Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Dent Island Lightstation Heritage Management Plan

Heritage management plan

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority have developd a heritage management plan to protect and manage the Dent Island Lightstation

About the plan

Diagram of the coastal pilotage areas

Modern day Dent Island Lighthouse
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The Dent Island Lightstation was established in 1879.

The lightstation’s Heritage Management Plan identifies its historical and cultural values and how to protect, conserve, present and tell its story.

The plan contains detailed information on the area’s history and cultural significance as well as the condition of structures and other physical elements.

This helps outline the day-to-day needs of managing and protecting the lightstation, which was included on the Commonwealth Heritage List in 2004 for its cultural significance.

History of Dent Island Lightstation

dent island history

Historical Dent Island Lighthouse
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The lightstation is on the western side of Dent Island in the Whitsunday region of the Great Barrier Reef, approximately 18 kilometres south-east of Shute Harbour.

Established in 1879, the lighthouse is important evidence of how aids to navigation along the Queensland coast developed.

It is also important for the history of lighthouse technology, accommodation and associated services.

First lit in 1879, the lighthouse was built in response to the dramatic expansion of regular coastal shipping along the inner route of the Great Barrier Reef following the economic development of northern Queensland.

The lightstation demonstrates the colonial government’s policy of investing in infrastructure, such as railways and lighthouses, to encourage the expansion of economic activity.

The land surrounding the lighthouse contains:

  • two houses
  • an engine room
  • winch house
  • derrick crane
  • landing platform
  • boat platform and access ladder
  • workshop/store/radio room
  • tram line
  • trolley and cables
  • metal water tank and stand
  • paths
  • stairs
  • graves
  • fowl house.

The lightstation, dating from 1879 to 1960, is a complete, intact example of a lightstation complex in Queensland.

Later stages of development have joined with the original fabric and detail of the lightstation to keep a functioning and effective aid to navigation.

Read more about the Dent Island Lightstation Heritage Management Plan.

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