The Wollongong Breakwater - Wollongong Harbour

 

The Wollongong is the only area on Australia’s eastern coast to have two lighthouses. 80 kilometers south of Sydney, Wollongong Harbour was dedicated to serving the town of Wollongong and the region of Illawara.

 

The 1860s saw the construction of a basin and breakwater on the harbour. Before the construction of the Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse, a red, fixed light was used to guide ships safely into the harbour.  It was only in 1869 that plans were made to build lighthouses at Wollongong and Ulladulla.

 

The two Wollongong lighthouses were the:

  • Wollongong Breakwater/Harbour Lighthouse Known fondly as


  • the “Old Wollongong Lighthouse”, it was designed by Edward Moriarty who was then Chief Engineer of Harbours and Rivers.
  • It was constructed of wrought iron on an iron-concrete base.

Wollongong Breakwater - Wollongong Harbour, AU

     

  • Built in England and shipped to and assembled in Australia in 1870.

  • Completed in June 1871 with the arrival of the lantern from England.

  • First used in March 1872.

  • The lighting apparatus was dismantled in the 1970s. It was permanently extinguished in 1974.

  • The light was rekindled in 2000.

  • In the 1970s, the Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse was scheduled for demolition because of safety issues. The lighthouse had deteriorated
    over the years.

  • Local residents and officials called for its retention and subsequently contributed to its restoration in 2002. It has become historical symbol for the local community.

  • The re-opening of the newly restored Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse coincided with the IALA Conference in Sydney and the Lighthouses of Australia Annual Dinner held in Wollongong.

  • It is still fully functional although it has been decommissioned. It now lights up only during special occasions.

Wollongong Head Lighthouse

  • Built to the south of the Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse at Flagstaff Point in 1937.

  • It became the major light source in the area.

  • It was built to guide ships into Port Kembla Harbour, which handled steelmaking, minerals, and grain.

  • The first new lighthouse since 1903 in New South Wales and the first to use a fully automatic flashing light apparatus.

  • It was made of reinforced concrete.

  • It is a very popular picnic and scenic spot for both locals and visitors.

The Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse facility has the following features:

  • BBQ Area

  • Carpark

  • Picnic Area

  • Public Telephones

  • Public Toilets

  • Sheltered Areas

Some of the activities one can engage in at the Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse are sightseeing and whale watching.