Bonnet Island Lighthouse

The Entrance Island and Bonnet Island Lighthouses stand at the entrance to Macquarie Harbour, a huge inland sea of about 260 square kilometres. Bonnet Island has an area of 2.2 ha.


The narrow 120 metre entrance to the huge Macquarie Harbour was discovered in 1815.

Within a year, timber cutters moved in and navigating the narrow entrance and its sandbar was an ever present hazard to vessels entering and exiting the harbour.

A signal station was erected near Cape Sorell in 1822 to indicate conditions to vessels entering the harbour. It was manned by convicts from the newly established penal settlement at Sarah Island.

The conditions were so bad at the new Sarah Island that the convicts named the entrance to the harbour Hells Gate. Other records indicate the name was used due to the enormous rush of the tides through the entrance to the harbour which can create very dangerous conditions.

In the 1890’s the discovery of silver and lead at Zeehan greatly increased the traffic entering the harbour works were taken to improve the entrance.

in 1891, a light was exhibited from two white eight sided (octagonal) wooden towers, one on the western side of Entrance Island, and the other on Bonnet Island. Also a breakwater was constructed at Hells Gate to check the sandbar and in 1899 a light was constructed a Cape Sorell.

A three roomed cottage was constructed on Bonnet island where a single keeper lived. On the opposite shore the Head lived and assisted when needed by rowing his boat across.

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Title Address Description
Blinking Billy
Blinking Billy Point Reserve, 652 Sandy Bay Rd, Sandy Bay TAS 7005, AustraliaBlinking Billy
John Garrow Shoal
Blinking Billy Point Reserve, 652 Sandy Bay Rd, Sandy Bay TAS 7005, AustraliaJohn Garrow Shoal
Derwent Lighthouse Iron Pot
Iron Pot, Tasmania, AustraliaDerwent Lighthouse Iron Pot
Tasman Island
Tasman Island, Tasmania, AustraliaTasman Island
Cape Bruny
Cape Bruny Lighthouse Tours, Lighthouse Rd, South Bruny TAS 7150, AustraliaCape Bruny
Maatsuyker Island
Unnamed Road, Tasmania, AustraliaMaatsuyker Island
Cape Sorell
Unnamed Road, Macquarie Heads TAS 7468, AustraliaCape Sorell
Entrance Island
Unnamed Road, Macquarie Heads TAS 7468, AustraliaEntrance Island
Bonnet Island
Macquarie Harbour,, TAS, AustraliaBonnet Island
Bluff Hill Point
Bluff Hill Rd, Marrawah TAS 7330, AustraliaBluff Hill Point
West Point
Unnamed Road, Marrawah TAS 7330, AustraliaWest Point
Sandy Cape
Unnamed Road, West Coast TAS 7321, AustraliaSandy Cape
Stokes Point
Unnamed Road, Surprise Bay TAS 7256, AustraliaStokes Point
Currie Harbour
LOT 1 Lighthouse St, Currie TAS 7256, AustraliaCurrie Harbour
Cape Wickham
687 Cape Wickham Rd, Wickham TAS 7256, AustraliaCape Wickham
Councillor Island
Councillor Island, Tasmania, AustraliaCouncillor Island
Highfield Point
Unnamed Road, Stanley TAS 7331, AustraliaHighfield Point
Highfield Point Old
Marine Park, 14 Wharf Rd, Stanley TAS 7331, AustraliaHighfield Point Old
Rocky Cape
Rocky Cape Rd, Rocky Cape TAS 7321, AustraliaRocky Cape
Table Cape
Lighthouse Rd, Table Cape TAS 7325, AustraliaTable Cape
Round Hill Point
Chasm Creek Lighthouse, 1A Bass Hwy, Chasm Creek TAS 7321, AustraliaRound Hill Point
Mersey Bluff
39 Bluff Access Rd, Devonport TAS 7310, AustraliaMersey Bluff
Devonport Leading Lights
6 Victoria Parade, Devonport TAS 7310, AustraliaDevonport Leading Lights
Devonport Leading Lights
26 Best St, Devonport TAS 7310, AustraliaDevonport Leading Lights
Low Head
496 Low Head Rd, Low Head TAS 7253, AustraliaLow Head
Middle Channel (Tamar Rear Leading Light)
180 Low Head Rd, Low Head TAS 7253, AustraliaMiddle Channel (Tamar Rear Leading Light)
Sheoak Point (Tamar Front Leading Light)
199 Low Head Rd, Low Head TAS 7253, AustraliaSheoak Point (Tamar Front Leading Light)
Swan Island
Unnamed Road, Tasmania, AustraliaSwan Island
Goose Island
Flinders, TAS, AustraliaGoose Island
Eddystone Point
Eddystone Light Station, 2986 Eddystone Point Rd, Eddystone TAS 7264, AustraliaEddystone Point
Deal Island
Unnamed Road, Tasmania 7255, AustraliaDeal Island
Cape Tourville
Cape Tourville Rd, Coles Bay TAS 7215, AustraliaCape Tourville
Cape Forestier (Lemon Rock)
Freycinet National Park, Coles Bay Rd, Coles Bay TAS 7215, AustraliaCape Forestier (Lemon Rock)
Point Home
Unnamed Road, Triabunna TAS 7190, AustraliaPoint Home

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The Strahan Marine Board purchased a dredge in 1909 and continued to improve the entrance so that many large vessels could enter.

The Entrance Light was powered by gas until 1977, when solar panels and batteries took over.

An officer of the Strahan Marine Board was stationed at Strahan until 19 May 1970, when the Hobart Marine Board took over.

The weatherboard cladding was renewed in 1989.


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 Exhibited1891
Permanent Tower
Original OpticChance Bros 4th order
Current Optic
Light Source
Power SourceSolar
  NB: Information is historical data and is not for navigational purposes.


The lighthouses can be reached by boat from the port of Strahan. There are regular tours of Macquarie Harbour that include the lights.


Tours of the island External link  are available. The lighthouse tower is not open.


No lighthouse accommodation is available

Associated Lighthouse

Entrance Island Lighthouse