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McCrae Lighthouse

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 housing.

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

In March 2005 I was lucky to be part of a group from Lighthouse of Australia to visit to the lighthouse, which is not normally open to the public.
The very narrow tower, just 1.5m wide is like climbing up the inside of a 44-gallon drum.

Technical / Historical Details
Nearest Town McCrae  Height - Elevation 33.8m (111ft) - 45.1m (148ft) 
Lat/Long: 3821 14455  Lantern  
Construction Silver iron framework tower  Lens  
Built 1883  Character  
First Lit   Range NM  
Automated      
De-activated   Open Grounds only 
Architect   Access Road 
Reference   Accommodation No 
Sources:  
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