Joint media release: Historic Victorian lighthouse celebrates 150 years of service

Friday 30 November 2012
One of Victoria’s oldest and most significant lighthouses, the Gabo Island Lighthouse, turns 150 today.
Media Release

The milestone is being celebrated by the Parks Victoria and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque on Gabo Island.

Around 40 guests will attend celebrations at Gabo Island for the distinctive pink hued 47 metre high lighthouse.  Guests include David Maplestone, a descendant of the lighthouse designer Charles Maplestone who supervised the construction of Gabo lighthouse, as well as former lighthouse keepers and their families who lived on the island.  

Situated at Victoria’s eastern extremity, Gabo Island Lighthouse is Victoria’s only island based operating lighthouse, and its heritage significance has been recognised by its inclusion on the Commonwealth Heritage List Parks Victoria’s Regional Manager East Region, Andrew Marshall, said Gabo Island Lighthouse is as important today as it was 150 years ago.

“For 150 years, the unique flash sequence of the Gabo Island Lighthouse has guided ships safely through the treacherous waters of eastern Bass Strait.”

Mr Marshall said in addition to its role in maritime safety, today the Lighthouse is also an important attraction to the East Gippsland region.

“The Lighthouse has proved to be a popular destination for visitors, who can visit and stay, learning about the unique heritage from one of the current lighthouse caretakers.”

AMSA’s Acting CEO, Mick Kinley, said maintaining the lighthouse is an honour for AMSA.  

“Gabo Island’s historical significance is recognised under the Commonwealth Heritage List, and as an operational lighthouse, AMSA is proud to care for it while safeguarding the seafarers and passing ships,” Mr Kinley said.  

A message wishing Gabo Island Lighthouse a happy birthday today adorned the Lighthouse, signed out in historic international maritime signal flags.