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Lighthouses of Victoria

State Indexes > VIC > Eastern Lighthouse at McCrae

The Eastern Lighthouse at McCrae

The Eastern Lighthouse at McCrae guides mariners through the South Channel on the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay. McCrae is on the bay side of the Mornington Peninsula.

The lighthouse structure is the tallest on mainland Victoria.

The Eastern Lighthouse at McCrae
Photograph: Kristie Eggleston

Eastern Lighthouse at McCrae
Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas

Last Operation (1994)

LOCATION: Latitude 38° 21' S, Longitude 144° 55' 7" E (Map)
OPERATOR: Port of Melbourne Authority
CHARACTER: Flash every 15 seconds
POWER SOURCE: Mains power
RANGE: 13 nautical miles
HEIGHT: 34 metres


Built in 1874, this steel tower is the tallest on the mainland of Victoria.

Sometimes known as either the Dromana Lighthouse or the Rosebud Lighthouse, the lighthouse is actually located between both areas at McCrae. It is also known as the South Channel Lighthouse.

One of the unique features of this light is that is has which has not only dioptric, but also catadioptric and holophotal lens systems.

When in operation the light gave with the South Channel Pile Light a "lights-in-line" channel-centre guidance to inward-bound ships coming up Port Phillip Bay towards Melbourne.

Note that the lighthouse keepers buildings have since been demolished.

The lighthouse which was the tallest in Victoria, was turned off by the Port of Melbourne Authority 1994.

It was transferred to the McCrae Foreshore Committee via the Department of Natural Resources and Energy in 1996.

The South Channel Lighthouse at Rosebud, Victoria
Photograph: Rose Stereograph Co.

The South Channel Lighthouse at Rosebud, Victoria
Photograph: Rose Stereograph Co.


The lighthouse is in the Lighthouse Reserve on beach side of the Nepean Highway at McCrae between Dromana and Rosebud.

Though the lighthouse is fenced off there is no restriction of access to the reserve.


Never give up searching Bulletin Jan 05

McCrae's Eastern Lighthouse gets long overdue maintenance

Bulletin Jan 99

The Surrounding Area

Special Thanks to:

  • Ed Kavaliunas for Photographs
  • Kristie Eggleston for Photograph
  • Laurie Sharp for Historical Photographs & Cards


  • Phil Fowler
  • Rose Stereograph Co.
  • The Lighthouses of Victoria by Dacre Smyth

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