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Lighthouses of Victoria
|State Indexes > VIC > Queenscliff Black Lighthouse|
The Black Lighthouse is located inside historic Fort Queenscliff
Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas
The Black Lighthouse at Fort Queenscliff
Queenscliff's famous Black Lighthouse is one of only ahandful in the world that are unpainted black stone. It is the only black lighthouse in the Southern Hemisphere.
Also know as the High Lighthouse it is located inside the historic Fort Queenscliff guarding the entrance to Port Phillip Bay
|LOCATION:||Latitude 38° 16' S, Longitude 144° 39' E [map]|
|OPERATOR:||Port of Melbourne Corporation|
|EXHIBITED:||1843 first tower; 1862 current black tower|
|CHARACTER:||Continuous White Light|
|LIGHT SOURCE:||250 watt, 120 volt globes|
|POWER SOURCE:||Mains Power, Battery Backup|
|CUSTODIAN:||Port of Melbourne Corporation|
The lighthouse was built to replace an earlier sandstone 1843 lighthouse that was under powered and the tower had structurally deteriorated.
The new light was built in 1862 in conjunction with the White (Low) Lighthouse and therefore had many similarities in design.
The lamps and housings were manufactured by Chance Brothers in England.
The entrance was 3.5 metres above ground level reflecting the English lighthouses that where built on rocks at sea level. The entrance was later rebuilt at ground level.
There are two greatly disputed stories of the origins of the bluestone used to build the lighthouse.
One version claims that the stone came from Scotland already cut and dressed as ship's ballast.
The other version which is considered to be the official one is that the stone was quarried in Melbourne and brought by barge to Queenscliff. Proponents of this theory claim that the barging in of the stone is what lead to the misconception over the origin of the stone.
Fort Queenscliff was built around the light after fears that ships carrying gold from the gold rush may be attacked by privateers.
The light was converted to gas in 1890 and later converted to electricity in 1924.
It is believe that the first public telephone service in Victoria was installed in this lighthouse.
The light, now automated, is unmanned.
|DISTANCE:||600 m (Queenscliff)|
|:||103 km by road (Melbourne)|
|TOURS:||Fort grounds only. Weekdays at 1pm, Weekends 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm. Phone (03) 5258 3403 to confirm time and for bookings|
The Black Lighthouse from the air
Photograph: Rod Cairns
The Surrounding Area
The Black Lighthouse before the establishment of Fort Queenscliff (1882)
Courtesy Queenscliff Historical Society: Fred Kruger 1882
|Pauline O'Brien Visits from Western Australia||Bulletin Jul 02|
|US Lighthouse Society Tours Australia - Part 2||Bulletin Jun 02|
|Lighthouses From the Air: Part 3||Bulletin Nov 01|
|Australian Lighthouse Tour||Bulletin Dec 00|
Aerial view of the Black Lighthouse at Queenscliff
Photograph: Winsome Bonham
Letters & Notices
|International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW) 2003||Bulletin Aug 03|
|Looking for Alfred Henry Stephens of Queenscliff||Bulletin Sep 02|
|Looking for James Dimond, was Keeper at Queenscliffe||Bulletin May 01|
|Revisiting the haunts of Ernest Gustof Fritz Johansson||Bulletin Feb 01|
The Black Lighthouse at Queenscliff
Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas
Other Queenscliff Black Sites
|The Queenscliff Black Lighthouse||Garry Searle|
|The Queenscliff Black Lighthouse||Rod Cairns|
|The Queenscliff Black Lighthouse||Grant Maizels|
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