I love lighthouses and with a coastline as huge as Australia we have a lot to discover. I am drawn to their resilience and purpose, not to mention the incredibly stunning views they afford from their locations. No lighthouses are manned in Australia these days, they are all automated, but in some cases weather readings and other information are still taken from their locations.
You will never be disappointed if you’re travelling near the coast and search for where to find a nearby lighthouse. Making the effort which in some cases means having to do some pretty steep climbing will always give you the best spot to see the coast from these vantage points.
Whatever the time of day or weather conditions, lighthouses are always worth it. If you can manage a sunrise at an easterly facing lighthouse it’s a pretty spectacular way to start the day. During the day depending on the time of year you may be lucky enough to witness the migration of whales along the coastline with pods able to be spotted from up high. You can sometimes be looking down on birds nesting in the cliffs too.
If you’re at a westerly facing spot then sunsets are another perfect time to be there as the sun sinks into the sea on the horizon.
I find I am drawn to their sheer strength and stamina (as if they are living, breathing entities) at withstanding the forces of nature where they are placed. They are really a testament to the people who constructed them many years ago and those who maintain them today, looking elegant in their spotless white coats of paint.
Not all lighthouses are white though, some like the ones in Fremantle are markers for the harbour and others are beautiful pieces of art and memorials to commemorate sailors and seafarers who lost their lives at sea.
Some of the more memorable lighthouses I would recommend a visit to include the tallest lighthouse in Western Australia at Cape Leeuwin which is situated at the most south westerly point of Australia. It towers 56 metres above sea level and is sited where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet and wind and wave conditions can be wild. It is the third tallest lighthouse in Australia.
The most easterly point of Australia and a well-known lighthouse is the one at Cape Byron. Here if the weather plays it part you may see a spectacular sunrise.
Smoky Cape Lighthouse also in New South Wales takes a short but steep climb to reach but the views are worth it and the lighthouse itself is just beautiful.
The Troubridge Hill Lighthouse near Edithburgh on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula is another standout because of its point of difference being that it is made of clay bricks. Others like the one at Gantheaume Point in Broome are metal constructions.
Don’t forget to give some night photography a go, not easy but worth having a bit of fun with even if you don’t get that iconic starry night sky, beam shining shot.
(Not strictly a lighthouse but this obelisk at Port Elliot in South Australia is a navigation marker lit up at night.)