The Cape Byron LighthouseClaim

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Constructed of prefabricated concrete blocks in 1901, the Cape Byron Lighthouse stands on the most easterly point of the Australian mainland and is Australia's most easterly lighthouse.

It is built in the James Barnet style, by his successor, Charles Harding. James Barnet, the New South Wales colonial architect, was renown for his towers having large ornate crowns and are easily distinguished.

The first-order optical lens, which weighs 8 tons, was made by the French company, Societe des Establishment, Henry Lepante, Paris. It contains 760 pieces of highly polished prismatic glass.

The original concentric six wick burner was 145,000 cd. This was replaced in 1922 by a vapourised kerosene mantle burner which gave an illumination of 500,000 cd.

In 1956, the light became Australia's most powerful, at 2,200,00 cd when it was converted to mains electricity. At the same time the clock mechanism was replaced by an electric motor.

An auxiliary fixed red light is also exhibited from the tower to cover Juan and Julian Rocks to the north east.

A great banquet was arranged for the opening in 1901 and many dignitaries, including the NSW Premier of the day John See, were invited. However due to adverse weather conditions the premiers ship was delayed by till the following day and the banquet was held without him. The opening by the Premier took place a day late on the Sunday.

It is interesting to note that Cape Byron was named by Captain Cook after John Byron, grandfather of the famous poet.


We need your help in compiling a list of keepers for this lighthouse. If you have any information then send it to Web Keeper.

Please include this lighthouse's name, the keepers full name and what years they were keepers. Also include the same information for any other lights they were on.

Preservation Issues

The ownership of the reserve was handed over to the Parks and Wildlife Service of New South Wales in 1998. The reserve was already under a lease to the Cape Byron Headland Reserve Trust who maintain and secure the site and buildings. It is currently used as a base for whale watching.

DISTANCE: 3 km (Byron Bay)
: 800 km (Sydney)
: 175 km (Brisbane)
ACCESS: Located to the east of the Byron Bay township, it is accessible by foot, although with 500,00 visitors a year, car parking can be a problem.

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The Cape Byron Lighthouse The Cape Byron Lighthouse The Cape Byron Lighthouse The Cape Byron Lighthouse
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  • Latitude -28.6408
  • Longitude 153.6333

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