Built in 1908, Cape St. Albans Lighthouse was built to assist lighting Backstairs Passage between Kangaroo Island and the South Australian coast. The lighthouse is notable for its heritage significance and was placed on the Commonwealth Heritage List in 2004 for its role in providing navigational assistance, and its standing as one of the earliest unattended lights established in South Australia. The lighthouse is demonstrative of a transition in lighthouse technology of the early twentieth century.
Situated approximately 8.5 kilometres away from Antechamber Bay, the Cape St. Albans Lighthouse stands on the most eastern point of Kangaroo Island. After the cost of constructing a manned light was considered too expensive, the lighthouse was designed by South Australia’s Engineer-in-chief as an automatic tower with an open lantern floor plan. Although keepers from the nearby Cape Willoughby Lighthouse were tasked with checking on the tower, the lighthouse operated automatically. As a working marine aid to navigation (AtoN), the lighthouse tower is operated and managed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
The lighthouse was originally fitted with a self-contained lantern manufactured by Barbier, Bernard and Turenne in France. The current lens assembly is a 250mm focal radius fixed lens with a lamp-changer light source. The light runs on an automated mechanism as part of AMSA’s network of AtoN. The equipment is serviced by AMSA’s maintenance contractor who visits at least once per year. AMSA officers visit on an ad-hoc basis for auditing, project and community liaison purposes. Access to the site and inside the tower is restricted to authorised personnel only.
This heritage management plan is concerned mainly with the lighthouse, but also addresses the management of the surrounding land. The plan is intended to guide AMSA’s decisions and actions. AMSA has prepared this plan to integrate the heritage values of the lighthouse in accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth), and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000 (Cth).
Being well built and generally well maintained, the lighthouse precinct is in relatively good, stable condition. The policies and management guidelines set out in this heritage management plan strive to ensure that the Commonwealth heritage values of Cape St. Albans Lighthouse are recognised, maintained, and preserved for future generations.