AMSA Heritage strategy 2018
As the custodian of many iconic historic sites, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has long recognised the importance of preserving their cultural heritage.
In 2004, a new national heritage system was established when the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) came into effect. This new legislation substantially changed and extended the obligations of
This document is a response to section 341ZA of the EPBC Act, which obliges AMSA to prepare and maintain a heritage strategy. The EPBC Act also obliges AMSA to:
- assist in identification, assessment and monitoring of places of heritage value in its care (section 341Z)
- prepare and maintain a register of its places of heritage value
- minimise adverse impacts on places of heritage value
- protect the heritage value of places when they are sold or leased
- provide this heritage strategy, and any subsequent major updates, to the relevant minister.
This heritage strategy is intended to guide AMSA in the management of the sites of cultural and natural heritage value for which it is responsible. This heritage strategy replaces the existing document prepared by AMSA in 2006.
This strategy meets both AMSA’s specific obligations to prepare a written heritage strategy in relation to land it manages, and provides a strategy to meet its general obligations under the EPBC Act.
This strategy derives from our Corporate Plan and our achievements are reported through our Annual Report. Our organisational planning cycle and associated budgeting process is used to confirm requirements, allocate funding, and manage
delivery of our maintenance activities. Detailed planning for our aids to navigation is managed through the Response Division planning process.
AMSA evaluated its almost 500 aids to navigation sites, and identified 62 places that have cultural or natural heritage value. The 62 places are listed in the AMSA heritage register—see Table 1 (pages 25-28).
Of the 62 places in the AMSA heritage register, 25 are included in the Commonwealth Heritage List—see Table 2 (page 29).
AMSA is a Corporate Commonwealth Entity subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. AMSA reports to the Australian Parliament and Government through the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.
Management of AMSA is the responsibility of a Board, which includes AMSA’s Chief Executive Officer. The other members are drawn from private industry and government and bring appropriate skills and expertise to the conduct of AMSA’s
important commercial and safety maritime activities.
AMSA is responsible for the provision of aids to navigation necessary for ocean and coastal navigation. The states, ports and territories provide aids necessary for the safe entry and navigation of ports and those required by fishing vessels and pleasure craft. This division of responsibilities stems from a 1934 agreement between the Prime Minister and state premiers. The arrangement has proved to be a sound basis for the provision of aids to navigation in Australia for all vessels.
The costs of providing and maintaining the AMSA aids to navigation network are met by the commercial shipping industry through the marine navigation levy under the Marine Navigation Levy Act 1989.
AMSA can trace its responsibility for ocean and coastal navigation back to 1915 when the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service (CLS) was formed.
AMSA currently has 62 lighthouse sites on its heritage register. A number of these lighthouses have been in continuous service for over 150 years. In Australia, it is rare to have 19th century industrial buildings still maintaining their original function. Some of these lights are in remote places such as South Solitary Island, which is approximately 10 km offshore near Coffs Harbour in NSW, while others form an integral part of a town’s fabric and identity such as Cape Byron in NSW.
Lighthouses symbolise safety, security, resilience, strength, romance, tourism and, of course, history. They are intimately linked with Australia’s maritime history and are among Australia’s top tourist destinations. Table 5 on page 33 shows the total numbers of visitors at AMSA lighthouses in 2015-16.
AMSA aspires to play a custodial role in keeping Australia’s seas safe and clean, and providing search and rescue services. All AMSA heritage places are actively used for AMSA’s core business, the provision of maritime safety services.
AMSA recognises it has responsibilities under the various Acts and that the upkeep of heritage assets in public ownership are important to the Australian community in general.
AMSA outsources the maintenance of its aids to navigation network, including the heritage assets. Capital works are funded and delivered as required. Over the next three years, AMSA expects to budget approximately $12 million per year for maintenance and $4million per year for capital works across its aids to navigation network AMSA is committed to identifying, protecting, conserving and preserving its cultural and natural heritage significance for current and future generations.
Accordingly AMSA has set priorities for the management of the heritage it is responsible for. These are:
- developing heritage management plans to guide the operation, modification and maintenance of sites of Commonwealth heritage value
- maintaining the various aids to navigation within the guidelines of the heritage management plans
- reviewing the various heritage management plans every decade
- ensuring that significant portable artefacts are appropriately catalogued and cared for reviewing this AMSA heritage strategy every three years in accordance with statutory regulations
- monitoring our performance.
At the time of publication, AMSA has completed a heritage management plan for Dent Island, Queensland.
AMSA has engaged professional heritage consultants to prepare heritage management plans, which are well under way, for the following locations:
- Low Isles, located offshore from Port Douglas, Queensland
- Charles Point, located on the Cox Peninsula, Northern Territory
- Cape Don, located on the Cobourg Peninsula, Northern Territory
- North Reef, offshore from Gladstone, Queensland
- Goods Island, located in the Torres Strait, Queensland
- Booby Island, located in the Torres Strait, Queensland
- Double Island Point, located north of Noosa, Queensland
- Cape Hotham, located north east of Darwin, Northern Territory
- Cape Cleveland, located east of Townsville, Queensland.
AMSA has prioritized its drafting of plans and intends to deliver plans for these sites within the next three years.
Both Dent Island and Low Isles heritage management plans have been prepared jointly with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) which owns the land on which both the lighthouses are located. AMSA leases this land and under the lease terms, is responsible for lighthouse maintenance.
All of the places included in the AMSA heritage register are operational aids to navigation. All are unattended automatic lighthouses the majority of which use solar power. They are maintained by contractors who make periodic visits.
AMSA is prioritising the development of heritage management plans for the remainder of its heritage sites based on criteria such as where refurbishment is planned or where efficiencies can be obtained by grouping certain sites.
It is AMSA’s intention to complete all heritage management plans as funding becomes available.
The Asset Capability Section is the AMSA business unit responsible for heritage places.
AMSA recognises it has responsibility to identify and care for the heritage property under its control, and is committed to achieve this by:
- complying with all relevant state, territory and Commonwealth legislation
- maintaining heritage assets in a manner which retains heritage significance, with the objective of preventing deterioration and avoiding the need for expensive ‘catch-up’ maintenance and major repairs
- conserving heritage assets in order to retain their heritage significance to the greatest extent feasible—the management of heritage assets should use the most appropriate knowledge, skills and standards for those places
- regularly monitoring and reporting on the physical condition of the heritage assets listed in the AMSA heritage register and taking appropriate action to ensure heritage significance is not eroded.
Heritage management plans
Heritage management plans are prepared in a manner consistent with the Commonwealth heritage management principles in schedule 7B of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000 and meet the requirements
for management plans for Commonwealth heritage places in schedule 7A of the regulations. The plans generally follow a sequence from description, to analysis of operational requirements, to implementation.
A plan typically has the following headings:
- the site
- cultural significance
- fabric of the site
- operational requirements
- heritage management policies
- implementation plan.
Existing management plans will be reviewed and updated if required every 10 years or sooner if major changes to a lighthouse occur.
Consistent with the requirements of paragraph 341S (6) (b) the EPBC Act, when a draft heritage management plan has been prepared, a notice is published to advertise the fact. Each of these notices:
- includes a statement that AMSA has prepared a draft heritage management plan
- advises that copies of the draft plan can be obtained from the AMSA website or by contacting AMSA
- invites comments on the draft from members of the public including those with rights and interests in the place
- gives the address to which comments should be sent
- specifies the closing date for receiving public comments.
In accordance with paragraph 341S (6) (a) of the EPBC Act, the Minister for Environment and Energy is then asked for advice on the proposed plan. A Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights is also required and prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.
AMSA recognises the importance of tourism to local communities, and the potential for tourism to create employment and economic activity in regional areas.
AMSA currently has 16 of its heritage sites open to the public and they receive over 350,000 visitors in a typical year. See table 5 (page 32) for details of the sites that are open to visitors.
Tourist access licence agreements are in place for all tourist sites. These licences detail the licensees’ obligations for the site.
AMSA supports regional museums and lighthouse sites by lending around 800 individual artefacts from the AMSA collection; many of these are permanent loans. AMSA also provides advice about conservation and display of these artefacts. AMSA staff may audit borrowing institutions to ensure these artefacts are well cared for.
In cases where, for operational reasons, significant lighthouse equipment becomes redundant and cannot be kept in place, artefacts may be offered to local museums. Here they can be displayed in a local context. The AMSA heritage register lists these sites in accordance with EPBC Regulation 10.03G(2)m.
Table 6 (page 34) shows the locations where significant AMSA artefacts on loan are currently located.
AMSA’s aids to navigation network is managed within the Response Division.
In 2014, AMSA created a full time heritage officer position to reflect the growing importance of heritage matters both in AMSA and the general community.
The management and conservation of sites identified by the heritage strategy are the responsibility of the Manager Asset Capability.
The contact officer in the first instance is:
Australian Maritime Safety Authority
PO Box 10790, Adelaide Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000
AMSA communicates with other government agencies, on a national, state and regional level, through agencies such as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Department of the Environment and Energy.
Often AMSA heritage property is leased from bodies such as local governments or state agencies such as National Parks, which have their own heritage values. Other properties border alongside properties listed for their heritage value. AMSA undertakes consultation with local communities when making decisions that have a significant impact on heritage assets, and seeks to integrate, where appropriate, any local government responsibilities.
Indigenous people are the primary source of information about their heritage. Active participation of Indigenous people in the identification, assessment and management is integral to the effective protection of Indigenous heritage assets. AMSA seeks to consult the community, including Indigenous community representatives.
AMSA is aware that conflicts can arise concerning management of its heritage places, in circumstances such as:
- determining whether a heritage value exists or not
- deciding how different and potentially conflicting heritage values should translate into management priorities (for example, where natural and historic heritage values appear to conflict)
- where conservation of heritage values conflicts with other interests (such as operational requirements for aids to navigation)
- where the obligation to maintain heritage values conflicts with AMSA’s obligation to make the most efficient use of its funding which is provided by the shipping industry.
AMSA will try to resolve such conflicts by seeking well-informed advice, engaging with stakeholders and with the Australian Heritage Council where appropriate.
Each property owned or managed by AMSA has undergone a desktop assessment to identify those sites that require a heritage listing.
Heritage Management Plans (HMPs) will consider heritage values of the places and relevant details will be added to the AMSA Heritage Register.
The Commonwealth Heritage values are identified by:
- considering all natural and cultural heritage values, recognising Indigenous People as the primary source of information in many cases
- identifying values against the Commonwealth heritage criteria
- using appropriate heritage advice to ensure that levels of documentary and field research are appropriate
- using a comparative approach
- consulting widely, as appropriate, with other government agencies, stakeholders and the community.
Where objects, collections or elements contribute to the significance of a place, the identification and assessment will follow the process set out in “A Guide to Assessing the Significance of Cultural Heritage Objects and Collections” and Articles 10 and 11 of the “Burra Charter”.
All places in AMSA’s care have undergone heritage assessment. In some cases it may be necessary for these assessments to be updated so that the Commonwealth heritage criteria are adequately addressed, and new information is evaluated.
HMP’s will use official listed values as the basis for a statement of Commonwealth heritage value.
In identifying and assessing Commonwealth heritage values AMSA will:
- where appropriate, review the identification and assessment of historic and Indigenous heritage values for places to coincide with the development of CMPs
- complete its Commonwealth Heritage Register within 3 years of the adoption of this Strategy
- recognise that as a result of this assessment process sensitive or culturally restricted information may be discovered and that this should be treated as confidential.
The Heritage Register will be reviewed every 5 years and will be made available on the AMSA website.
AMSA will monitor implementation of this heritage strategy by reviewing progress periodically, and reporting on progress every three years in line with section 341ZA(6) of the EPBC Act. This reporting process will include a review of the effectiveness of this heritage strategy, and proposals for any changes to it that are prompted by the review.
Heritage management plans will be reviewed in accordance with the review process set out in those plans. The National Heritage List does not currently include any AMSA places, but if an AMSA place is added to the national list in the future AMSA will review its heritage management plan, in line with section 324W of the EPBC Act. In any case, heritage management plans will be reviewed sooner if any of the following occur:
- there is a change in the assessment of the Commonwealth heritage values of a place
- changes that might affect the Commonwealth heritage values of a place are proposed.
Manage the AMSA heritage register including lodgement of heritage management plans.
Maintain and strengthen relationships with other agencies and stakeholders.
Working closely with other organisations such as the Department of the Environment and the Australian Heritage Council is essential to manage our responsibilities.
AMSA’s Navigational Safety Advisory Group (NSAG) is the peak consultative body for AMSA on matters relating to AMSA’s responsibilities for the safety of navigation in Australian waters. NSAG meets twice per year and provides expert maritime industry advice on requirements for aids to navigation and other nautical and navigational safety matters.
NSAG is consulted on issues particularily affecting shipping traffic around the Australian coastline including the outcomes of the periodic aids to navigation requirements review process.
AMSA regularly reviews the volume and nature of shipping traffic around the Australian coastline. From time to time this review process identifies aids to navigation sites that are no longer being used by ships that pay the Marine Navigation levy. These sites can be considered to be surplus to requirements.
A heads of government agreement exists between AMSA and most of the states (excluding SA and the Northern Territory) to allow for transfer of ownership of these sites.
The transfer of ownership or control of heritage assets that are surplus to AMSA’s requirements is planned and executed so as to conserve the items significance into the future.
These assets include both heritage sites and artefacts.
AMSA owns a collection of culturally significant artefacts that illustrate the social and technological history of lighthouses and maritime activity. The collection includes documents, equipment, and other items that are considered protected objects under the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 because of their age, value, rarity, representation in public collections and their national significance.
AMSA’s strategies in relation to discharging its responsibilities for the artefacts are to retain ownership and:
- give artefacts to appropriate organisations, such as maritime museums, which are able to adequately protect the cultural values of the artefacts
- lend artefacts, permanently or temporarily, to organisations that are able to display and interpret those artefacts and so increase public understanding of Australia’s maritime history, in a secure manner
- ensure artefacts are being maintained in good order and loan agreements are being complied with.
As new technologies evolve there are opportunities for replaced lighthouse equipment to be added to AMSA’s Heritage Artefact Collection.
While based heavily on the EPBC Act, the AMSA heritage strategy is also guided by other federal and state legislation. These various acts, such as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act and the Native Title Act place additional limitations and protective measures onto the sites already governed by lease agreements, state environment and heritage acts, and local government regulations.
Heritage conservation benefits AMSA and the Australian community in several ways:
- it contributes to valuing and preserving Australia’s maritime history which is so closely linked to the nations development
- it provides another avenue for AMSA to actively engage with the Australian community to better promote its overall objectives of maritime safety and protection of the marine environment
- it improves public access to maritime heritage structures, artefacts and information, in particular to historic lighthouses
- it demonstrates that heritage objectives can effectively co exist with an organisations business objectives.
AMSA maintains a register of all of its assets of heritage significance, in accordance with the requirements of the EPBC Act. Basic information about the places listed in the heritage register is set out in tables on the following pages.
Notes on the abbreviations used in the heritage register tables
Register of the National Estate (RNE)—this register was closed in 2007 and is no longer a statutory list.
The RNE is maintained on a non-statutory basis as a publicly available archive and educational resource.
RNE places can be protected under the EPBC Act if they are also included in another Commonwealth statutory heritage list or are owned or leased by the Commonwealth. The majority of AMSA heritage sites are also protected by various state listings, as already identified for AMSA by heritage experts.
Commonwealth Heritage List—this list comprises heritage places owned or controlled (including leased) by the Commonwealth, which have been added to the CHL by the Minister for the Environment acting on the advice of the Australian Heritage Council. Some places on the AMSA heritage register have not gone through this process, but may do so in the future—in the meantime they are managed by AMSA so as to protect their heritage value.
State or local
Each Australian state, and some territory or local authorities, have their own heritage registers, with its own regulatory processes. Many AMSA heritage sites are located within places that are listed in these registers. AMSA takes account of these listings as it manages its assets.
CHL Indicative Place
These are places for which data provided to or obtained by the Department of Environment has been entered into the database, but no formal nomination has not been made. The Australian Heritage Council has not assessed these places, nor advised the Minister for the Environment about them. The information in the database does not necessarily represent the views of the council or the minister.
No records have been found showing the place on local, state or Commonwealth heritage lists.
Naturally occurring heritage encompassing the countryside and natural environment, including flora and fauna, scientifically known as biodiversity, as well as geological elements.
|2||Cape Leveque||State + local|
|3||Cape Leeuwin||CHL + State + local|
|5||Breaksea Island||State||3353||Was RNE 19842|
|6||Cape Inscription||State + local|
|Was RNE 19865|
|7||Cape Naturaliste||State +|
|Was RNE 16693|
|9||Foul Bay||Was RNE 105440|
|Nature reserve listed in the RNE for its|
natural heritage values.
|Was NE 7570|
|11||Bessieres Island||Included as part of the natural heritage listing|
of the Islands of Exmouth Gulf and Rowley
Shelf. Was RNE 10050.
|12||Gantheaume Point||Local||23||The site is within a natural heritage area|
listed in the Broome Municipal Inventory.
Was RNE 19864
|13||Legendre Island||Included as part of the natural heritage listing|
of the Dampier Archipelago. Was RNE 10101.
New South Wales
|16||Smoky Cape||CHL||105604||State 5045071|
|18||Clarence Head||No record|
|19||Flagstaff Point||No record|
|20||South Solitary Island||Was RNE 3416|
|25||Split Point||State||H2270||Was RNE 3534|
|27||Cape Nelson||State||H1773||Was RNE 3898|
|28||Cape Schanck||State||H1748||Was RNE 5796|
|30||Wilsons Promontory||CHL State||105375|
|32||Charles Point||Was RNE 229|
|33||Cape Hotham||Area is a forest reserve and was listed on|
RNE due to its natural heritage values. Was
|34||Cape Sorell||State||5631||Was RNE 13246|
|42||Low Head||State||1482||Was RNE 12605|
|46||Booby Island||State||601724||Was RNE 19045|
|47||Bustard Head||State||601260||Was RNE 19181|
|48||Cape Cleveland||State||601794||Was RNE 100383|
|49||Cape Moreton||State||600257||Was RNE 17189|
|State||601722||Was RNE 19398|
|52||Sandy Cape||State||601712||Was RNE 19575|
|53||Cape Du Couedic||CHL|
|55||Cape St Albans||CHL||105413|
|56||Althorpe Island||State||10312||Was RNE 6887|
|57||Cape Banks||State||13913||Was RNE 8265|
|58||Cape Borda||State||10399||Was RNE 7432|
|59||Corny Point||State||10110||Was RNE 6859|
|60||Troubridge Hill||Was RNE||100057||Was RNE 100057|
|61||Marino Rocks||State||26062||Marino Rocks is listed in the Marion Council|
development plan as a local heritage place.
|62||Dangerous Reef||Was RNE||19779||Dangerous Reef is in a nature reserve listed|
for its natural heritage values. Was RNE
Heritage Place ref.
Australian Heritage Database link
Cape Du Couedic
Cape St Albans
Cape Du Couedic
Cape St Albans
Double Island Point
Double Island Point
Visitors in 2015-16
open 6 weekends/year
South Solitary Island
open 2 weekends/year
Not currently open
Borrower and location
Cairns Maritime Museum
Port Douglas Courthouse Museum
Townsville Maritime Museum
Pine Islet Historical Society—Mackay
Bustard Head Lighthouse Association
Torres Strait Historical Society Museum—Thursday Island
Burnett Shire Council
King Island Historical Society—Currie
East Coast Marina—Brisbane
AMSA—Double Island Point
Gladstone Maritime Museum
National Parks and Wildlife Service—Cape Byron
National Parks and Wildlife Service—Barrenjoey Lighthouse Museum
Jervis Bay Maritime Museum
Narooma Visitors Information Centre—Narooma Lighthouse Museum
Clarence Valley Council—Yamba
Newcastle Maritime Museum
Borrower and location
AMSA—South Solitary Island
Clyde River and Batemans Bay Historical Society
Parks Victoria—Gabo Island
National Trust of Australia (Victoria)—Polly Woodside, South Wharf
Parks Victoria—Point Hicks
Parks Victoria—Wilsons Promontory
Parks Victoria—Cape Nelson
Parks Victoria—Cape Schanck
Parks Victoria—Cape Otway
Queenscliff Maritime Museum
Portland Maritime Discovery Centre
Ausbuilt Maritime Museum—Port Adelaide
Whyalla Maritime Museum
Port MacDonnell Maritime Museum
Table 6 – Location of movable cultural artefacts (continued)
Borrower and location
Axel Stenross Maritime Museum—Port Lincoln
Maritime Trust of Australia—HMAS Castlemaine, Williamstown
South Australian Maritime Museum—Port Adelaide
SA Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources—Cape Borda
SA Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources—Cape Willoughby
AMSA—Cape Du Couedic
Tasmanian Maritime Museum—Hobart
Tasmanian Maritime Museum—Bruny Island
Pilot Station Maritime Museum—Low Head
Wildcare Inc., Friends of Tasman Island—Tasman Island
Western Australian Maritime Museum—Perth
Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association—Cape Leeuwin
Port Hedland Historical Society
Geographe Bay Tourism Association—Cape Naturaliste
Northcliffe Pioneer Museum
Guilderton Visitor Centre
Questacon National Science and Technology Centre—Canberra
Minister’s office, Parliament House—Canberra
Heritage place 1: Point Moore (Western Australia)
Point Moore lighthouse was first lit in 1878 as a much needed beacon to guide shipping past the dangerous reefs offshore from Geraldton. The tapered cast iron tower of Point Moore lighthouse is made up of 16 tiers, each containing 12 plates, which were prefabricated in England by Chance Brothers of Birmingham.
Heritage place 2: Cape Leveque (Western Australia)
Cape Leveque lighthouse was first exhibited in 1911 to light the entrance into King Sound and aid shipping trading between Fremantle, the north-west ports and Singapore. The 13.3 metres high tower is made of cast iron plates bolted together and was the most northerly manned lighthouse in Western Australia until it was automated and de-manned in 1985.
Heritage place 3: Cape Leeuwin (Western Australia)
Cape Leeuwin lighthouse was first lit in 1896 to mark both the coastal route to Perth via Albany and as the first landfall for mariners crossing the Indian Ocean to Australia. Cape Leeuwin lighthouse tower is built of locally quarried stone and stands 39 metres high, making it the tallest lighthouse on the Australian mainland. Tours of this lighthouse are run under licence from AMSA.
Heritage place 4: Eclipse Island (Western Australia)
Eclipse Island lighthouse was built in 1926 off the coast of Albany, Western Australia. Built to improve the navigation into King George Sound provided by Breaksea Island lighthouse, Eclipse Island lighthouse was the pinnacle of lighthouse technology at the time of its construction, with a Chance Brothers First Order optical apparatus and incandescent oil burner.
Heritage place 5: Breaksea Island (Western Australia)
Breaksea Island lighthouse was built in 1902 to mark the approach into King George Sound and the nearby ports which had been central to imperial shipping and mail services. The current granite tower with Chance Brothers first order optical apparatus was built to replace the earlier prefabricated cast-iron lighthouse, which had been first exhibited in 1858.
Heritage place 6: Cape Inscription (Western Australia)
Cape Inscription lighthouse was built in 1910 on Dirk Hartog Island, the historic site of the first documented landing of a European in Australia in 1616. The lighthouse is one of a small number of lights built in the period 1908 to 1915 to fill in navigation black spots on the Western Australian coast identified by shipping companies using the route to Singapore.
Heritage place 7: Cape Naturaliste (Western Australia)
Cape Naturaliste lighthouse was built in 1904 from local limestone blocks surmounted by a Chance Brothers lens and lantern room. It was the first major light in Australia to be fitted with a vapourised kerosene burner. Cape Naturaliste is one of three AMSA-managed lights open for public access in Western Australia — the others are Rottnest Island and Cape Leeuwin.
Heritage place 8: Rottnest Island (Western Australia)
Rottnest Island lighthouse was the site of Western Australia’s first lighthouse, built in 1851 to guide ships into the major port of Fremantle. In 1896, the original lighthouse was replaced with the current tower, which featured a first order Chance Brothers lantern and lens, which are still in use today. Tours of the lighthouse are available for visitors to the site.
Heritage place 14: Nobby’s Head (New South Wales)
Built in 1858, Nobby’s Head lighthouse stands on a 32 m high headland at the mouth of the Hunter River. It is the third-oldest lighthouse in New South Wales. The lighthouse site was originally a 90 m high island but in the 1840s it was cut down and the rock used to build a causeway connecting to the mainland.
Heritage place 15: Smoky Cape (New South Wales)
Smoky Cape lighthouse was first lit in 1891, after nearly 20 ships had been wrecked along the New South Wales coastline from the mid-19th century. The lighthouse sits on top of a headland 128 m above sea level, the position making Smoky Cape the highest lighthouse in New South Wales. Tours of the lighthouse are available for visitors to the site.
Heritage place 17: Sugarloaf Point (New South Wales)
Designed by Colonial Architect James Barnet, the Sugarloaf Point lighthouse was completed in 1875 to highlight the dangers of the nearby Seal Rocks. The tower is constructed of cement rendered brick surmounted by a Chance Brothers lantern and lens. AMSA opens this lighthouse to public access on an occasional basis.
Heritage place 20: South Solitary Island (New South Wales)
South Solitary Island lighthouse, built in 1880, epitomizes the popular image of a romantic isolated lightstation. Building supplies and later living supplies had to be lifted by crane onto the island, which was often difficult due to rough seas and high winds. The lighthouse is opened regularly with helicopters used to access the island for tours.
Heritage place 22: Cape Byron (New South Wales)
Cape Byron lighthouse was built in 1901 on the most easterly point of Australia’s coast. Cape Byron lighthouse is a major tourist attraction and underwent major works in 2015. Tours of the lighthouse are available for visitors to the site
Heritage place 23: Macquarie (New South Wales)
The first lighthouse on this site was designed by the convict architect Francis Greenway and built in 1818. This was replaced in 1883 by the current tower designed by James Barnet. The lighthouse is open to the public under an access licence agreement between AMSA and the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.
Heritage place 24: Montague Island (New South Wales)
Montague Island lighthouse, first lit in 1881, was designed by James Barnet and took almost four years to complete. Although originally fitted with a first order Chance Brothers lantern and lens, the isolated outpost of Montague Island was converted to solar power in 1986, having been de-manned in 1986.
Heritage place 26: Cliffy Island (Victoria)
Cliffy Island lighthouse was built in 1884 on the largest of a group of granite outcrops known as the Seal Islands, close to Wilsons Promontory. Access to the island from the sea is very difficult. When it was a manned lightstation people and supplies had to be winched up and down the steep cliffs from a platform on the cliff edge.
Heritage place 29: Gabo Island (Victoria)
The granite tower of Gabo Island lighthouse stands sentinel at the border between New South Wales and Victoria. It was built in 1862, to replace the original light constructed in 1853. Gabo Island is accessible by boat and light plane and tours of the lighthouse are available via Parks Victoria in nearby Mallacoota.
Heritage place 56: Althorpe Island (South Australia)
Althorpe Island lighthouse is located 7km off the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. The 20 metre tall tower was built in 1879 of solid limestone with internal floors of Mintaro slate. The light was de-manned in 1991 but continues to serve as an automated aid to navigation.
Heritage place 28: Cape Schanck (Victoria)
Cape Schanck lighthouse was first lit in 1859 on a prominent headland at the southern end of the Mornington Peninsula. The lighthouse was affectionately known as ‘the retirees light’ due to its proximity to Melbourne. The lighthouse is unique for its use of a shuttering system to distinguish between the display of its white and red lights.
Heritage place 30: Wilsons Promontory (Victoria)
Built on mainland Australia’s most southerly point, Wilsons Promontory lighthouse was lit in 1859 to aid the shipping traffic moving between Sydney and Melbourne. The lighthouse is constructed of granite quarried on the site. Tours of the lighthouse are available for visitors to the site.
Heritage place 31: Cape Don (Northern Territory)
The isolated lightstation at Cape Don was first lit in 1917 to guide mariners through Dundas Strait, between the Cobourg Peninsula and Melville Island, a well-used path for ships approaching Darwin. During the Second World War there was a RAAF radar station at the site to watch the northern and eastern approaches to Darwin.
Heritage place 32: Charles Point (Northern Territory)
Constructed in 1893, the tower is 26 m high and hexagonal in plan. Its central iron tube with spiral staircase inside, and its skeleton of iron columns and ties, stand on concrete footings. The design is unusual and one of only a handful of similar lighthouses in Australia. The components of the tower were fabricated in Adelaide and shipped to the site for assembly. The light was automated in 1934 and today runs on a low voltage solar power system.
Heritage place 33: Cape Hotham (Northern Territory)
The Cape Hotham lighthouse was built in 1928 as an automatic acetylene- powered light. It is a typical example of the earliest Commonwealth Lighthouse Service lighthouses that were built to operate without lighthouse keepers. It retains the original Australian-made steel tower and the imported Chance Brothers lantern and lens. It has been converted to solar-electric lighting.
Heritage place 34: Cape Sorell (Tasmania)
Built in 1899 to serve the port of Strahan the 38 m tower was constructed using over 400,000 bricks. The light was automated in 1971 and in 1988 the original lens removed and replaced with a solar powered beacon.
Heritage place 35: Cape Wickham (Tasmania)
Constructed in 1861 and standing 48 m, Cape Wickham lighthouse is the tallest in Australia, and one of a series of lighthouses erected to light the dangers of King Island and the western entrance to Bass Strait. Cape Wickham was the scene of Australia’s largest maritime disaster when the emigrant ship Cataraqui wrecked, with the loss of 400 lives.
Heritage place 36: Eddystone Point (Tasmania)
Eddystone Point lighthouse was first exhibited in 1889 and is constructed of local granite. The 37 m tall lighthouse was built with a Chance Brothers lantern and was fitted with the original lens from Cape Du Couedic in South Australia in 1961.
The Aboriginal Lands Council of Tasmania plan to open the lighthouse for tours once alternative access has been made.
Heritage place 38: Mersey Bluff (Tasmania)
The Mersey Bluff lighthouse was built in 1889 to mark the approach to Devonport, Tasmania. The tower is constructed of brick on a stone base and still houses the original Chance Brothers lantern room and lens.
The distinctive red vertical stripes were added to the outside of the lighthouse in 1929.
Heritage place 39: Swan Island (Tasmania)
Swan Island lighthouse is the oldest AMSA managed lighthouse. It was built in 1845 by ex-convict architect Charles Watson and his team of 20 convicts. The island is located off the NE tip of Tasmania and was automated in 1985 and de-manned in 1986.
Heritage place 40: Table Cape (Tasmania)
Table Cape lighthouse was first lit in 1888. The construction of the lighthouse followed the loss of the ship Emma Prescott in 1867 at Freestone Cove, and the Schooner Orson in 1884. Table Cape lighthouse was the first AMSA-managed lighthouse in Tasmania to be opened to the public for tours.
Heritage place 41: Tasman Island (Tasmania)
The Tasman Island lighthouse was built in 1906 from prefabricated cast iron panels imported from England. Until the 1930s the only communication available to the lightkeepers and their families was through pigeon post or by signalling to passing vessels. The lighthouse is opened periodically for tours.
Heritage place 42: Low Head (Tasmania)
The current lighthouse at Low Head was built in 1888 on the site of an original light which was built in 1833 by local convict labour. Low Head lightstation has a foghorn, one of only two still existing in Australian lightstations.
Heritage place 43: Dent Island (Queensland)
Dent Island lighthouse was first exhibited in 1879 in response to the dramatic expansion of coastal shipping along the Great Barrier Reef in the mid-19th century. The tower is timber framed, clad in galvanised iron and is identical to the Cape Cleveland lighthouse built at the same time.
Heritage place 45: North Reef (Queensland)
North Reef lighthouse, established in 1878, is one of the most remarkable lightstations in Australia. Built on a migratory patch of sand on a coral reef at the northern end of the Capricorn Channel, the lighthouse includes a concrete base used as a fresh water tank and a circular keepers’ residence built to surround the tower.
Heritage place 46: Booby Island (Queensland)
Booby Island lighthouse was built in 1890 to light the western entrance to Torres Strait. The tower has a wooden frame and is clad in galvanised iron plates, a distinctive construction method only seen in Queensland lighthouses.
The lighthouse underwent major works in 2016.
Heritage place 47: Bustard Head (Queensland)
Bustard Head lighthouse was first exhibited in 1868 to warn of several dangers to shipping including the low coral isles of the Bunker Group and the outcrops which line the coast from Bundaberg to Bustard Bay. The 17 m high cast-
iron tower of Bustard Head was the first light built by the government after Queensland became a separate colony in 1859.
Heritage place 48: Cape Cleveland (Queensland)
Cape Cleveland lighthouse was constructed in 1879 to mark the southern approaches to the port of Townsville. Timber framed iron clad towers such as this are unique to Queensland. The lighthouse underwent major works in 2011 and will be externally repainted in 2017.
Heritage place 49: Cape Moreton (Queensland)
Cape Moreton is the site of the oldest lighthouse, and the only one built of stone, in Queensland. The iconic 23 metre tower was built in 1857 from sandstone quarried nearby. A new lantern was installed in 1928, but the stone tower, the external stone stair at the base, and the internal cast iron stair, all date from the original construction. The two distinctive red bands were first painted on the outside of the tower in 1942.
Heritage place 53: Cape Du Couedic (South Australia)
Cape du Couedic lighthouse was first lit in 1909 on the south side of Kangaroo Island in response to a series of shipwrecks such as the Loch Sloy in 1899 and the Loch Vennachar in 1905. In 1957 the original 1st order Chance Brothers lens was removed and installed at Eddystone Point lighthouse in 1961.
Heritage place 54: Cape Northumberland (South Australia)
Cape Northumberland lighthouse was built in 1882. It replaced the MacDonnell Light which was built in 1850 after a spate of wrecks caused a public outcry for the protection of mariners along the dangerous coastline.
Heritage place 58: Cape Borda (South Australia)
Built in 1858 the Cape Borda light is located on Kangaroo Island. It is the third oldest remaining lighthouse in South Australia. It was built to guide sailing ships arriving in to South Australia off the Roaring Forty trade-winds and into the Investigator Straits and on to Adelaide. Tours of the lighthouse and on site accommodation are available to visitors.