The MV Cape Don Crew at Work

National Archives of Australia Collection


NAA: A1200 L45610

Painting the Point Charles Tower


National Archives of Australia    Photo Search     Record Search 

Lighthouses and Beacons as a search term returns over 550 items. The wonderful travelling exhibition Beacons by the Sea has been in part the catalyst in the large increase of images and records to be found online.

PictureAustralia      :     Google Image Search    :    Lighthouses of Australia Inc.

The success of your searching is most often determined by the choice of key words and then refining your search by including or excluding additional criteria. I have attempted to shortcut the process for you by showing as many relevant thumbnail images as I could find. The image above is its full size, so by going to the photo search option and typing in the reference numbers below each image or, typing in a series number, you will be able to click onto images in greater detail. NB: New images are continually being loaded as they are requested.

Series number A6247   Title   Glass plate copy negatives of Australian coastal lighthouses

NB: I am only showing those images with Lighthouse tender crew working on them on this page. See more NAA Lighthouse images.


NAA: A6247, L45670

Leseur Island

NAA: A6247, A3/3

Airlie Island


Series number A1200  Title Photographic negatives and prints, single number series with 'L' [Library] prefix

The date attributed to this series of images is 1963, the first year of MV Cape Don as the Lighthouse Tender servicing WA and NT. Certainly, some of the images appear very posed and may well have been a promotional set of images taken on the Cape Don's maiden voyage.

NAA: A1200, L45611

Point Charles NT

NAA: A1200, L45619

Marshall Shoals Buoy, NT

NAA: A1200, L45621

Roper Rock Buoy,


NAA: A1200, L45648

Captain Griffiths

NAA: A1200, L45649

Captain Griffiths

NAA: A1200, L45657

Bosun W. Osborne hoisting the 'not in command' signal

NAA: A1200, L45714

Getting from...


NAA: A1200, L45715

.... point A to...

NAA: A1200, L45716


...point B takes teamwork.


NAA: A1200, L45717

close up of buoy work

NAA: A1200, L45625

New Year Island NT

NAA: A1200, L45629

New Year Island NT


NAA: A1200, l45658

Engine room

NAA: A1200, L45665

Degerando Island landing point

NAA: A1200, L45666

Carrying supplies to the site

NAA: A1200

Repositioning the Medusa Buoy

NAA: A1200, L45667

Monorail on Degerando Island



NAA: A1200, L45668

Monorail on Degerando Island


Time to relax in the cabin and enjoy your hobbies and time off. Most steaming between points of call was done overnight. While the ship was away for about 3 months at a time there would be several crew changes in that time.

NAA: A1200, L45613

Assistant Chef Les Challiss with bread

NAA: A1200, L45617

Happy Birthday Matt

NAA: A1200, L45613

Matt Carr in his cabin

NB: The chair on which Matt is sitting are still on board the Cape Don today while she is being restored in Sydney.


Series number A8763 Title  Photographic colour negatives, single number with 'KN' [Colour Negatives] prefix

Cape Don crew work was varied - anything from the specialist work of the mechanical and electrical engineers to delivering Correspondence School of the Air lessons, clearing the vegetation from the immediate area, the never ending chipping, antirusting and painting of steel components, repairing anything from a gas leak to installing new solar panels to fitting bird spikes to sunvalves, transferring Keepers and their families and other visitors, delivering supplies to remote Keepers, building new lighthouse installations, replacing batteries, transferring fuel and water, check and replace tower bolts and even resupply emergency food supply locations. The work itinerary was planned prior to leaving. At all times they were involved in the maintenance of lights of the coast of WA and NT, inspecting each light as they arrived and making recommendations as to the need for future work itineraries. With the demanning and automation of lights, the work continued although now without the contact with the Keepers and their families, and included tasks such as installing helipads preparing for the end of an era of Lighthouse Tenders.

NAA: A8763

Changing the mantle at? Cape Don?


NAA: A8763 KN22823


Burning off at Adele Island

NAA: A8763

Mending the CLS ensign

NAA: A8763, KN22834

LARC beside Point Charles Light, NT


NAA: A8763, KN22833

Ropers Rock Buoy work

NAA: A8763, KN22831

Charles Patch Buoy NT