janet Scott (Broken Links)

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 Jan 2001 Bulletin
Malcolm Macdonald

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How did the Lighthouses of Australia Project Come about?  What is its objectives?
The DECEMBER 00 BULLETIN was published on: 21/12/00

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Lighthouses of Australia Web Site First Published: 3/12/97

Photographs & Contributions:

AMSA for Photograph
Australian National Maritime Museum for Photograph
Deborah Taylor for Photograph
Ed Kavaliunas for Story and Photographs
Grant Maizels for Photograph
John Ibbotson for Story and Photographs
Laurie Sharp for Historic Postcard
Peter Braid for Photograph
Pine Islet Lighthouse Preservation Society for Photograph
PRISM - Australian Lighthouse Association for stories
Rodney Nicholson for Photographs
Tina Alderson for Photograph

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Contact: Lighthouse Keeper


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Who are the people that make the Lighthouses of Australia Project come together?
If you have any photos, information, anecdotes etc about Australian Lighthouses you can help

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