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Ballina Head

The Richmond River lighthouse is the first of 5 towers built on the northern river headlands of NSW

The Richmond River Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses in NSW. It was erected as one of two built in 1866 from plans prepared by the office of colonial architect James Barnet. The other at Yamba on the Clarence River's southern headland was demolished in 1955. The Richmond River Lighthouse remains as the first of five towers erected on the Northern Rivers headlands up to 1879.

It is located at the northern head of the Richmond River, a few kilometres from the settlement and river wharves of Ballina.

Originally the tower had a porch, annexe and keeper's quarters.

The light was a fixed white light of the fourth order catadioptric type. It was displayed from a circular brick tower capped by an oversailing bluestone platform. Only 6 metres high, the focal plane is 35 metres above high water level. Although less then 1,000 candelas, the light was visible for 19 kilometres. A steamer's masthead lamp with a 200mm lens was placed on a wooden structure only 30 metres from the main light. Together these served as the leading lights into the river. Both the Richmond River and Clarence River lighthouses were run in conjunction with the local pilot station, so that only one keeper was required at each station. The lighthouse was converted to automatic operation in 1926.

Simple and unpretentious, this building was a vital link with men, ships and cargoes of the once vital North Coast Run.

Register of the National Estate Database
Legal Status: Registered 1/1/1983

A postcard showing Ballina Lighthouse

Technical / Historical Details
Nearest Town Richmond River, Ballina  Height - Elevation 7.6m (25ft) - 35.1m (115ft) 
Lat/Long: 2852 15336  Lantern  
Construction   Lens 2nd order 
Built 1866  Character Fl.(4)W. period 16s 
First Lit 8/02/1905  Range NM 14W  
Automated 1926     
De-activated   Open Grounds only 
Architect James Barnett  Access Road 
Reference 5888 K 2834  Accommodation No 
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