Crookhaven Heads Light

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Crookhaven Heads Light
Crookhaven Heads Light c1908.jpg
Crookhaven Heads Light c. 1908
Crookhaven Heads Light is located in New South Wales
Crookhaven Heads Light
New South Wales
Location Nowra
New South Wales
Australia
Coordinates 34°53′56.84″S 150°46′12.8″E / 34.8991222°S 150.770222°E / -34.8991222; 150.770222Coordinates: 34°53′56.84″S 150°46′12.8″E / 34.8991222°S 150.770222°E / -34.8991222; 150.770222
Year first constructed 1882 (first)
Year first lit 1904 (current)
Construction brick tower
Tower shape cylindrical tower attached to 1-story building and lantern removed in 2011
Markings / pattern white tower and building
Height 23 feet (7.0 m)
Focal height 72 feet (22 m)
Light source solar power
Intensity 200 cd
Range 8 nautical miles (15 km)[1]
Characteristic quick-flashing white light[2]
Admiralty number K2594
NGA number 111-6500
ARLHS number AUS-061
Managing agent NSW Maritime

Crookhaven Heads Light is an active[3] lighthouse located at Crookhaven Heads, a headland on the south side of the entrance to the Shoalhaven River, north of Culburra Beach, New South Wales, Australia. Together with a movable light flashing yellow every 2s it serves as a range light into the channel. The lighthouse is in a severely deteriorated condition, and considered by some the most endangered lighthouse in New South Wales, suffering from repeated vandalization.

History[edit]

The first light on the vicinity was a red lantern made from a ship's masthead supported on two poles, present at the river entrance since 1872.

The station was established with a timber tower in 1882, as part of the Shoalhaven Signal Station 200 metres (660 ft) west of the current lighthouse, with Thomas Bishop as the first operator. The apparatus had been a brass lantern.

The current lighthouse was commissioned in 1904 and the old wooden lighthouse was immediately demolished. The lantern used was the one from the former Cape St George Lighthouse which was replaced by Point Perpendicular Light in 1899. The name of the station was then changed to Crookhaven Heads.

The power source was changed to solar power in the late 20th century.

State today[edit]

The lighthouse is currently in a severely deteriorated condition due to vandalism. The doors have been broken and removed, the windows and lantern room glass have been smashed and trash has been dumped inside. Vandalism is encouraged by its isolation and aggravated by the fact that the reserve is overgrown, making it impossible to see from the nearby Culburra Beach village.

The lighthouse was restored in the 1990s with wire mesh surrounding the lantern room, but no ongoing plan or presence was set. It was quickly vandalized again, and every piece of glass in the lantern was broken despite the protective mesh.

One step subsequently undertaken was to strip away the thicket so it would be more visible, but without a permanent solution that protects the site the authorities were reluctant to provide further funds. In 2008 NSW Maritime reported spending $25,600 AUD installing a separate light high atop the tower to protect it from vandalism.[4]

In July 2010, funds of $100,000 AUD were allocated for restoration of the lighthouse by the NSW Minister for Lands Tony Kelly.[5] The next step was to be a scoping study to determine the extent of work required, which was to begin in the middle of July, with restoration work to start by the end of August.[needs update]

Discussions were held between the Shoalhaven City Council and the state MP for South Coast, Shelley Hancock on 2013-09-23. [6] In April, 2015 the lantern is completely missing.

Crookhaven Heads Light in April 2015 - the lantern is completely missing, having been vandalised a number of times

Structure[edit]

The tower is made from bricks and attached to a one-story service building. Both are painted white, though the color is deteriorating.

Site operation[edit]

The light is managed by NSW Maritime while the land is owned and managed by the Land and Property Management Authority.[7]

Visiting[edit]

The lighthouse is accessible by a short hike through the bush from the parking area at the north end of Prince Edward Avenue in Culburra Beach. There are two tracks up to the lighthouse, one via a short boardwalk and the other to the left (west) via the beach. The grounds are open, but the tower is closed.

See also[edit]


Notes[edit]

  1. ^ According to List of Lights. "Lighthouses of Australia" says 6 nautical miles
  2. ^ According to List of Lights and Directory of Lighthouses. "Lighthouses of Australia" says "Fixed Red".
  3. ^ "Lighthouses of Australia", raises doubts, but it is still listed as active in the List of Lights as of 2009 (2009 edition released in 2010).
  4. ^ "Australia. NSW Maritime alert for vandalism of navigation markers.". bymnews.com. 28 January 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  5. ^ Adam Wright (7 June 2010). "$100,000 boost to Crooky's lighthouse". southcoastregister.com.au. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  6. ^ http://shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au/My-Council/Media-releases/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1113/Council-continues-Crookhaven-Heads-Lighthouse-discussions
  7. ^ "Historic lighthouse on Crookhaven Headland". heritagetourism.com.au. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 

References[edit]