Cape St George Lighthouse

GPS: -35.15134 , 150.75920
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  • National Park
  • Place of Interest
  • Day Use Area
  • Information
Jervis Bay Road
Jervis Bay Territory NSW 2540
  • Historical site
  • Whale watching position high above the ocean
  • Good views of the coastline
  • 6km of gravel road
Last updated by Clyde Camel on 30th August, 2012
The ruin of Cape St George lighthouse is located in the Booderee National park. The ruin was listed on the National Estate Register in 1981 in recognition of the ruin's important setting, stonework and as a relic of early European occupation.
During the 19th century, due to the number of shipwrecks occurring near Cape St George, it was decided that a lighthouse was vital for the safe navigation of coastal shipping. Unfortunately, due to insufficient research and consultation, the lighthouse was built in the wrong spot, and it came to be regarded as a navigational hazard.
In 1857, the colonial architect Alexander Dawson and an assistant surveyor E.F. Millington, investigated Cape St George for sites suitable for a lighthouse.

Unfortunately Dawson's choice of sites was largely based on ease of construction, rather than the efficient function of a lighthouse. Without the input of any maritime expertise, the chairman of the Pilot Board authorised the first of Dawson's site options. Despite glaring deficiencies in the planning stage and disagreement by a majority of the board, the lighthouse was commissioned on 1st October, 1860. Thirty eight years and many arguments later, a replacement lighthouse would shine its beam from the northern side of Jervis Bay, at Point Perpendicular.

Even unlit, the lighthouse caused navigational problems especially on moonlit nights when the golden sandstone tower glowed in the dark. Near the turn of the century explosive charges were used to reduce the tower and parts of the keeper's quarters to rubble.
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