Celebrate 140 years of the Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse

Monday 16 November 2015
It's the Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse's 140th birthday and you're invited to join in the celebrations.
Media Release

The Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse, located on the New South Wales mid north coast, will be open to the public on the weekend of 5–6 December, 2015 to mark the anniversary and celebrate the centenary of the Australian Government's management of lighthouses.

The lighthouse will be open for guided tours from 8.30am to 5pm by Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) staff. Entry into the lighthouse is by tour only. Bookings can be made through the Office of Environment and Heritage (Pacific Palms) on (02) 6591 0300. Bookings are recommended as numbers are limited. Tours will run every 30 minutes. Group size for each tour will be a maximum of 10 people.

Visitors will also be able to look inside the restored assistant keeper's cottage on site, or you can talk to a NSW National Parks and Wildlife ranger about the site, its history and local wildlife. The lighthouse is managed by AMSA, with the surrounding land and accommodation managed by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

AMSA's General Manager Navigation Safety and International Relations, Brad Groves, said the 15 metre Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse was completed in 1875.

'The Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse is one of 55 heritage lighthouses around the country operated by AMSA. All of these lighthouses are more than 100 years old,' Mr Groves said.

Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse is one of two lighthouses in Australia with an external stairway. Today, it remains largely in its original state with minimal changes over the years.

'The opportunity to visit the lighthouse only occurs once a year, so make sure you book early for your chance to see inside one of Australia's iconic lighthouses,' he said.

The lighthouse has two lights. The main light source is projected via its original sixteen panel Fresnel lens and has a range of 25 nautical miles.

The lighthouse's auxiliary light warns of the dangers of the inshore Seal Rocks and can be seen as a red light in the lower seaward window of the lighthouse.

This 250mm lens was manufactured in England by Chance Brothers.

2015 marks 100 years of Australian Government management of coastal lighthouses.

You can see details about AMSA's historical lighthouses on our website.

Getting to Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse

The Lighthouse is in the Sugarloaf Point to Shelley Beach precinct of Myall Lakes National Park. To get there take Lakes Way from the Pacific Highway and Seal Rocks Road at Bungwahl. There are some unsealed roads to access the lighthouse carpark.

The lighthouse is about an 800 metre walk from the carpark. As the lighthouse is within a national park, no dogs are allowed.

Visitors are recommended to bring water and sturdy walking shoes. A BBQ lunch and light refreshments will be available only on Saturday, 5 December by the local Volunteer Marine Rescue. Sunday visitors are recommended to bring a picnic lunch and admire the view.

Bookings: Tour bookings can be made through NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service in Great Lakes by phoning (02) 6591 0300. Places are limited.

Fast facts about Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse

  • Height: 15 metres
  • Elevation: 79 metres
  • First lit: 1 December 1875
  • Interesting fact: Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse is one of Australia's shortest towers and also one of two Australian lighthouses with an external stairway.