Flat Top Island Lighthouse

The Flat Top Island Lighthouse is at the entrance to Mackay Harbour.


Flat Top Island Light is an inactive lighthouse located on Flat Top Island, a small island off the entrance to Mackay harbor at the mouth of Pioneer River, about 6.5 kilometres east of Mackay, Queensland, Australia. It used to mark the river entrance for shipping and the direction of the port, as well as highlighting close-by shoals at Shoalwater Point and a reef off Hay Point. At 6 metres from the ground to the lantern floor, it is the shortest of Queensland’s timber framed iron clad lighthouses.

Tenders for the construction of the lighthouse were called in February 1877, and the tender accepted on September of that year was by Archibald McIntyre. Construction commenced on December 1877 and complete in May 1878. However, the lighthouse was not officially lit, as the permanent apparatus was not available and a temporary one was used. The light was officially lit only on 27 December 1879 with the installation of the permanent apparatus.

As typical for lighthouses of that period in Queensland, the tower is conical in shape, built of an internal timber frame, clad with galvanized iron plates. The foundation was deep and wide, made of stone and concrete.  The height of the tower is 6 m from the ground to the balcony, making it the shortest of the composite lighthouses ever built in Queensland.

The permanent light installed was a fixed fourth order dioptric and was visible for. It showed white light for directions clear of danger and red over danger.

In January 1918 the lighthouse was the only structure on the island and the only aid to navigation to survive the 1918 Mackay cyclone.


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Title Address Description
Dent Island
23 Front St, Whitsundays QLD 4803, AustraliaDent Island
Flat Top Island
Unnamed Road, Mackay Harbour QLD 4740, AustraliaFlat Top Island
Mackay Harbour
44 Mulherin Dr, Mackay Harbour QLD 4740, AustraliaMackay Harbour
Pine Islet
The Percy Group QLD 4707, AustraliaPine Islet
continued from above …

More history.


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

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
Height10 m
Range19 NM - 35 km
CharacterFl. W.R. (4) every 20 secs
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. The island can be accessed by boat


No tours are available.


Detail to come.