Port Phillip Heads Lights

The entrance to Port Phillip Bay is graced by three lighthouses, the Black Lighthouse at Queenscliff, the White Lighthouse at Queenscliff and the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse.

History

Operation of High and Low Lights

About the original operation of the high and low lights, ET Raison in his book, “Lighthouses at Port Philip Heads”, states:

The new high light was continuous white light as was shown in the old sandstone lighthouse, but the new lower light had white and red sectors to assist mariners to determine their position. As ships approached the Heads, a white light showed below the white, upper light, and as the ship advanced, it moved into the red sector of the lower light. While the red light was visible below the white light, the ship was in the channel and could safely enter the bay.

The operation was enhanced in 1924, and again in 1974, as a result of the widening of the channel and Raison goes on to say:

… a steel structure, known as the Hume tower, was erected to the west of the lower light which indicated the western extremity of the new channel when viewed in line with the upper light. In May 1974 another steel structure, known as the Murray Tower, was erected to replace the obelisk (on the eastern side) which was demolished soon after. The lights on both towers operate in unison with the lower light.

This is demonstrated on Rod Cairns’ excellent page, Leading Lights at Port Phillip Heads.

Entering Pt Phillip Heads rc

Entering Pt Phillip Heads

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

Melbourne Leading Light Rear

Melbourne Leading Light Rear

Melbourne Leading Light Rear
66 Beacon Vista, Port Melbourne VIC 3207, Australia

Melbourne Leading Light Rear

Direction

Melbourne Leading Light Front

Melbourne Leading Light Front

Melbourne Leading Light Front
Bay Trail, Port Melbourne VIC 3207, Australia

Melbourne Leading Light Front

Direction

Williamstown Timeball

Williamstown Timeball

Williamstown Timeball
Timeball Tower, Williamstown VIC 3016, Australia

Williamstown Timeball

Direction

Point Gellibrand Pile Light

Point Gellibrand Pile Light

Point Gellibrand Pile Light
31 Battery Rd, Williamstown VIC 3016, Australia

Point Gellibrand Pile Light

Direction

West Channel Pile Light

West Channel Pile Light

West Channel Pile Light
75 Bluff Rd, St Leonards VIC 3223, Australia

West Channel Pile Light

Direction

South Channel Pile Light

South Channel Pile Light

South Channel Pile Light
2591 Point Nepean Rd, Rye VIC 3941, Australia

South Channel Pile Light

Direction

Eastern (McCrae)

Eastern (McCrae)

Eastern (McCrae)
658 Point Nepean Rd, McCrae VIC 3938, Australia

Eastern (McCrae)

Direction

Cape Schanck

Cape Schanck

Cape Schanck
Cape Schanck Access Rd, Cape Schanck VIC 3939, Australia

Cape Schanck

Direction

Shortland Bluff

Shortland Bluff

Shortland Bluff
66 Gellibrand St, Queenscliff VIC 3225, Australia

Shortland Bluff

Direction

Queenscliff White

Queenscliff White

Queenscliff White
133 Hesse St, Queenscliff VIC 3225, Australia

Queenscliff White

Direction

Port Phillip Lights

Port Phillip Lights

Port Phillip Lights
133 Hesse St, Queenscliff VIC 3225, Australia

Port Phillip Lights

Direction

Point Lonsdale

Point Lonsdale

Point Lonsdale
9-13 Point Lonsdale Rd, Point Lonsdale VIC 3225, Australia

Point Lonsdale

Direction

Keepers

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.

Access

See the individual lighthouse pages for details

Point Lonsdale  Internal Link

Queenscliff Low (White)  Internal Link

Shortland Bluff (Queenscliff Black)  Internal Link

Museum

Queenscliff Maritime Museum External link  has many Lighthouse artifacts