Nobbys Head Light

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Nobbys Lighthouse
Nobbys Head Light, 1902 cropped.jpg
Nobbys Head Light, 1902
Nobbys Head Light is located in New South Wales
Nobbys Head Light
Location in New South Wales
LocationNobbys Head, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Coordinates32°55′6.86″S 151°47′54.27″E / 32.9185722°S 151.7984083°E / -32.9185722; 151.7984083Coordinates: 32°55′6.86″S 151°47′54.27″E / 32.9185722°S 151.7984083°E / -32.9185722; 151.7984083
Year first constructed1821 (first)
Year first lit1858 (current)a
Constructiondressed sandstone
Tower shapecylindrical tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / patternwhite tower and lantern
Tower height9.8 metres (32 ft)b
Focal height35 metres (115 ft)c
Intensity580,000 cd
Range24 nmi (44 km; 28 mi)
CharacteristicFl (3) W 20s.
Fog signalsiren: 1 blast every 20s.
Admiralty numberK2728
NGA number111-6064[1]
ARLHS numberAUS-118[2][3][4]
Managing agentAustralian Maritime Safety Authority
Heritagelisted on the Commonwealth Heritage List Edit this on Wikidata
Official nameNobbys Lighthouse
CriteriaA.1, A.4, B.2, F.1, G.1
Designated22 June 2004
Reference no.105373

Nobbys Head Light is an active lighthouse on Nobbys Head, a headland on the south side of the entrance to Newcastle Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. An image of the lighthouse is included in the Coat of Arms of the City of Newcastle.[5]

The lighthouse is operated by the Newcastle Port Corporation. The headland is managed by the Land Property Management Authority[6] and is open to the public Sundays from 10am to 4pm.


The first beacon in the area was an open coal fire set on Signal Head, with a range of 7 kilometres (4.3 mi; 3.8 nmi). This was changed in 1821 to a large metal device burning oil, which was visible for 12 kilometres (7.5 mi; 6.5 nmi), but shortly reverted to coal as the oil system was not reliable.

By 1846 Nobbys Head, originally a small islet more than 60 metres (200 ft) high, was connected to the mainland with a causeway. The island was reduced in height to improve the sailing conditions and to accommodate a lighthouse and signal station, built in 1858. The lighthouse was designed by Alexander Dawson, the New South Wales Government Architect. The original light had an intensity of 20,000 cd and was attended by three lighthouse keepers.

In 1934 the light was electrified and automated.

The current light source is an 120-electronvolt (19 aJ) 1,000-watt (1.3 hp), quartz halogen lamp and the power source is mains electricity with a diesel generator as backup. Currently at the site are three one-story keeper's houses, a three-story signal station, and other buildings housing the port watch. The entire station is floodlit at night.

Heritage listing[edit]

On 22 June 2004, the lighthouse and associated structures were registered on the Commonwealth Heritage List with the following statement of significance:[7]

Nobby's Lighthouse, built in 1858, is significant as the earliest surviving example of a lighthouse in New South Wales. The lighthouse is used in the Coat of Arms for Newcastle City and is testimony to the social and historical attitude toward Nobby's Lighthouse held by the local community. (Criteria B.2, F.1 and G.1)

Nobby's Lighthouse is significant as an important element in the establishment of navigational aids along the New South Wales coast, which reflects the economic development of the surrounding region. (Criterion A.4)

The lighthouse is significant as the first example of the series of maritime lights installed in conformity with the Trinity House Codes, after the Commission of 1856 reported upon Australian lighthouse building and maintenance. (Criterion A.4)

— Statement of significance, Commonwealth Heritage List.

On 21 October 1980, the lighthouse was listed on the (now defunct) Register of the National Estate.[8]


See also[edit]


  • ^a : According to "Lighthouses of Australia". Directory of Lighthouses says 1854.[2]
  • ^b : According to List of Lights. "Lighthouses of Australia" says 35 metres (115 ft).[1]
  • ^c : According to List of Lights. "Lighthouses of Australia" says 25 metres (82 ft).[1]


  1. ^ a b c 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. 2009. p. 124.
  2. ^ a b Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of Australia: New South Wales". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  3. ^ "The Nobbys Head Lighthouse at Newcastle". Lighthouses of New South Wales. Lighthouses of Australia Inc.
  4. ^ Searle, Garry. "Nobby". Lighthouses of New South Wales. SeaSide Lights.
  5. ^ "Commonwealth heritage places in New South Wales (Nobbys Lighthouse, Newcastle East)". Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Retrieved 21 July 2008.
  6. ^ McMahon, Jeannette (23 November 2010). "Opening Nobbys headland to the public". ABC News. Newcastle, Australia. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Nobbys Lighthouse (Place ID 105373)". Australian Heritage Database. Department of the Environment. 22 June 2004. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Nobbys Lighthouse (Place ID 1311)". Australian Heritage Database. Department of the Environment. 21 October 1980. Retrieved 3 November 2017.

External links[edit]