Woodman Point Lighthouse

The Woodman Point Lighthouse is also known as the Gage Roads Leading Light. It was first lit on 23 August 1902 and has guided shipping into Fremantle Harbour ever since.


Before Fremantle Harbour opened in 1897, the port of Fremantle had a reputation for adverse weather conditions, shallow water and difficulties with landing cargo. As a result, many ships, in particular mail steamers, called at Albany in the state’s south-west instead of Fremantle.

The Western Australian government wanted mail steamers, particularly British mail steamers, to call at Fremantle because it was close to the seat of government in Perth. Some steamer captains who had called at the new harbour noted the need for a leading light. It was not until the P&O company sent Capt. Angus to inspect the new harbour and report on its suitability that the idea was taken seriously.

After some debate about the site and nature of the leading light, it was decided that a tower would be built on the Fish Rocks off Catherine Point, south of Fremantle. Once work on the foundations began, it became clear that the site was unsuitable and the leading light was built on the mainland on a hill inland from Woodman Point instead.

A 9.7m tower made of locally quarried limestone was topped by a Chance Bros first order lantern. Two keepers cottages, also of local limestone, were built below the hill. The cottages are now private residences.

On 19 December 1901 a preliminary Notice to Mariners was issued:

‘…a Dioptric, Fixed, Occulting Light of the 1st Order is in course of erection near Woodman Point, Cockburn Sound…‘Three rays will be shown—the centre one white, with a coloured ray on either side, one green, and the other red.’

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

Title Address Description
Cape Leeuwin
Leeuwin Rd, Augusta WA 6290, AustraliaGo to Cape Leeuwin
Breaksea Island
Unnamed Road, Nanarup WA 6330, AustraliaGo to Breaksea Island
Cave Point
Unnamed Road, Torndirrup WA 6330, AustraliaGo to Cave Point
Eclipse Island
The Gap Rd, Torndirrup WA 6330, AustraliaGo to Eclipse Island
Cape Naturaliste
Bunker Bay Walk Trail, Naturaliste WA 6281, AustraliaGo to Cape Naturaliste
Casuarina Point
1 Bennett Way, Bunbury WA 6230, AustraliaGo to Casuarina Point
Arthur Head
15 Captains Ln, Fremantle WA 6160, AustraliaGo to Arthur Head
South Mole
1 Fleet St, Fremantle WA 6160, AustraliaGo to South Mole
North Mole
N Mole Dr, North Fremantle WA 6159, AustraliaNorth Mole
Woodman Point
597 Cockburn Rd, Munster WA 6166, AustraliaGo to Woodman Point
Wadjemup (Rottnest)
Wadjemup Rd, Rottnest Island WA 6161, AustraliaGo to Wadjemup (Rottnest)
Bathurst Point
Lancier St, Rottnest Island WA 6161, AustraliaGo to Bathurst Point
5 Tank Road, Guilderton WA 6041, AustraliaGo to Guilderton
Escape Island
Escape Island, Western Australia, AustraliaGo to Escape Island
Pelsaert Island
Houtman Abrolhos WA 6530, AustraliaGo to Pelsaert Island
Point Moore
481-485 Marine Terrace, West End WA 6530, AustraliaGo to Point Moore
Bluff Point
118A Kempton St, Bluff Point WA 6530, AustraliaGo to Bluff Point
Cape Inscription
Unnamed Road, Dirk Hartog Island WA 6537, AustraliaGo to Cape Inscription
Babbage Island
13 Annear Pl, Babbage Island WA 6701, AustraliaGo to Babbage Island
Point Quobba
Unnamed Road, Macleod WA 6701, AustraliaGo to Point Quobba
Point Cloates
Cardabia-Ningaloo Rd, Ningaloo WA 6701, AustraliaGo to Point Cloates
Vlaming Head
Yardie Creek Rd, North West Cape WA 6707, AustraliaGot to Vlaming Head
Jarman Island
Reader Head Rd, Cossack WA 6720, AustraliaGo to Jarman Island
Gantheaume Point
Lurujarri Walk, Minyirr WA 6725, AustraliaGo to Gantheaume Point
Cape Bossut
Cape Bossut, Lagrange WA 6725, AustraliaGo to Cape Bossut
Cape Leveque
Broome-Cape Leveque Rd, Dampier Peninsula WA 6725, AustraliaGo to Cape Leveque
Caffarelli Island
Caffarelli Island, Western Australia, AustraliaGo to Caffarelli Island

The lighthouse was controversial. There had been spirited debate, mostly divided along political lines, about whether it was necessary. The Minister for Public Works, Cornthwaite Rason, performed the official lighting of the lamp. In his speech he made the extraordinary statement that he had the honour of opening the lighthouse, but was not sure himself that it was needed.

The lighting of Woodman Point made the Arthur Head lighthouse redundant and it was discontinued. There had been a lighthouse on Arthur Head since 1851.

Woodman Point was manned by one keeper and one assistant.

The lamp was powered by kerosene. It was converted to electric operation and demanned in 1955. At around this time, an additional light covering the Woodman Channel to the south-west was exhibited from the lantern.

A steep dirt track winds up the hill behind the lightkeepers cottages to the lighthouse. It is accessible on foot.

The lighthouse is surrounded by a tall fence with barbed wire. It is a fine example of stone lighthouse construction and is worth a visit.


William Thomas Efford, Lightkeeper, Aug 1902 to 1906. John Joseph Lyons, Assistant keeper, June 1902 to 1910. Herbert Smith, Lightkeeper, 1 Mar 1906 to July 1910. Arthur Dray, Assistant keeper, 16 June 1910 to 1918. David Anderson Mitchinson, Lightkeeper, 16 July 1910 to Feb 1925. Reginald Yaldwyn, Assistant keeper, 1 July 1919 to 1925. Carl Johan Hansen, Lightkeeper, 1 July 1925 – Oct 1938. Ernest Dicks, Asst keeper from 1/4/26 to 10/38, became lightkeeper when Hansen retired, 1 April 1926 to 6 May 1944. Albert Ernest Leslie Livesey, Assistant keeper, 31 March 1944 to demanning in July 1955. Laurence Wallace McBride, Asst lightkeeper from 22/4/38 to 31/3/44, became lightkeeper when Dicks retired. 22 April 1938 to demanning in July 1955.

Relief keepers between 1932 and 1939 covering annual leave: Arthur Dray (most frequent), William Laurence Forsyth and JP Maguire (Woodman Point Lighthouse Journal – State Records Office).

This list compiled from WA Government Gazettes and Post Office Directories. 1930s verified by lighthouse journal.

Technical Details

First Exhibited1902
ArchitectW T Douglas
LocationLat. 032° 07.9' S. Long. 115° 46.2' E
Original OpticChance Bros 1st Order Fixed with sectors
Current OpticWM 380 LED array
Automated19 July 1955
Demanned19 July 1955
ConstructionRound stone tower, seaward side painted white
Height18 m
Elevation37 m
RangeW. 22 nm
R. 8 nm
G. 8 nm
CharacterOc.W.R.G. period 30s lt. 20s, ec. 10s
Oc.G. period 5s lt. 3s, ec. 2s
Light SourceWM 380 LED array
Power SourceMains supply, battery backup.
OperatorFremantle Port Authority
  NB: Information is historical data and is not for navigational purposes.


The lighthouse grounds can be accessed by foot. The tower is fenced and is not open to the public.

Associated Lighthouse

Arthur Head Lighthouse  Internal Link


Julie Taylor

Lighthouses on the Western Australian Coast and Off-Shore Islands
Author/s D.A. Cumming, M. Glasson and M. McCarthy 1995 External link