Cape Cleveland Lighthouse

On the 6th June 1770, James Cook, in the “Endeavour”, viewed the coastline from 10kms out to sea, and he almost certainly named the Cape because it reminded him of his home county of Cleveland (literally ‘cliff-land’) in northern England.


Cape Cleveland was first lit with a 4th order revolving light in December 1879.

The light shows red through an arc of about 16 degrees, the centre of which is in line with Salamander Reef. Vessels from the southward, after passing through the red sector will while the white light is in sight, be clear of that danger.

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service have entered into a 20-year agreement with Townsville business people Ray and Sue Boundy to manage and maintain the buildings at the Cape Cleveland lighthouse site. The agreement focuses on preserving the heritage of the site and its buildings while allowing for economic opportunities through tourism.

Cape Cleveland lighthouse was automated in 1991, resulting in much of the former complex being redundant. In 1997, the balance of the complex together with the surrounding former lighthouse reserve was transferred to the state of Queensland on the basis that the heritage significance of the site be maintained. The state vested this responsibility with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS).

The Cape Cleveland lighthouse station became a protected area upon the gazettal of the Bowling Green Bay Conservation Park on 5 May 2000.

continued below …

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

Title Address Description
Fitzroy Island
207 Back Beach Rd, Yarrabah QLD 4871, Australia

Fitzroy Island

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


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 ExhibitedDecember 1879
Permanent Tower
Location19°10.9793' S 147°00.9277' E
Original Optic4th Order revolving
Current OpticVega VRB-25 (Located inside lantern)
ConstructionMetal clad timber framed tower and lantern with red cupola
Height11 m
Elevation64 m
RangeNominal: White: 15 nm Red: 12 nm
Geographical: 21 nm
CharacterFl. W.R. 7.52 secs
IntensityWhite: 48,430 cd Red: 10,170 cd
Light Source12V 20W C8 Halogen LP PR30s
Power SourceSolar Conversion: 19/9/87
NotesAs at March 2016

  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.


Tours are available  Cape Cleveland Lighthouse Tour


No lighthouse accommodation is available


Detail to come.

Friends Group


  • Cape Cleveland Light keepers house – bauplenut  External link
  • Cape Cleveland Lighthouse North Queensland – SLQ  External link
  • Cape Cleveland from the air – ABC  External link
  • Cape Cleveland Light closeup 1917 – NAA  External link
  • Cape Cleveland – Layout of Lighthouse Station 1952 – NAA  External link
  • Cape Cleveland Lighthouse ILLW – Bill Carter