Lighthouse | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: Lighthouse
Other name/s: Wollongong Head Lighthouse
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Water
Category: Lighthouse Tower
Primary address: Flagstaff Hill, Wollongong, NSW 2500
Local govt. area: Wollongong City
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Flagstaff HillWollongongWollongong City  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The "new" Wollongong (Head) Lighthouse on Flagstaff Point is of significance for Wollongong area for historical, aesthetic, and reasons of representativeness. This lighthouse came into service in 1937 and took over from the Breakwater Lighthouse. It has important associations with local community being constructed using local labour under the supervision of Department of Transport and Shipping. It has additional aesthetic/technological importance as one of the first fully automated flashing light to be installed in NSW. The precinct lighthouses contribute to the a visual distinctiveness of the area and are local landmarks. In addition these landmark elements there are a variety of significant historic views and vistas which contribute to the heritage significance of the precinct as a whole, and these include views from the higher land to the north of the precinct across Brighton Lawn to Belmore Basin and the Lighthouse and from Flagstaff Hill down to the rocky breakwater and Belmore Basin which reveal a pleasing blend of nature and built infrastructure. The two lighthouses, established in 1872 and 1937, demonstrate the evolution of technical changes in coastal navigation aids.
Date significance updated: 28 Jan 15
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Physical description: (SHR): The Wollongong Head lighthouse is a reinforced concrete tower 9 feet 10 inches in diameter standing 83 feet high from top of foundation to top of ventilator. The external surface of the tower is decorated with a 16 feet blind arch colonnade below a prominent cornice and, above this for 50 feet the tower has 1 foot wide vertical, evenly-spaced flutings, above which is a panelled parapet, balcony and lantern. Four slit windows to provide light to the internal stairwell are spaced helically around the tower and fit within the flutes. A doorway at ground level gives access to a cantilevered internal spiral staircase to the trapdoor in the lantern room floor. The lantern room is surrounded by a balcony that has a gun-metal railing, with a zigzag detail.
Modifications and dates: Well maintained, intact and still functioning
Current use: Lighthouse
Former use: Lighthouse


Historical notes: SHR: In 1937 the new Wollongong Head Lighthouse constructed on Flagstaff Point came into service and took over from the Breakwater Lighthouse as the major light in the area. This lighthouse was constructed using local labour under the supervision of Department of Transport and Shipping. The cost of the tower was (Pounds)6,800 with plant and equipment a further (Pounds)2,607. It was one of the first fully automated flashing light to be installed in NSW. Years of construction: 1935-1937; Designer/ Architect: (likely) Department of Shipping and Transport; Maker/ Builder: Department of Shipping and Transport day labour. (R Irving, 20th Century Architecture in Wollongong): designer McSweeney, builder: A H Swingle, 1936.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The item has historic value.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The item has landmark, townscape and aesthetic value.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
SHR Criteria g)
Integrity/Intactness: The item has integrity.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

Retain and conserve. Any repairs or reconstructions should follow original detail in form, fabric and finish, especially in the exterior.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan  07 Jan 00 1/200069
Local Environmental PlanLighthouse637526 Feb 10 2010-76 

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
City of Wollongong Heritage Study1991B44-CMcDonald McPhee Rogers Conacher FullartonG.Neaves No
Review of heritage items in Wollongong LGA20136375Zoran PopovicZoran Popovic Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenMeredith Hutton1997Conservation Study of Belmore Basin Conservation Area

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2700653

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