Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse

The Cape Bowling Green lighthouse is now on display at the Australian Maritime Museum Darling Harbour. Its removal caused a stir among locals, but it was too late.


About 40 km S.E. of Townsville across Bowling Green Bay is the light marking Cape Bowling Green. The Cape extends northwards like a thumb into the Coral Sea. The area is low, flat and covered with mangrove and scrub trees. It forms part of the Bowling Green National Park. The lighthouse can be reached by four wheel drive vehicles but, none the less, remains quite remote from the mainland and Townsville. It was built in 1874 as a manned light with a kerosene burner and Chance Brothers third order dioptric lens. Approximately 25 metres (80 feet), in height it was constructed of riveted iron plating around a wooden framework of Australian hardwood. In 1987 the light was gas operated.

Thursday 20 August 1987 the lighthouse tender, M.V. Cape Moreton.departed Townsville at 18.00 hrs and anchored off the northern tip of Cape Bowling Green at 21.00 hrs.

Commencing early next morning and for the next eighteen days, the work of dismantling the lighthouse continued. The weather throughout was dry and hot. Sandflies and mosquitoes were in plague proportions. The only shade was from a large piece of canvas fastened to the perimeter fence to form a canopy. It was nicknamed ‘Mosquito Alley’. This was the meal room, store room, conference room and carpenter’s shop. Operation Cape Bowling Green was now in high gear.

First to come down was the lantern house. From the red painted cupola, windows, heavy wall panels to the Chance Brothers lens, each section was carefully lowered to the ground with a maiden’s touch, and why not – the helicopter pilot was a lady.

From Bulletin

continued below …

© All images are copyright of their respective photographers and are not to be used without permission.

Title Address Description
Bay Rock
Bay Rock, Queensland 4805, Australia

Bay Rock

Cape Cleveland
1526 Cape Cleveland Rd, Cape Cleveland QLD 4810, Australia

Cape Cleveland

Cape Bowling Green
Unnamed Road, Alva QLD 4807, Australia

Cape Bowling Green

North Head
Unnamed Road, Bowen QLD 4805, Australia

North Head

continued from above …

In 1993, the Australian National Maritime Museum was ready the rebuild the Cape Bowling Green Light.  After some discussion, a site near the wharf was selected.  Reconstruction of the lighthouse started in late 1993 rebuilt piece by piece at Darling Harbour.

Essential conservation on the lighthouse was carried out in work made possible by a generous donation from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).  External link External link External link


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

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.

Technical Details

First Exhibited
Permanent Tower
Original Optic
Current Optic
Light Source
Power Source

  NB: Information is historical data and is not for navigational purposes.


The lighthouse grounds are open all year round. The tower is not open to the public.


No tours are available at present.


Australian National Maritime Museum  External link


  • Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse 2008 – FlashFlyGuy  External link
  • Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse 1917 – NAA  External link
  • Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse Conversion to Unattended 1919 – NAA  External link
  • Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse removal – AMSA
  • Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse Plans  – ANMM  External link
  • Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse Plans 1919 – NAA  External link
  • Cape Bowling Green New – John Ibbotson