Cape Jaffa Lighthouse

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Cape Jaffa Lighthouse (museum)
CapeJaffaLH 0666.jpg
Cape Jaffa Lighthouse
Cape Jaffa Lighthouse is located in South Australia
Cape Jaffa Lighthouse
General information
Town or cityKingson SE
South Australia
Coordinates36°50′09″S 139°50′47″E / 36.835941°S 139.846272°E / -36.835941; 139.846272Coordinates: 36°50′09″S 139°50′47″E / 36.835941°S 139.846272°E / -36.835941; 139.846272
Construction started1976

Cape Jaffa Lighthouse is a decommissioned lighthouse formerly located on Margaret Brock Reef near Cape Jaffa on the south east coast of South Australia and whose tower has been located in the town of Kingston SE since 1976. The former lighthouse tower is owned by the National Trust of South Australia who operates it as a museum. The platform which supported the tower is still in place at Margaret Brock Reef as of 2014.


The lighthouse, which took three years to build and was opened on 6 January 1872,[1] was originally built approximately 8 km out to sea from Cape Jaffa on the Margaret Brock Reef. Known as a Wells screw pile,[2] the original structure was held secure by being screwed into the reef's rocks. It was 41 metres high and was designed to suit the local conditions. On its original structure, the lighthouse had eight rooms, enough to accommodate two lighthouse keepers and their families with enough stores to last several weeks. The lighthouse used a Chance Brothers lantern which could be seen for a distance up to 40 km.

There were originally three lighthouse keepers. Two would be at the lighthouse with their families, while a third rested on shore, maintaining the lighthouse cottages and later monitoring the radio.

The federal government installed an automatic light to the structure in the early 1970s and handed operation to the National Trust of South Australia. After almost 101 years of use, the lighthouse was deactivated on 1 April 1973 when a new lighthouse at Robe began operation. The lighthouse tower was moved to its present location in Kingston SE in 1976 where it became a museum.

The museum has been listed on the South Australian Heritage Register since 24 July 1980.[3]

The structure on which the lighthouse tower originally stood still stands as of 2014. It currently hosts a breeding colony of Australasian gannets.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Opening Cape Jaffa Lighthouse". The Border Watch. Mount Gambier, SA: National Library of Australia. 7 February 1872. p. 4. Retrieved 30 May 2015. This reference has a good depth of detail, including reasons for construction time blowing out from one to three years.
  2. ^ Named for George Wells, licensee of Mitchell's screw pile patent. Percy Wells, a brother, was his agent in South Australia and also involved in the Tiparra Reef lighthouse.
  3. ^ "Museum (former Cape Jaffa Lighthouse)". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 16 May 2017.

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