Bluff Point Lighthouses
The lower octagonal shaped tower, built on the beach, was destroyed by fire in 1955 and demolished. The upper tower is square and attached to the lightkeeper’s quarters. The towers were 260m apart. Both were built of limestone. The lightkeepers cottage has been the headquarters of the Geraldton Historical Society since 1972. There is a museum on the site and the lens from the upper light is on display.
A notice to mariners was issued on 17 October 1876 advising that the Bluff Leading Lights were now being exhibited from towers erected north of the settlement at Champion Bay (Geraldton). The alignment of the upper and lower lights indicated a natural break in the reef through which the town’s jetty was reached.
Prior to the establishment of the leading lights, ships would stand off during the night. By day, ships masters used the alignment of two hills as a day mark. A barrel on a tall pole on the shore assisted, and later a swathe was cut through the vegetation to show the alignment.
The towers each exhibited a fixed red light through 75 degrees, visible up to nine miles in clear weather. The lower tower was octagonal and was built on the beach. The upper tower is square and attached to the lightkeeper’s quarters. The towers were 260m apart. Both were built of limestone.
The upper light was 65ft above sea level and the lower light 41ft above sea level. Both had Chance Bros lenses. The lower light was described as being of the fourth order; the upper as a holophote.
The lower tower was damaged by fire in 1952 with a newspaper report saying that the keeper had extinguished the light at 7am. The fire was reported by 9.30am. When the fire engine arrived, the wooden lantern, gallery and internal stairs were well alight. Because of the soft sand the engine could not get to the tower so the fire was allowed to burn itself out. The report stated that a ‘lamp’ worth £300 was destroyed. (Total value of destruction was given as £500.) A seat marks the place where the lighthouse stood.
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|Leeuwin Rd, Augusta WA 6290, Australia||Go to Cape Leeuwin|
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|Houtman Abrolhos WA 6530, Australia||Go to Pelsaert Island|
|481-485 Marine Terrace, West End WA 6530, Australia||Go to Point Moore|
|118A Kempton St, Bluff Point WA 6530, Australia||Go to Bluff Point|
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Most sources say that the lights were electrified and automated in 1943 – it seems that this was only the upper light. The position of lightkeeper Bluff Lights still appears in the WA Gazette of 1945. By 1950 the last keeper, Mr Angove, who had been appointed in 1941, is recorded as the lightkeeper at Geraldton, and was named in the newspaper report as tending the lower light at the time of the fire. He was presumably responsible for several lights in and around the port. He was still in this position in 1955 according to the WA Gazette. (The nearby Pt Moore lighthouse was under Commonwealth control.)
The lantern of the upper light was removed at some stage and roofed with corrugated iron. The lens is now on display in the museum which was once the keepers quarters on the site.
Today the entry to the bay is shown by an offshore marker and a pole on the shore, both of which are lit at night.
John Kelly, lightkeeper, May 1876 to Oct 1877. Joseph Wright, lightkeeper, Nov 1877 to 1887. Herbert Smith, lightkeeper, May 1887 to 1894. Charles Williams, lightkeeper, March 1894 to March 1908. Frederick George Banmann Edwards, lightkeeper, 1 March 1908 to June 1919. Carl Johan Hansen, lightkeeper, 1 July 1918 to June 1925. Alfred Edgar Thomas, lightkeeper, 1 Aug 1925 to 1941. John Stanley Angove, lightkeeper, 30 June 1941 to 1945.
|First Exhibited||17th October 1876|
|Location||Lat. 28°44'37.09"S Long. 114°37'16.95"E|
|Original Optic||Chance Bros|
|Custodian||Geraldton Historical Society|
|Notes||Front lead demolished following a fire in 1952|
The museum attached to the tower can be visited by calling 0899213790.
The lighthouse grounds are open all year round.
By arrangement with the Geraldton Historical Society.
No lighthouse accommodation is available
The museum is operated by the Geraldton Historical society.
There is no Friends Group
- Julie Taylor