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State Indexes > NSW > Point Perpendicular Lighthouse


The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse with new solar-powered tower behind

Photograph: Ian Clifford

The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse at Jervis Bay

Built to replace the Cape St George Lighthouse, the Point Perpendicular Lighthouse is believed to be the first lighthouse in New South Wales to be built of concrete blocks, which were cast on the ground, then lifted into place.


Last Operation (1993)

LOCATION: Latitude 35° 5' 37" S, Longitude 150° 48' 19" E (map)
OPERATOR: Australian Maritime Safety Authority
EXHIBITED: 1899
CONSTRUCTION: Concrete Blocks
CHARACTER: Group Flashing (3) in 20 seconds
LIGHT SOURCE: 120V, 1,000 Watt, Quartz Halogen Lamp
POWER SOURCE: Diesel Generators
INTENSITY: 1,200,000 cd
ELEVATION: 93 metres
RANGE: 26 nautical miles (42 kilometres)
HEIGHT: 21.4 metres
AUTOMATED: 1993
DEMANNED: 1993
DEACTIVATED: 1993
CUSTODIAN: Department of Defence

The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse looking south towards the ruined Cape George Lighthouse [Photograph: Brian Lord ]
The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse looking south towards the ruined Cape George Lighthouse
Photograph: Brian Lord


History

The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse was established in 1899 to replace the inaccurately placed Cape St George Lighthouse.

The original 1860 lighthouse had been built in the wrong position due to inadequate supervision by the authorities of the day. It was not visible to the northern approach at Jervis Bay and failed to warn of offshore reefs.

Even though when the error was realised it was intended to show a light at Cape St George only as a temporary measure it was not until 1898, over 30 years later, that work began on its replacement on the northern side of the entrance to the bay.

This tower is believed to be a "first" in New South Wales. It is erected on a flat concrete base and is the first tower to be constructed of concrete blocks - made on the ground - lifted into position, then cement-rendered on both the inside and the outside.

This building technique eliminated the use of heavy scaffolding and shuttering which is necessary for the "concrete poured" construction of towers.

Most of the stores and materials for the new lighthouse were landed at Bindijine Wharf, constructed in 1898, on Honeymoon Bay inside the sheltered side of Jervis itself. They were then carted by house and cart to Point Perpendicular.

The original apparatus was vapourised kerosene, 100,000 cd with a range of 33 kilometres. The power was increased to 222,000 cd in 1909 and again to 316,000 in 1923. The light was converted to electric operation in 1964 with the installation of 2 diesel generators. When to light was finally replaced in 1993 the power was 1,200,000 cd.

The new "lattice" style tower is solar powered and the lightstation has been demanned.

There was much protest when the Department of Defence fenced off the area preventing public access to the lighthouse even though it had been agreed that access should continue. There have been mixed reports about what the current situation is though the restriction does seem to have been relaxed.

Also the keepers complex was put on the market at this time and it is also not known what the outcome has been.

The window above the main door is interesting as it displays the Waratah, the state flower of New South Wales, and the construction date of the tower.

The light was last lit by Ian Clifford on Saturday 17 November 1999 for the Seafarer's Festival Ball and to celebrate the centenary of Point Perpendicular.

The lighthouse was fenced off by the Department of Defence [Photograph: Howard Jones]
The lighthouse was fenced off by the Department of Defence
Photograph: Howard Jones

The last keeper, John Hampson, waves goodbye [Photograph: The Bay And Basin Review]
The last keeper, John Hampson, 
waves goodbye
Photograph: The Bay And Basin Review



The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse
Photograph: Annette Flotwell


Keepers

William Parker was the chief lighthouse keeper and his assistants were William Simpson and Arthur Bailey.

John Hampson was the last keeper and left in 1993.

We need your help in compiling a list of keepers for this lighthouse. If you have any information then send it to Web Keeper.

Please include this lighthouse's name, the keepers full name and what years they were keepers. Also include the same information for any other lights they were on.

The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse [Photograph: Ian Clifford]
The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse

Photograph: Ian Clifford



The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse relit for its centenary in 1999
Photograph: Ian Clifford

Pt Perpendicular 100th Anniversary

On 1 May 1999, the Point Perpendicular lighthouse celebrated 100 years since it was originally exhibited, although celebrations were not held until October 1999.

The Currarong Seafare Festival incorporated the centenary celebrations, commencing with the Seafarers Ball on 15 October 1999, followed by an art and photography competition based on "a century of seafaring". 

Celebrations were held at the lighthouse site on Saturday 16 October with activities including a Naval display, tours of the old tower, market day and children's activities. 

At around dusk, the new lattice lighthouse was turned off and the original lighthouse was re-lit by Ian Clifford for the first time since its decommissioning. 

Details of the celebrations are referred to in the May 99, June 99, Aug 99 & Oct 99 Bulletins.


Access

NEAREST TOWN: Currarong
DISTANCE: 11 km (Currarong)
: 43 km (Nowra)
: 210 km (Sydney)
ACCESS: The lighthouse can be reached via Nowra and is at the end of the Beecroft Peninsula in the Jervis Bay Military Reserve. Access is restricted 110 days per year for gunnery practice. 200 metre walk from car park, then enter through side gate next to one of the keeper's cottages. See July 99 Bulletin Report for full details of access.
TOURS: Only the reserve is open. The reserve is situated on the top of sheer cliffs (75m above sea level) and offers spectacular views, as well as opportunities for whale watching.
ACCOMMODATION: No. Camping at Honeymoon Bay

The Surrounding Area

The huge crystal lantern of the Perpendicular Lighthouse [Photograph: Ian Clifford]
The huge crystal lantern of the Perpendicular Lighthouse
Photograph: Ian Clifford


Features
Pt Perpendicular Expedition Report: (Part 1 of 2) Bulletin Nov 99
Pt Perpendicular Expedition Report: (Part 2 of 2) Bulletin Dec 99
Point Stephens and Sugarloaf Point Trip Report Bulletin Jan 00
Memories of Lighthouse Life Bulletin Mar 00
Mark Sheriff - The Heart of the Matter Bulletin Jun 00
Old Smokey to "The Cape" Bulletin Oct 00
Once a danger, now safe Bulletin Nov 00
I Have Wrestled With This Thought For Some Time Bulletin Mar 01
Marguerite & Nick Stephen's NSW Trip: Part 1 Bulletin Jul 01
Lighthouses From the Air: Part 2 Bulletin Oct 01
Annette Flotwell's East Coast Lighthouse Trip: Part 3 Bulletin Sep 03



The Point Perpendicular lighthouse and keepers cottages
Photograph: Kristie Eggleston


News
Access to Pt Perpendicular Lighthouse Still an Issue Bulletin Feb 99
Pt Perpendicular Lighthouse to Celebrate 100 Years Bulletin Feb 99
Belated Centenary Celebration for Point Perpendicular Bulletin May 99
Newspaper Article Marks Point Perpendicular 100th Bulletin Jun 99
Report on access to Point Perpendicular Bulletin Jul 99
Point Perpendicular to Celebrate 100 Years in August Bulletin Aug 99
Help Celebrate Pt Perpendicular 100th this month Bulletin Oct 99
Documentary to be filmed of Point Perpendicular Lighthouse Bulletin Aug 03
Arrangements underway to relight Point Perpendicular Lighthouse for International Lighthouse Weekend 2005 Bulletin Jul/Aug 05


The Waratah (state flower) and founding date on the window [Photograph: Cyril Curtain]
The Waratah (state flower) and founding date on the window
Photograph: Cyril Curtain

The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse keepers' cottages [Photograph: Ian Clifford]
The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse keepers' cottages as viewed from the tower
Photograph: Ian Clifford


Letters

Letter from Jayne Hindle Bulletin Jan 00
Response to Looking for Horace Parker Bulletin Apr 01
The Pleasure Of Viewing Your Site Bulletin Apr 01
The Opening of Cape Byron and James Gardner Bulletin Oct 01
Home Sick for a Rich Lighthouse Heritage Bulletin Jul 02

The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse [Photograph: Cyril Curtain]
The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse
Photograph: Cyril Curtain

The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse [Photograph: Ian Clifford]
The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse
Photograph: Ian Clifford


Other Point Perpendicular Sites

The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse on Jervis Bay Jervis Bay in Depth
The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse Grant Maizels
The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse Currawong
Plans Lighthouse Point Perpendicular Duncan Taylor Design
Point Perpendicular Lighthouse celebrates 100 years New Bush Telegraph
Point Perpendicular Preservation Issues Beecroft Action Group
The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse Living in Shoalhaven
HS748s near end « Great link to aerial view of lighthouse Navy News

Special Thanks to:

  • Annette Flotwell for Photographs
  • The Bay And Basin Review for Clipping
  • Brian Lord for Photographs
  • Cyril Curtain for Photographs
  • Ian Clifford for Photographs
  • Kristie Eggleston for Photographs

Sources:

  • ANPWS Brochure
  • AMSA
  • Max Uren
  • The Bay And Basin Review
  • Brian Lord

Page last updated:
Page created:
30/01/05
22/03/99

Site constructed by: 
Malcolm S Macdonald t/as Lighthouse Computer Training & Development (1997-2001)
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