Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries & Historical Sites

Cape Bowling Green Light

Australian National Maritime Museum - Joy of Museums - Cape Bowling Green Light

Cape Bowling Green Light is a historic lighthouse, that use to be located on Cape Bowling Green, a lengthy headland about 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Ayr, Queensland, Australia. This was the first lighthouse at that location and was established 1874, but it needed to be moved twice due to coastal erosion. Today at the museum, this historic lighthouse is still operational, using the original lens and a 1913 clockwork mechanism, and it maintains its original light characteristic, four white flashes every twenty seconds.

Many ships were wrecking at Cape Bowling Green before this first Cape Bowling Green Light was constructed in 1874, one of 22 lighthouse of similar design constructed in Queensland around that time. The original lens was a dioptric lens, and the light source was a kerosene wick lamp, visible for 14 nautical miles (26 km; 16 mi). The station was operated by four lighthouse keepers, a chief and three assistants.

In 1913 an incandescent gas mantle operated by vaporised kerosene was installed, raising the power. In 1920 a fixed automatic acetylene gas lamp (carbide lamp) with a sun valve was installed. with this new technology, the lighthouse did not require permanent lighthouse keepers, so the lighthouse was demanned and all other buildings were demolished.

In 1987 this lighthouse was replaced by newer technology and a new skeletal tower and this historic lighthouse was transferred to the museum.

Essential Facts:

  • Exhibit:                     Cape Bowling Green Light
  • Original Location:  Cape Bowling Green, Queensland, Australia
  • Year constructed:   1874
  • Deactivated:            1987
  • Construction:          Hardwood frame clad with galvanized iron plates
  • Tower shape:          Conical frustum tower with balcony and lantern
  • Height:                     22 metres (72 ft)
  • Focal height:           19 metres (62 ft)
  • Museum:                Australian National Maritime Museum

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“Set your course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.” Omar N. Bradley

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Photo Credit:By GordonMakryllos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons