On Queensland's Great Barrier Reef, the Low Isles (Islets) are 2 small coral cays located 13 kilometres from Port Douglas. They are situated on the western edge of the main shipping channel.
The lighthouse was first recommended by the Chairman of the Queensland Marine Board, Commander George Heath, in a letter to the Colonial Treasurer in February 1876.
The recommendation was accepted with tenders being called and the contract subsequently being awarded for £3,195 to Willeam Peter Clark, who had constructed the Bustard Head lighthouse.
The lightstation, on the flat low lying western island, was completed and exhibited in 1878. The 18 metre tower was constructed on a timber frame with a galvanised sheath in the typical Queensland fashion, however Low Isles was the first to have porthole windows. Attached to the top was a 1.5m diameter lantern manufactured by Chance Bros of Birmingham, England.
A timber staircase gives access to the lantern room. The tower was painted white with a red dome. All the buildings were prefabricated elsewhere and transported and assembled on site.
The final cost of the lightstation was:
capital cost of buildings - £4,090
cost of optical apparatus- £1,389
NEAREST TOWN: Port Douglas
DISTANCE: 13km (Port Douglas)
ACCESS: The lagoon here provides a good anchorage and is a popular destination for large catamarans with day-trippers from Port Douglas.+
LOCATION: Lat. 16º 23' S, Long. 145º 34' E (map)
OPERATOR: Australian Maritime Safety Authority
CONSTRUCTION: Timber Frame with Galvanised Sheeting
CHARACTER: Flashing White 0.02 in 10 secs
LIGHT SOURCE: 120v 1,000w Tungsten Halogen Lamp
POWER SOURCE: Solar Array
INTENSITY: 21,000 cd
ELEVATION: 28 metres to weather vane
RANGE: 16 nm
HEIGHT: 26 metres to weather vane
CUSTODIAN: Queensland Parks & Wildlife