Lights by Region

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Historical Photographic Collections


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MV Cape Don

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This site, created by Pauline O'Brien was first installed on 1/6/1998.

Latest update 1/1/2012

Unless otherwise noted all photos have been taken by myself or my husband John O'Brien.
Email: obees@upnaway.com    Fremantle, Western Australia.

 NB: While all pages are linked some still contain no data or images.

Recently updated pages - Great Southern Lights

Recent WA Lighthouse News

Cape Leeuwin and Naturaliste Lighthouses light up in pink

as part of ILLW celebrations

22/Aug, 2011

Heritage of WA Lighthouses

an interview by Ian Cameron with

Richard Offen, executive director from Heritage Perth

17 November, 2011

Breaksea Is restoration


Shortfall to finish cottages

26 Dec 2011

Illuminating tales of WA lighthouses


Shine a Light

featuring Bathurst  Cape Naturaliste, Cape Leeuwin, Point Moore and Gantheaume Point lighthouses



A Lighthouse by my definition extends beyond the traditional picture postcard image of the old limestone, cast iron and brick lighthouses of our coast. This site is an attempt to recognise the role and existence of both old - some even derelict or destroyed, and the contemporary lights which might appear as nothing much more than a light on top of a metal pole accompanied by a solar panel. Each in turn has helped to make the navigation of our coastline a safer route.

The construction and maintenance of lighthouses along the Australian coastline was the responsibility of each colony, but it was not until the granting of Responsible Government in 1890 and the discovery of gold that Western Australia could afford to build more lighthouses. The need was also greater, as the rapidly increasing population and spread of settlements meant a greater number of shipping movements around the coast. The developing pearling industry and gold finds in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions, led to further pastoral expansion in those areas. Three lighthouses were built in WA in the late 1890s, and eight lights came into operation between 1900 and 1905.

 In 1906, the Federal Government was indicating its intention to take over control of all coastal lights. This prompted a flurry of activity from the West Australian Government, because, as the Colonial Secretary pointed out:

"If we do not get all necessary lights established before that I am afraid it will be difficult to get the Federal Govt. to put them there, but if the lights are erected now, the Federal Govt. must continue them."

The Commonwealth Navigation Act covering lighthouses was proclaimed in 1911, but the Commonwealth did not take control until 1915.

Archived WA Lighthouse News