Restoration works near completion at Cape Don lighthouse

Friday 2 August 2013
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s (AMSA) restoration of the Cape Don Lighthouse near Darwin is approaching the halfway mark.
Media Release

AMSA’s Chief Executive Officer Graham Peachey said the restoration works involve undertaking concrete repairs and enhancing the stability of the structure.

“The works include repairing 60 square metres of concrete and installing a corrosion protection system. The repairs are expected to extend the life of the structure for around 50 years before any further structural maintenance is required,” Mr Peachey said.

The works started in late April and are due to be completed by early November, weather permitting.

Mr Peachey said the restoration works were essential to maintaining the structure for future generations.

“The Cape Don Lighthouse is heritage listed and these works will maintain the integrity of the structure for many years to come,” he said.

The Cape Don Lighthouse, which is located at the tip of the Northern Territory’s Cobourg Peninsula in the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park, is a steel reinforced concrete structure and was completed in 1917.

Work began on the lighthouse in May 1915. Due to cyclones in the area, the lighthouse was built over three eight-month stints starting from April each year.

Tall concrete towers did not become common until after 1960 and Cape Don was the tallest solid structure in the Northern Territory until 1973. The lighthouse is 36 metres high and the light can be seen from 20 nautical miles away.

It has survived a number of cyclones that have swept through Darwin, as well as a severe earthquake in 1917 shortly after its completion. The lighthouse was demanned and automated in 1983.

AMSA oversees a network of more than 500 visual and electronic aids to navigation across 400 sites throughout Australia.

These aids to navigation include lighthouses, beacons and buoys and provide ships with the ability to navigate safely around Australia’s coastline and to and from ports.