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State Indexes > QLD > Lady Elliot Island Lighthouse


The Lady Elliot Island Lighthouse
Photograph: John Ibbotson

The Lady Elliot Island Lighthouse

The Lady Elliot Island Lighthouse on the Great Barrier Reef is significant as it was the third completed in Queensland after separation from New South Wales.

It was also the first built in Australia using a timber framed substructure and cast iron external cladding.


Operation

:LOCATION Latitude. 24° 07' S, Longitude. 152° 45' E
OPERATOR Australian Maritime Safety Authority
CHARACTER: -
LIGHT SOURCE: -
POWER SOURCE: Solar Power
INTENSITY: -
ELEVATION: 24 metres
RANGE: -
HEIGHT: 18 metres

History

The lightstation, completed in 1873, is significant as it was the third completed in Queensland after separation from New South Wales.

It is also significant as it was the first built in Australia using a timber framed substructure and cast iron external cladding.

A temporary light was erected there in 1866 which was in the form of a tall mast on which the light was exhibited. The light was erected in connection with the guano company mining on the island and blew away in a gale in 1871.

A new mast was erected and in 1872 plans were drawn up for the lighthouse.

The light was originally a flashing white light of 4,000 candle power.This was increased in 1923 to 23,000 candle power and again in 1928 to 85,000 candle power.

The pedestal was altered in 1928.

100 km from the coast, the 6 Hectares (15 acres) island, is a coral cay being only 2 metres above sea level. It is at the southern most point of The Great Barrier Reef.

It's name is given by the crew of the Lady Elliot, a British ship, who were the first to discover the island.

Many wrecks surround the island and over the years, the keepers have assisted in many sea rescues.

The island was badly deforested by the original guano mining, however much work has been done to restore the vegetation, mainly casuarinas (she-oaks), pandanus palms, and a few pisonias, which has brought back a large bird nesting population.

Again the hardships of living on a lighthouse on such a remote island, and at sea, are brought to us by the two headstones enclosed by a low white picket fence.

One is of the 30-year-old daughter of the first Lady Elliot lightkeeper. This young woman was born on the island and lived most of her lonely life there. She contracted pneumonia and despite desperate efforts by her parents, (stores ships at that time only called once every four months) died in 1896.

The other is that of a turn-of-the-century wife of a ship's captain who died at sea, but had earlier made her husband promise to bury her on terra firma (Lady Elliot Island being the nearest landfall).

 

Access

The island is 100 km off the South Queensland coast the only access is by air or boat. No information on tours or accommodation at present.

The Lady Elliot  Island Lighthouse Through Thicket
The Lady Elliot Island Lighthouse through thicket
Photograph: Ken Gott

The Lady Elliot  Island Lighthouse From Base
The Lady Elliot Island Lighthouse
Photograph: Tony Wheeler

The Lady Elliot  Island Lighthouse Through Thicket
The Lady Elliot Island Lighthouse through thicket
Photograph: Ken Gott

The Lady Elliot Lighthouse Close Up
The Lady Elliot Island Lighthouse
Photograph: Ken Gott


The Surrounding Area

News

Letters

Other Lady Elliot Island Sites


Special Thanks to:

  • Cyril Curtain
  • Ken Gott for Photographs
  • Tony Wheeler for Photographs
  • John Ibbotson for Photograph

Sources:

  • AMSA
  • Brian Lord
  • Darrel Roche

Page last updated:
Page created:
30/01/05
21/06/98

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)