The first lighthouse in Australia was instigated by Lachlan Macquarie, an
early governor. He laid the foundation stone on July 11 1816, and named it
Macquarie Tower. Francis Greenway, who had arrived in Australia as a
convict, and later pardoned for his architectural works, designed the
lighthouse. The new country was 26 years old by this stage, and the only
previous attempt at a light to guide ships into the colony's main harbour
was in 1794 when an iron basket was
erected on a tripod. It initially burnt
wood, and a few years later coal. The new light was first lit on
30 November 1818.
Greenway had predicted that the tower would not last, due to
the soft sandstone used in the construction. Even by 1823 it had
begun to crumble away and in an attempt to keep the structure
together, large steel bands were placed around the tower. A new
tower was finally started in 1881, just metres away from the original tower. James Barnet,
who to was build some of the nicest lighthouses in Australia, kept
his design close to that of the original tower. The lantern room was
enlarged and his distinctive gunmetal rail was added. The new
light was first displayed in 1883.
re- opened to visitors!
The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust took over the management of
a couple of years ago and following recent repairs to the
building we are now able to open
the tower to the public every second month on a weekend day.
Macquarie Lighthouse Open Days
Every second month 10am - 4pm
Take a tour to learn about the history of this remarkable place and
magnificent harbour and city views from the top.
$13 Family (2 adults and up to three children)
Bookings essential and limited
phone the Harbour Trust on (02) 89692131 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Check out details online at www.harbourtrust.gov.au