Nelson Head Light

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Nelson Head Light
Nelson Head Light.jpg
Nelson Head Light, 2008
Nelson Head Light is located in New South Wales
Nelson Head Light
Location Nelson Bay
New South Wales
Coordinates 32°42′37.24″S 152°9′41″E / 32.7103444°S 152.16139°E / -32.7103444; 152.16139Coordinates: 32°42′37.24″S 152°9′41″E / 32.7103444°S 152.16139°E / -32.7103444; 152.16139
Year first constructed 1872 (first)
Year first lit 1876 (current)
Automated 1984
Deactivated 2003
Tower shape one-story building and no tower
Markings / pattern yellow building
Height 10 feet (3.0 m)
Focal height 128 feet (39 m)
Characteristic occulting white and red sector
Admiralty number K2771
NGA number 111-6056 (currently unlisted)[1]
ARLHS number AUS-116
Managing agent Coastal Patrol Port Stephens

Nelson Head Light, also known as Nelson Head Inner Light, is an inactive unusual lighthouse located on Nelson Head, a headland northeast of the town of Nelson Bay, New South Wales, Australia, near Halifax Park, on the southern shore of Port Stephens. The light served guiding ships into the port. Unlike other lighthouses the Nelson Head Light has no tower. Instead, the light was shown through the window of the lantern room, and later mounted outside.


The station was established in 1872, four kerosene lamps shown from a wooden tower.

Nelson Head Light, 1902

The current cottage was built three years later and the light was first shown from the house in 1876. The light was installed in an octagonal lantern room attached to the house and shown through a 3 metres (9.8 ft) window. The house was occupied by 14 resident keepers and the Maritime Service Board until 1985.

In 1946 the light was electrified and in 1984 it was automated. Since 1986 the Nelson Head Lighthouse and Rescue Station Trust has supported the preservation of the house. In 1990 the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol was appointed as trustee, and the house is now managed by Marine Rescue NSW under the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol was unified. The house currently serves as a maritime museum.

In 1995 the light was replaced with a solar powered lantern which was attached outside the previous lantern room. In early 2003 it was deemed unnecessary and the light was shut down.


The house is accessible by road from Nelson Bay. It is open daily for visits.

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