HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

1 May 2014

Point Perpendicular Lighthouse.

lightOn this day May 1st 1899.
If you visit Jervis Bay bay, you cannot miss the iconic vertical cliff that dominates the distant view and forms the northern headland of the Bay.
Take a walk along the shore at night and you will see a bright cycling light sending a long beam across the open sea and the waters of the bay.  That light is emanating from Point Perpendicular Lighthouse and is a beacon for passing ships giving them a location, and reminding them of the danger of straying to close to shore.
Image taken 2002.

1899 saw the opening of the majestic white sentinel atop the steep 300ft high cliffs of Point Perpendicular overlooking the entrance to Jervis Bay.  The lighthouse guided ships safely along the south coast until it was decommissioned and replaced in 1993.

1962-Lighthouse 1984-Lighthouse



IMG_4717The original lighthouse has been replaced by a solar powered, skeletal steel framed automated light, it doesn’t have the same style or romance of the old light, but it still keeps the passing ships on course. And on special occasions they relight the old light and it’s a sight to behold.
Shown here in full operation during the fleet review October 2013.

fleet-review-2013The old light is much brighter than the new light.
The light is so bright it casts light around the shore line of the bay.

light-2The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse was built to replace the Cape St George lighthouse which was built in the wrong location in 1860. Built to far south from the entrance of Jervis Bay, it was deemed a navigation hazard and was decommissioned when Point Perpendicular Lighthouse came into operation.
The undignified end came via the navy who demolished the light by using it for gunnery practice in 1922.

light-6 light-3 light-from-the-water cape-st-george-lighthouse-panna

Location map

Point Perp. from south

Cape St George

Ruins looking south

-Mrs-William-Parker The Keepers.
The first keeper, William Parker was previously the light keeper of Cape St George Lighthouse, the assistant keeper Arthur Bailey was the son of Edward Bailey, the late keeper of Cape St George Lighthouse.
The last keeper was John Hampson.

This beautiful image is of Mrs.William Parker the first light house keepers wife.

Last Keeper Pt Perpendicular bbr
The last keeper, John Hampson,
waves goodbye
Photograph: The Bay And Basin Review

The image below shows the ruins of Cape St George Lighthouse in the foreground, and Point Perpendicular on the headland in the far distance.

Fact sheet.
Height: 21.4 meters high and 93 meters above sea level.
Build: Believed to be the first lighthouse in NSW to be built of Concrete blocks.
The tower is circular, with an internal diameter of 11 feet 9 inches (3.58 m). It is 44 feet (13 m) to the balcony.
Light Source: The original light source was a vaporized kerosene lamp with an intensity of 100,000 cd and  a visible range of around 33 kilometres (21 mi)
In 1964 the light was electrified, 2 diesel engines serving as the power source.
Intensity: 1,200,000 cd
Range: 26 nautical miles (42 kilometres
Automated, demanned and deactivated in 1993.

Previous story and images of Cape St George Lighthouse – Continue reading
Point Perpendicular 2002 -  Ruined Cape St George lighthouse images

Go here to see some amazing images from inside the lighthouse.


  1. Awesome photos and facts! love the ruins looking south image

  2. Thanks Chewbacca, The landscape is inspiring.