The original McCrae Lighthouse was a timber structure
built in 1854 and following years of service was dismantled in
sections and transported by bullock wagon to the top of nearby
Arthurs Seat to be used as a lookout.
The present day lighthouse, built in England in 1874 by Chance
Brothers & Co of Birmingham, was transported to Australia by sea
and erected on this site in 1883.
The structure, which is listed on Victoria's Historic Buildings
Register, is one of two such types remaining in Australia and at
33.5 metres is the tallest building in Port Phillip Bay.
The lighthouse comprises of a central circular column, housing a
120 step spiral staircase which ascends to the lantern housing. The
central column is 1.5 metres in diameter and is constructed of
riveted steel plate. The small brick portico at the base of the
lighthouse has been added in more recent times.
The lantern housing located 30.8 metres above sea level is
constructed of steel and timber and is protected by a glass surround
and a lead dome roof. A narrow steel balcony surrounds the lantern
The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1994, following
modernisation of other navigational aids in Port Phillip Bay.
In 1998 the Victorian Government's Department of Natural
Resources and Environment undertook significant restoration works to
ensure the lighthouses structural condition will be preserved well
into the next century. The restoration which included the repair of
corroded sections of the steelwork, the removal of existing coatings
of paint and application of new coatings to the external structure
will ensure it's ongoing historical importance to the community.
- Tourist information at the lighthouse