Dent Island Light
Dent Island Lightstation, 2007
|Year first constructed||1879|
|Construction||timber frame clad with galvanized iron|
|Tower shape||conical frustum tower with balcony and lantern|
|Markings / pattern||white tower and lantern, red lantern dome|
|Height||33 feet (10 m)|
|Focal height||121 feet (37 m)|
|Original lens||4th order|
|Light source||solar power|
|Range||10 nautical miles (19 km; 12 mi)|
|Managing agent||Australian Maritime Safety Authority|
Dent Island Light is an active lighthouse located on Dent Island, a small island off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Dent Island is part of the Whitsunday Group of the Whitsunday Islands. Located on the south-west tip of the island, the light guides ships passing in the Whitsunday Passage, between Whitsunday Island and the islands to the west, and marks the Dent Island Passage.
From its inception, the lighthouse was closely connected to Cape Cleveland Light. Both lighthouses were recommend, approved, tendered and finally, in December 1879, constructed together.The light went through two upgrades in the 1920s replacing both the oil lamp and the fourth order lens with an incandescent gas mantle and a new lens. In 1983 the light was converted to solar power, and finally in 1987 it was demanned.
The lighthouse is a typical for Queensland, made of a timber frame clad with galvanized iron plates. It is topped by a Chance Brothers lantern room, and painted white with a red dome. A modern ML-300 lantern replaced the original lens.
From its beginning, the lighthouse was closely related to the Cape Cleveland Light. The construction of both lighthouses was recommended by Commander George Poynter Heath, the Chairman of the Queensland Marine Board, in February 1878. The lighthouses were formally approved in April 1878 and tenders for the construction of both stations, each including a lighthouse and two keepers' cottages, were called in May 1878 and closed in June 1878. The tenders were awarded to W. P. Clark, who also constructed Bustard Head Light (1868), Low Isles Light (1877), Double Island Point Light (1884) and Pine Islet Light (1885). However, following personal difficulties, the contracts were transferred to John Clark and James Wiseman who completed the construction of both stations in December 1879.
The tower was constructed in the unique Queensland method of constructing a timber frame and cladding it with non-structural iron plates or iron sheets. The original apparatus comprised a fourth order lens with an oil wick burner of 4,000 cd intensity. Like other lighthouses at that time it used a clockwork mechanism with weights, which had to be wound periodically. Due to its short height, only 6 metres (20 ft) from the base to the lantern, the mechanism had to be wound every 75 minutes.
In 1925, the light was upgraded to a 35mm incandescent gas mantle fueled by pressurised kerosene, with an intensity of 225,000 cd, visible for 18 nautical miles (33 km; 21 mi). In 1927 the lens was replaced with refurbished lens from Cape Cleveland Light.
The current light characteristic is a white flash every five seconds (Fl.W. 5s) visible at 335°-167°, for a distance of 10 nautical miles (19 km; 12 mi). The apparatus is an ML-300 and the light source is a 12 Volt 35 Watt Halogen lamp with an intensity of 1785 cd.
The tower is 6 metres (20 ft) from the base to the lantern, conical in shape. It is built of an internal timber frame, clad with galvanized iron plates, painted white. Access from the entrance to the lantern is via a circular cast iron staircase. The tower is topped by a 6 feet 7.75 inches (2.0257 m) diameter Chance Brothers lantern room, white painted with the dome painted red. The modern ML-300 lens is installed inside the lantern room.
The station includes two cottages, constructed in 1960, timber framed, fibro clad, with galvanised iron roofs. One of the cottages has two storeys and a closed verandah, while the other is single leveled with an open verandah. The station also comprises a winch house, stores shed, engine room and combined workshop/radio room.
Site operation and visiting
- List of Lights and AN362-01. Rowlett lists "37 m (127 ft)" which seems like a unit conversion error.
- Low Isles Light.
- AHD105369. says it was a kerosene burner.
- Lighthouses of Australia Inc.
- AHD105369. says 1926-1927.
- AHD105369. says 50,000 cd.
- AN362-01. Lighthouses of Australia Inc says 1981. AHD105369 states a conversion to electricity in 1982.
- List of Lights
- AN362-01. AHD105369 says the lens installed on the handrail of the tower balcony, but recent photos show it inside the lantern room.
- List of Lights, Pub. 111: The West Coasts of North and South America (Excluding Continental U.S.A. and Hawaii), Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and the Islands of the North and South Pacific Oceans (PDF). List of Lights. United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 2010. p. 202.
- Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of Australia: Queensland's East Coast". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- "The Dent Island Lighthouse". Lighthouses of Queensland. Lighthouses of Australia Inc.
- "Dent Island Light, QLD, AN362-01" (PDF). Aids to Navigation Schedule Issue 11. Australian Maritime Safety Authority. September 2004.
- "Dent Island Lightstation, Dent Island via Hamilton Island, QLD, Australia (Place ID 105369)". Australian Heritage Database. Department of the Environment.
- "Cape Cleveland Lightstation Precinct, Cape Cleveland via Townsville, QLD, Australia (Place ID 100383)". Australian Heritage Database. Department of the Environment.
- "Cape Cleveland Lightstation (listing QLD601794)". Australia Heritage Places Inventory. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
- "The Low Isles Lighthouse". Lighthouses of Queensland. Lighthouses of Australia Inc.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dent Island Light.|
- Searle, Garry. "List of Lighthouses - Queensland". Lighthouses of Australia. SeaSide Lights.