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Lighthouses of Queensland


State Indexes > QLD > North Reef Lighthouse

The North Reef Lighthouse

Because of the harsh conditions of living on the North Reef Lighthouse only men without families were allowed to be keepers there.

The North Reef Lighthouse sits on a sandbar island in paradise [Photograph: Lew C Dickson]
The North Reef Lighthouse sits on a sandbar island in paradise
Photograph: Lew C Dickson


Operation

LOCATION: Latitude 23° 11.2' S; Longitude 151° 54.2' E (Map) 
OPERATOR: Australian Maritime Safety Authority
CHARACTER: Flashing (2) Every 15.0 Seconds
LIGHT SOURCE: 12v Lamp
POWER SOURCE: Vapourised Kerosene
INTENSITY: 15 000 cd
ELEVATION: 24 Metres
RANGE: 15 Nautical Miles
HEIGHT: 24 Metres

The North Reef Tower lit up in all itys glory [Photograph: Lew C Dickson]
The North Reef Tower lit up in all its glory
Photograph: Lew C Dickson


History

The North Reef Lighthouse was completed in 1878.

The structure was placed on a small sandbank on a coral reef which form into an island, disappear and reappear.

Therefore the building of the lighthouse was a challenge.

The tower and dwellings, a cylinder 12 metres across and 15 metres high, were constructed of timber sheathed in galvanised iron.

It was anchored to solid coral reef bed with a hollow base of cast concrete thus giving it resistance to the shifting nature of the sand bar.

The hollow base also served as a tank for fresh rainwater that was caught from the roof.

There are no details of the original apparatus, but is is known that the light was upgraded in 1923 and again in 1929.

The light was converted to electric operation in 1977 after which is was demanned in 1878.

The light was one of the first stations to receive equipment that enabled the automatic transferring of operating and fault information to a monitoring station.

The light was converted to solar energy in 1987.

Great deprivations were suffered by families who lived on lightstation built over water or or on a small sandbar.

Because the keepers lived in cramped quarters in the base of the tower only single men were allow to go to North Reef as keepers.


Access

The reef sits off the Central Queensland Coast and is only accessible by boat.

The Surrounding Area

Letters

The sandbar came and went around the North Reef Lighthouse  [Photograph: From Dusk Till Dawn]
The sandbar came and went
around the North Reef Lighthouse

Photograph: From Dusk Till Dawn

Over the years the reef has stabilised into an Island [Photograph: AMSA]
Over the years the reef has stabilised into an island
Photograph: AMSA


Servicing the North Reef Lighthouse [Photograph: Lew C Dickson]
Servicing the North Reef Lighthouse
Photograph: Lew C Dickson

Aerial view of North Reef Lighthouse [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
Aerial view of North Reef Lighthouse
Photograph: John Ibbotson


Special Thanks to:

  • Jervis Sparks
  • From Dusk Till Dawn for photograph
  • John Ibbotson for Photograph
  • Lew C Dickson for Photographs

Sources:

  • Brian Lord
  • From Dusk Till Dawn by Gordon Reid
  • Lance Wilson

Page last updated:
Page created:
28/01/00
26/01/00

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