Western Channel Pile Light

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Western Channel Pile Light
Western Channel Pile Light located on Sydney Harbour.jpg
Western Channel Pile Light, 2013
Western Channel Pile Light is located in New South Wales
Western Channel Pile Light
New South Wales
Location Sydney Harbour
New South Wales
Coordinates 33°50′25.72″S 151°15′51.36″E / 33.8404778°S 151.2642667°E / -33.8404778; 151.2642667Coordinates: 33°50′25.72″S 151°15′51.36″E / 33.8404778°S 151.2642667°E / -33.8404778; 151.2642667
Year first constructed 1908 (first)
1924 (second)[1]
Year first lit 2008 (rebuilt)
Deactivated 2006-2008
Foundation 12 piles
Construction concrete tower
Tower shape octagonal prism tower with double balcony and lantern
Markings / pattern white tower and lantern
Height 36 feet (11 m)
Focal height 32 feet (9.8 m)
Light source solar power
Range 5 nautical miles (9.3 km)
Characteristic Oc R 3s.
Admiralty number 286
NGA number 111-6192
ARLHS number AUS-286

Western Channel Pile Light, also known as the West Wedding Cake due to its shape, is an active pile lighthouse located at the Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, Australia, off Georges Head at Mosman. It marks the western end of the Sow and Pigs Reef. It collapsed in December 2006 and was reconstructed and restored to operation in December 2008.


Western Channel Pile Light was established in 1924, replacing a marker buoy, together with Eastern Channel Pile Light.[2] It was constructed from concrete bottom (originally known as the "gas house"), supported by twelve piles,[3] with a copper top and a wooden stakes skirt.[4] It was originally gas powered (probably a carbide lamp), and was later converted to solar power.[4]

In 1996 a 10 metres (33 ft) stainless steel mast, serving as a weather station, was installed on the structure, providing information about weather conditions in the harbor.[4]

The lighthouse was due for replacement in 2007, and a budget was set, but on 12 December 2006 it collapsed,[4] as one or two of the supporting piles broke.[3] The Sydney Ports Corporation employed Waterways Constructions to reconstruct the lighthouse.[5] The new tower was designed to look as similar as possible to its predecessor, using the salvaged and renovated lantern house, and a new lower section.[3] Reconstruction completed and the light returned to operation on 18 December 2008.[3]

Site operation and visiting[edit]

The light is operated by the Sydney Ports corporation. It is accessible only by boat, and is closed to the public.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ According to Rowlett and all other sources. 1947 according to Searle.
  2. ^ According to Rowlett. Tadros 2006 says the Eastern light was built in 1908.
  3. ^ a b c d Sydney Ports Corporation.
  4. ^ a b c d Tadros 2006.
  5. ^ "Sydney Ports - Putting icing on the Wedding Cake". sydneyports.com.au. Retrieved 14 September 2010. 
  6. ^ Rowlett.


External links[edit]