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Lighthouses of Victoria


State Indexes > VIC > Port Melbourne Lighthouses

The Port Melbourne Lighthouses

The Port Melbourne Lighthouses were built in 1924, and in conjunction guided ships by marking the centre of the Port Melbourne Channel from Port Phillip Bay.

The lighthouses have been preserved as part of a new housing estate that has transformed the old industrial port area, originally built to guide ships into.


The Port Melbourne Rear Lighthouse as part of the Beacon Cove estate
Photograph: John Ibbotson


Operation

LOCATION: Latitude 37°50'18"S Longitude 144° 56'10"E (Map)
OPERATOR: Unknown (formerly Port of Melbourne Authority)
CHARACTER: White Flashing every 6 seconds (rear)
LIGHT SOURCE: -
POWER SOURCE: Mains Power
INTENSITY: -
ELEVATION: 24 metres (rear), 14 metres (front)
RANGE: 14 nautical miles (rear)
HEIGHT: 26 metres (rear), 16 metres (front)

The Port Melbourne Front Light, 1997
The Port Melbourne Front Light in 1997
Photograph: Grant Maizels

The Port Melbourne Rear Light, 1997
The Port Melbourne Rear Light in 1997
Photograph: Grant Maizels


The Port Melbourne Lighthouse, 1998
The Port Melbourne
Rear Lighthouse in 1998

Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas
History

The Port Melbourne Lighthouses were built in 1924, and in conjunction guided ships by marking the centre of the Port Melbourne Channel from Port Phillip Bay.

Front Light

The Port Melbourne Front Light, just offshore between Princes Pier and Station Pier, is a round and tapered wooden-framed light built on piles. It used to be linked to the shore by a narrow wooden footbridge, which fell into disrepair and was removed. 

The tower used to show a fixed green light over a 26 degree sector, whilst a second green light occulted every six seconds in the four degree sector marking the centre of the Port Melbourne Channel. The light has not been exhibited for many years.

Rear Light

The Port Melbourne Rear Light is a 26 metre concrete tower, 500 metres north of the Front Light.

Its main light is red, occulting every six seconds, and three metres below it is a 24 hour a day directional light, with green, white and red sectors, each showing over only a fraction of a degree, to mark the precise centre of the channel, in a particularly narrow arc of 1.5º.

Originally surrounded by the large BP fuel distribution installation which was cleared in the early 1990s, the light is now the focal point of the Beacon Cove Project, a bayside housing development.

The Rear Light is still operating and has become a feature of the new residential street Beacon Vista to the port, aligned with the Rear and Front Lights.


The Port Melbourne Lighthouse
The Port Melbourne Rear Lighthouse in 1998
Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas

The Port Melbourne Lighthouse With Housing Development in Background, 1998
The Port Melbourne Lighthouse with housing development in background in 1998

Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas

Access

Both lights are accessible via a park at the rear of the new housing estate. The road that ran along side it has been filled over and converted to parkland. They are also accessible via the shorefront walkway from Port Melbourne.


The Port Melbourne Rear Light at dusk in 1994
Photograph: John Ibbotson


The Surrounding Area


Special Thanks to:

  • Ed Kavaliunas for Photographs
  • Grant Maizels for Photographs
  • John Ibbotson for Photographs

Sources:

  • The Lighthouses of Victoria by Dacre Smyth

  • Lighthouses of Australia: Images from the End of an Era by John Ibbotson


Page last updated:
Page created:
19/03/05
10/01/98

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