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South Mole Lighthouse
Admiralty Reference # 1765
1903 - present



What a difference a coat of paint can make!
Note also the addition of the higher pole which has a green light on it which flashes in conjunction with the channel markers.


Designer :
C. Y. O'Connor
First Lit :
July 20th 1903
Tower structure :
Cast iron - painted green with classical details
Tower Height :
Elevation :
Range :
Illuminating apparatus :
fixed green light
Fuel :
Light Character :
Latitude :
32 03.4S
115 43.9E


The view as you leave the harbour mouth, shows clearly the various structures which were built on the south mole as part of the gun defences during WW2.

More of a fisherman's point of view from the southern aspect.

July 20th 2003 was the Centenary of the first lighting of the South Mole Light with a white occulting light.
It was to be another week before the South Mole Light would flash out its own green light which has continued until today.

Centenary Celebrations : July 20 1903 - 2003
Beaconsfield Primary School students became involved in making sure that the 100th birthday of the South Mole Light would not be forgotten.  As a school excursion the Year 1/2 class and the Senior ILC class (Intensive Language Centre - where students spend one year acquiring the English language before they move on to their local Primary schools),  joined to share in discovering about lighthouses by first visiting the 'Beacons by the Sea Exhibition' at the new Fremantle Maritime Museum and then visiting the South Mole Lighthouse.

Following the excursion, the students created a variety of arts works based on their observations of the South Mole Light


Collage by the Year 1/2 Class 






With the construction of the Fremantle Harbour, there was a corresponding development in the installation of permanent lights. As the Arthur Head was being demolished to make way for the Arthur Head Battery, the stone was immediately used to build the groynes to protect the harbour entrance. Initially, the North Mole was constructed to a length that offered sufficient protection for the construction of the South Mole, which was then the first to be ready for the installation of its light tower. 
Two identical cast iron towers, designed by C.Y. O'Connor, had already arrived in 1902. The South Mole light was lit in 1903, and immediately problems were noted. The Dioptric white occulting light of the four order was too powerful and caused confusion with the Woodman Point Leading Light, both of which were visible beyond Rottnest. 
The solution was to install a fixed green light on the South Mole. The North Mole light which had previously displayed a green light, would henceforth carry a fixed red light.

Fremantle is known as the Gateway to Australia.  The harbour still has the occasional Passenger Liner visit but you are more likely to see huge container ships or live sheep transport carriers passing through the harbour mouth. During the war, an observation post was situated at the very end of the mole. You can still see the remaining buildings. Also visible are the cement slipways where the anti submarine nets would be lowered by steel cables to enable shipping to pass through the harbour. Once through, the nets would be winched back into place.

The Fishing Boat Harbour, on the other side of the south mole, is the home base for a major fishing industry including prawns, sardines (pilchards) and crayfish.