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Lighthouses of New South Wales


State Indexes > NSW > Warden Head Lighthouse

The Warden Head Lighthouse at Ulladulla

Originally built on the Ulladulla Breakwater in 1873, the light was shifted to Warden Head in 1879.

It is one of only 2 towers in New South Wales made from wrought iron plates.


Warden Head Lighthouse at Ulladulla
Photograph: Annette Flotwell


Operation

LOCATION: Latitude 35 22' S, Longitude 150 29.5' E (map)
OPERATOR: Waterways Authority - NSW
EXHIBITED: 1873 at Ulladulla, 1889 at Warden Head
CONSTRUCTION: Wrought Iron
CHARACTER: Group Flashing 2 Every 10 Seconds
LIGHT SOURCE: 120V, 1,000 Watt, Quartz Halogen Lamp
POWER SOURCE: 110 volt DC Battery Charger from Mains Power
INTENSITY: 28,000 cd
ELEVATION: 34 Metres
RANGE: 17 Nautical Miles (28 Kilometres)
HEIGHT: 12.2 Metres
AUTOMATED: 1920
DEMANNED: 1920
DEACTIVATED: No
CUSTODIAN: Waterways Authority - NSW
HERITAGE: Register of the National Estate

The Warden Head Lighthouse in 1920 [Photograph Courtesy: State Archive of NSW]
The Warden Head Lighthouse in 1920
Photograph Courtesy: State Archives of NSW


The Warden Head Lighthouse in 1910 [Photograph Courtesy: Cathy Dunn]
The Warden Head Lighthouse in 1910
Photograph Courtesy: Cathy Dunn

The Warden Head Lighthouse looking east [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The Warden Head Lighthouse looking east
Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas

History

The combination of the Bomborras (north and south reefs) and Warden Head lead to the loss of several ships and lives as they tried to enter the Port of Ulladulla.

The lighthouse was built in 1873 and was originally located at the entrance to the harbour in the fishing town of Ulladulla on the NSW Coast.

It was designed in the Colonial Architect's Office by Edward Moriarty in the same style as the Wollongong Breakwater Light.

Joseph Mather won the contract to build both lighthouses, and this was built after he had completed the first one at Wollongong.

These two lighthouses were unusual in New South Wales in that they were made of curved wrought-iron plates riveted together to form a shell, in the fashion of some Queensland, South Australian and Western Australian lighthouses.

The wrought iron plates were designed and assembled in Mather's foundry at Wollongong, after which they assembled them on site. The tower is topped with a small ornate balcony with an iron handrail. The first apparatus was a fixed oil wick light that gave off 800 candelas.

Under James Barnet's direction the lighthouse was relocated to Ulladulla's south headland, Warden's Head, in 1889.

In 1920 the original oil lamp was replaced with a flashing light powered by acetylene gas for automatic operation and the station was demanned. The next conversion was to to electricity in 1964. The light is now battery operated and float charged from 240v mains supply.

The current road out to Warden's Head and car park was developed by the Ulladulla Council in the 1940's to encourage visitors to the lighthouse.

 

Keepers

The first Lighthouse keeper was William Gambell, an ex-sea captain who lived with his wife and family in a slab house on the beach.

With the re-location of the lighthouse, the keeper's cottage were also re-erected at Warden Head, in 1889.

After automation and demanning the keeper's cottage was removed from Warden Head to the nearby town of Milton in 1922 where today it is used as a doctor's surgery.

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 Warden Head Lighthouse looking south [Photograph: Brian Lord]
The Warden Head Lighthouse looking south
Photograph: Brian Lord

The Warden Head Lighthouse looking west [Photograph: Ian Clifford]
The Warden Head Lighthouse looking west
Photograph: Ian Clifford

The Warden Head Lighthouse in 1879 at its original location on the Ulladulla Breakwater [Photograph: Milton Ulladulla and District Historical Society]
The Warden Head Lighthouse in 1879 at its original location on the Ulladulla Breakwater
Photograph Courtesy: Milton Ulladulla and District Historical Society


Access

NEAREST TOWN: Ulladulla
DISTANCE: 2 km (Ulladulla)
: 210 km (Canberra)
: 227 km (Sydney)
ACCESS: Public Reserve by road
TOURS: No
ACCOMMODATION: No

The Surrounding Area


The Warden Head Lighthouse at Ulladulla [Photograph: Rod Cairns]
The Warden Head Lighthouse at Ulladulla
Photograph: Rod Cairns


Features

Pt Perpendicular Expedition Report: (Part 2 of 2) Bulletin Dec 99
Lighthouses From the Air: Part 2 Bulletin Oct 01
Annette Flotwell's East Coast Lighthouse Trip: Part 3 Bulletin Sep 03


Aerial view of the Warden Head Lighthouse
Photograph: Winsome Bonham


Other Warden Head Sites

The Warden Head Lighthouse Grant Maizels
The Warden Head Lighthouse Cathy Dunn
The Warden Head Lighthouse Pete Amass
Warden Head (Ulladulla) - NSW Garry Searle
Warden Head, Ulladulla, NSW Kevin Mulcahy

Special Thanks to:

  • Annette Flotwell for Photograph
  • Brian Lord for Photographs
  • Cathy Dunn
  • Ed Kavaliunas for Photographs
  • Milton Ulladulla and District Historical Society for Historic Photographs
  • Rod Cairns for Photographs
  • Winsome Bonham for Photograph

Sources:

  • AMSA
  • Cathy Dunn
  • From Dawn Till Dusk by Gordon Reid
  • Rod Cairns

Page last updated:
Page created:
6/10/03
27/01/00

Site constructed by: 
Malcolm S Macdonald t/as Lighthouse Computer Training & Development (1997-2001)
Copyright All rights reserved.
1997-2001 Malcolm S Macdonald and individual contributors as acknowledged.
2002-2007 Lighthouses of Australia Inc (LoA Inc) and individual contributors as acknowledged. & Lighthouses of Australia Inc (2002-2007)