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State Indexes > WA > Eclipse Island Lighthouse

The Eclipse Island Lighthouse

The Eclipse Island Lighthouse was built in 1926 as a manned kerosene light.

The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
The Eclipse Island as a manned Lightstation in the 1950s
Photograph: Linc Castle


Operation

LOCATION: Latitude 35° 10.9' S, Longitude 117° 53.2' E (map)
OPERATOR: Australian Maritime Safety Authority
EXHIBITED: 1926
CONSTRUCTION: Concrete
CHARACTER: Flashing (3) in 12.0 see
LIGHT SOURCE: 12v Lamp
POWER SOURCE: Solar panels
INTENSITY: 17,000 cd
ELEVATION: 119 Metres
RANGE: 15 Nautical Miles
HEIGHT: 14 Metres
AUTOMATED: -
DEMANNED: 1976
DISMANTLED: 1976 lantern room removed and beacon installed
CUSTODIAN: -

Overlooking the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse and Cottages
The Eclipse Island Lightstation in 2000
Photograph: Winsome Bonham


History

The Eclipse Island Lighthouse was a reinforced concrete tower built in 1926, and was the first Commonwealth light built in Western Australia. The light originally had a Chance Brothers lantern and first order lens, which were removed in 1976, and are now located in the Albany Residency Museum. A modern beacon was constructed in 1976 to replace the lighthouse.

Access to the island was difficult for the lighthouse keepers and for those bringing supplies. The island has no suitable harbour, and so a landing was built in a cove 15 metres above sea level. A derrick was used to lift supplies and people from small boats that were able to navigate close enough to the island. A wicker basket was used to haul supplies, and lighthouse keepers often stood on top of the goods instead of going in the basket. The lighthouse was demanned in 1976 after a fatal crane accident.

Marion Connelly, wife of a former lighthouse keeper, used to travel to Eclipse island lying in the bottom of the boat, fighting sea-sickness. When the supply launch brought vegetables, she would store them in a box outside the kitchen window, covering them with sand and water each day to try and maintain freshness. She and her lighthouse keeper husband tried to plant a garden on the island, but the rabbits that had been placed on the island as a source of food ate everything that grew. They had poultry, but to kill one of the chickens for meat meant that there were fewer eggs being laid. In between supply deliveries, they sometimes only ate one chicken per week.


Access

NEAREST TOWN: Albany
DISTANCE (Albany): <<>>
DISTANCE (Perth): 420 km (approx)
ACCESS: Helicopter (check restrictions)
TOURS: No
ACCOMMODATION: No

Overlooking the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse and Cottages
The Eclipse Island Cottages in the 1950s
Photograph: Linc Castle


The Surrounding Area


Letters

A Long Shot! John Edward Vaillant of Eclipse Island Bulletin Apr 03

Special Thanks to:

  • Linc Castle for Photographs

  • Winsome Bonham for Photograph

Sources:

  • AMSA

  • Albany Residency Museum

  • Brian Lord

  • Nash

  • Lighthouses of Australia: Images from the End of an Era by John Ibbotson

  • From Dusk Till Dawn by Gordon Reid


Page last updated:
Page created:
14/03/05
18/05/03

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