Thursday, March 3, 2011


The Cape Bruny Lighthouse is an imposing thirteen metres high. The Lighthouse was established in 1838, after a series of shipwrecks in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. The Cape Bruny Lighthouse was built using locally quarried stone at a cost of 2,500 pounds for materials. The labour cost nothing as the Lighthouse was built by the hands of convict labour.
The legacy of all the backbreaking work of the convicts who brought the lighthouse to fruition lives on to this day, although the light was decommissioned in 1996, when it was replaced by a solar powered tower.
The Cape Bruny Lighthouse is enjoyed by sightseers & revered by historians as the oldest continuously manned  Lighthouse in Australia. 
Australia's longest serving head lighthouse keeper, Captain William Hawkins, served at the Cape Bruny Lighthouse for 37 years & 232 days from 1877 to 1914. 
Getting supplies to the lighthouse was a difficult job, prior to the Lighthouse Rd being carved through the bush.
Until 1915, steam ships & sailing vessels served the light. Stores of food, livestock, wicks, sperm whale oil & glass chimneys were all needed to keep the light house keepers & their families fed & the light burning.
On occasion, assistance has been given to ships which have suffered mishaps of varying degrees of severity. Often crews were given stores from the keepers' private supplies.

The original parabolic reflectors used approximately half a litre of sperm whale oil for every hour that the light burned.

The lighthouse reserve consisted of 184 acres of land that was used by the early keepers for grazing horses and other livestock. Vegetables, were grown by the early convict lighthouse keepers. There are still the remains of the convict garden on the sheltered side by the beach.

Wireless telephone apparatus was installed in 1930 and a pedal wireless set on 28 March 1938.

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