Teacher or student
100 years of national management of lighthouses interactive map
The first marine light on Australian soil was built just a few years after the colony’s founding in 1788. This was simply an iron basket on a tripod finally replaced in 1818 by Australia’s first lighthouse, Macquarie Light.
In June 1911 the Lighthouses Act came into effect after an extensive report into the condition of existing state lighthouses and the need for more. On 1 July 1915 the Commonwealth officially accepted responsibility for all light stations around Australia.
From the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service’s inception in 1915, through various Commonwealth agencies (including AMSA since 1991), the Australian Government has been responsible for the provision of an extensive network of aids to navigation around the coastline, now comprising nearly 490 aids at approximately 380 sites.
Lighthouses are often regarded as romantic symbols in Australian culture, though first and foremost they are a symbol of safety ensuring safe passage for ships along our coastline.
See the interactive map detailing our 55 heritage lighthouses.
Search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370
On Saturday 8 March 2014, a Boeing 777—Malaysia Airlines flight MH370—took off from Kuala Lumpur airport on a six-hour flight to Beijing, China. It went missing during the flight and has not been found.
Read about our involvement with the MH370 search.
Major historical environmental incidents
These fact sheets outline our key roles and responsibilities in relation to ship sourced pollution: