Grotto Point Light

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Grotto Point Light
Port Jackson Entrance Range Front
Grotto Point Light.jpg
Grotto Point Light
Grotto Point Light is located in New South Wales
Grotto Point Light
New South Wales
Location Balgowlah Heights
New South Wales
Coordinates 33°49′3.97″S 151°15′41.64″E / 33.8177694°S 151.2615667°E / -33.8177694; 151.2615667Coordinates: 33°49′3.97″S 151°15′41.64″E / 33.8177694°S 151.2615667°E / -33.8177694; 151.2615667
Year first constructed 1910
Year first lit 1911
Construction masonry and brick tower[1]
Tower shape cylindrical tower with domed roof
Markings / pattern white tower
Height 26 feet (8 m)[2]
Focal height 61 feet (19 m)
Original lens catadioptric lens
Range white :12 nautical miles (22 km; 14 mi)
red / green: 9 nautical miles (17 km; 10 mi)
Characteristic Oc (4) WRG 15s.
white on range, red right, green left, obscured other
Admiralty number K2638
NGA number 111-6184
ARLHS number AUS-087
Managing agent Sydney Harbour National Park

Grotto Point Light, also known as Port Jackson Entrance Range Front Light, is an active lighthouse located at Grotto Point, a rocky headland at the southernmost tip of Balgowlah Heights, New South Wales, Australia, on the north side of Sydney Harbour. It serves as the front range light, Rosherville Light serving as the rear light, into Port Jackson. Rosherville Light is located almost exactly 1 mile (1.6 km) (1,690 yards (1,550 m) to be exact) behind Grotto Point Light.


An 1939 view of the lighthouse

The decision to build the range lights was taken in 1909. Construction began in 1910 and the light was first lit on September 1, 1911. It is one of four such lighthouses designed by architect Maurice Festu in a style now sometimes called "Disney Castle", the others being Rosherville Light, Vaucluse Bay Range Front Light and Vaucluse Bay Range Rear Light.

The original light source was a carbide lamp (acetylene gas) which was initially generated on-site, and later replaced by compressed gas cylinders brought by boat.

Later, the light was electrified and connected to the mains electricity.


The structure is a masonry and brick domed tower, attached to two barrel-vaulted service sections in decreasing heights, all pointed white. The structure is surrounded by a white picket fence. The light is shone through a 2 by 1 metre (6.6 ft × 3.3 ft) horizontal slit, about two thirds of the way up the tower.

The lens is a catadioptric apparatus.

Site operation[edit]

The light is operated by the Sydney Ports corporation while the site is managed by the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water as part of the Sydney Harbour National Park.


The site is accessible by a short hike from Castle Rock track. The grounds are open but the tower is closed to the public.

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ According to the fact-sheet. Concrete according to The Lighthouse Directory.
  2. ^ According to The Lighthouse Directory and the fact-sheet. "SeaSide Lights" says 13 feet (4.0 m)

External links[edit]