South Neptune Island Lighthouse

The rugged barren island was the second life for a lighthouse that had already given good service at Port Adelaide. 

Now replaced by a newer, less-elegant light, the old tower has moved on once more to have a new life back at Port Adelaide.


Port Adelaide River

The South Neptune Island Tower originally stood at the mouth to the Port River in Port Adelaide from 1869 until 1901.

In 1901, it was replaced by the new Wonga Shoal Lighthouse in built on the other side of the entrance to the Port River.

The tower was dismantled, moved and re-erected at for a new life at South Neptune Island in 1901.

South Neptune Island

The tower was originally constructed by Moreland and Sons, London for the entrance to the Port River in Port Adelaide where it stood from 1869 to 1901.

The wrought and cast iron tower was then re-erected on South Neptune Island, at the bottom of Cape Spencer, with a new lantern room.

The three keepers’ cottages are made of cement and rubble and unlike other South Australian stations are joined.

The island lacked vegetation and was without a natural water supply. Water was brought in with supplies and its use was severely restricted. 

continued below …

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Title Address Description
Cape Donnington
3035 Donington Rd, Lincoln National Park SA 5607, Australia

Go to Cape Donnington

South Neptune Island
South Australia, Australia

Go to South Neptune Island

Point Lowly
LOT 2 Port Bonython Rd, Point Lowly SA 5600, Australia

Go to Point Lowly

Port Germein
35 Esplanade, Port Germein SA 5495, Australia

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Warburto Point
Unnamed Road, Warburto SA 5558, Australia

Go to Tiparra Reef

Tiparra Reef
Tiparra Reef, South Australia, Australia

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Wardang Island
Unnamed Road, South Australia 5573, Australia

Go to Wardang Island

Althorpe Island (Lead)
Pondalowie Bay Rd, Inneston SA 5577, Australia

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West Cape
Pondalowie Bay Rd, Inneston SA 5577, Australia

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Althorpe Island
Pondalowie Bay Rd, Inneston SA 5577, Australia

Go to Althorpe Island

Cape Spencer
Cape Spencer Rd, Inneston SA 5577, Australia

Go to Cape Spencer

Corny Point
368 Lighthouse Rd, Corny Point SA 5575, Australia

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Troubridge Hill
90 Clan Ranald Rd, Honiton SA 5576, Australia

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Troubridge Shoal
93 Sultana Point Rd, Sultana Point SA 5583, Australia

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Port Adelaide
2A McLaren Parade, Port Adelaide SA 5015, Australia

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Port Adelaide (Heritage)
Unit 6/26-28 S Australia One Dr, North Haven SA 5018, Australia

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Marino Rocks
Marino Rocks Lighthouse, 40 Bundarra Rd, Marino SA 5049, Australia

Marino Rocks

Wonga Shoal
Wonga Shoal, South Australia, Australia

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Cape Jervis
Wonga Shoal, South Australia, Australia

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continued from above …

The island was too barren for vegetable gardens and except for fish and a few wild goats all supplies had to be brought in from Adelaide.

In 1977, a report was commissioned to determine whether the old tower could be reconditioned or should be replaced.

There has been much conjecture as to the motives of this Commission as many feel that it was to be a vehicle for the Department of Transport to replace the old light.

The light did continue until 1985 when a new round brick tower, 5.2 metres tall, 8 metres including the lantern room, was built.

The intensity of this new light was 274,000 cd and it was powered by twin 10kva diesel alternators.

In the mid 1990s, the keepers were withdrawn, and this new light was converted to solar power and the intensity was reduced to 24,000 cd.

Port Adelaide

After the original South Neptune Island Tower was dismantled in 1985, it was put into storage at the lighthouse depot at Largs Bay.

The people of Port Adelaide felt they had an affinity with the old lighthouse tower and felt that it should be returned to Port Adelaide.

After a great deal of lobbying, the lighthouse was restored and re-assembled on this site by the South Australian Maritime Museum in 1986.


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 Exhibited1901
LocationLatitude: 35° 20.2800' S
Longitude: 136° 07.0440' E
Original Optic
Current OpticVega VRB-25
ConstructionRed brick tower
Height5 m
Elevation43 m
RangeNominal: 17 nm Geographical: 18 nm
CharacterFl. W. (3) in 20 secs
Intensity37,213 cd
Light Source12V 50W C8 Halogen
Power SourceSolar Conv. 23/8/90
NotesAs at October 2016

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


The lighthouse grounds are open all year round.


Self guided tours of the lighthouse are available. 10am-2pm Weekdays, 11am-4pm Sundays


South Australian Maritime Museum

Associated Lighthouse

Wonga Shoal Lighthouse