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Lighthouses of Victoria


State Indexes > VIC > Point Hicks Lighthouse


The Point Hicks tower lit at dusk
Photograph: AMSA

The Point Hicks Lighthouse

Originally called Point Hicks, then later named Cape Everard, the former name was reinstated in 1970, ending a long running controversy over the name of Captain Cook's first landfall in Australia.


Operation

LOCATION: Latitude 37° 48' 3" S, Longitude 149° 16' 7" E [map]
OPERATOR: Victorian Channels Authority
EXHIBITED: 1890
CONSTRUCTION: Cast Concrete
CHARACTER: <<>>
LIGHT SOURCE: <<>>
POWER SOURCE: Solar Power
INTENSITY: <<>>
ELEVATION: 56 metres
RANGE: <<>>
HEIGHT: 37 metres
AUTOMATED: <<>>
DEMANNED: <<>>
DEACTIVATED: No
CUSTODIAN: Parks Victoria

The Point Hicks Lighthouse
The Point Hicks Lighthouse
Photograph: Greg Beck

History

The Point Hicks Lighthouse was built in 1887-88, and was first lit in May 1890. In a break with tradition at the time, the tower was constructed of concrete. The two keepers quarters were built from timber.

The kerosene lamp and clock mechanism were upgraded to electric operation with the connection of mains power in 1965. The light was more recently converted to solar power.

The lighthouse is believed to be haunted by the ghost of former Lightkeeper Christofferson.

A unusual feature of the light tower is its cast iron spiral staircase, which has162 steps cantilevered from the walls, rather than the traditional stone steps which are built around a central column.

Originally access to Point Hicks was by sea. In 1920 a return trip, by land to Cann River, 47 kilometres away from the light station, took two days. By 1946 the journey had been reduced to 36 hours by a combination of horse and jeep. During the early 1950s it was still a 12-hour ordeal. Today, the journey is possible in 50 minutes but is still treated with respect.

The light was known as Cape Everard from 1843 until 1970 when it was changed back to Point Hicks. It seem that there was some doubt to whether this was Cook's first landfall in Australia, in 1770, because Cook had not taken account of crossing the International Date Line when recording his log. Therefore it was not challenged when the cape was latter named Everard. In the lead up to Cooks bi-centenary research was undertaken and the case was presented successfully to restore the rightful name. 

The area remains largely unchanged from the time it was first sighted back in 1770.


Overlooking the Captian Cook Memorial From the Balcony of the Point Hicks Lighthouse
The view from the Point Hicks Lighthouse balcony
Photograph: Greg Beck
The Point Hicks Lighthouse
The Point Hicks Lighthouse
Photograph: Greg Beck

The Point Hicks Lighthouse and Keepers' Cottages
The Point Hicks Lighthouse and Keepers' Cottages
Photograph: 1997 Grant P. Maizels


Access

NEAREST TOWN: Cann River
DISTANCE: 43 km (Cann River)
: 500 km (Melbourne)
ACCESS:

The reserve is under a private lease and it is advisable to make your presence known to the lessee. Last information was the closest vehicular access was to a car park three kilometres away. The rest of the journey made on foot.

TOURS: Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon at 1.00pm; Easter daily at 1:00pm
ACCOMMODATION: Accommodation is available.

The Unique Spiral Staircase With No Central Pillar
The unique spiral staircase with no central pillar
Photograph: Greg Beck


Features

Lighthouses From the Air - Part 2 Bulletin Oct 01
Dick O'Neil's Tasman Island Tour of Inspection Bulletin Aug 01
Point Hicks Ghost 100th Birthday Bulletin Apr 01
Australian Lighthouse Tour Bulletin Dec 00

News & Notices

International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend - 21-22 August 2004 Bulletin Jun 04
International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW) 2003 Bulletin Jun 03
Maintenance to be undertaken on Pt Hicks Lighthouse Bulletin Feb 99

Letters

Lieutenant Hicks and Point Hicks Lighthouse Bulletin Jun 03
Mystery of the Ghost of Point Hicks Bulletin Feb 00


Aerial view of the Point Hicks Lighthouse
Photograph: Winsome Bonham


The Surrounding Area


Other Point Hicks Sites

Point Hicks history Capt Cook Society
The Point Hicks Lighthouse Manda Coates

Special Thanks to:

  • Grant Maizels for Photographs
  • Greg Beck for Photographs
  • Winsome Bonham for Photograph
  • AMSA for Photograph

Sources:

  • AMSA
  • Brian Lord
  • The Captain Cook Study Unit
  • From Dusk Till Dawn by Gordon Reid
  • Gippsland Internet Pty Ltd
  • The Lighthouses of Victoria by Dacre Smyth

Page last updated:
Page created:
14/06/03
14/01/98

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)