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Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse

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by Simone Lee (subscribe)
I enjoy freelance creative writing and being a Mum to my two awesome boys.
Published March 21st 2012
The Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse is a fully functional lighthouse overlooking Geographe Bay. Views of the surrounding landscapes extend over Cape Naturaliste, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park and also the Indian Ocean.

Approximately a 15 minute drive from Dunsborough, the lighthouse stands 20 metres tall atop a 100 metre high headland on the Northern Cape of Naturaliste region in South West, Western Australia. It is a 5 minute drive or 30 minute walk to Bunker Bay, the closest settlement.

Built in 1903, the limestone that was used to erect the magnificent lighthouse was procured from the quarry at Bunker Bay. Other materials or supplies in its construction were brought from Eagle Bay.

An original Fresnel lens made by Chance Brothers started the lighthouse in 1904 and is still in operation today.

A colourful history surrounds the lighthouse before and after its beginnings. Many ships had fallen prey to the treacherous waters and reefs of Cape Naturaliste before 1900.

At some stage before the 1870's, the use of a 30 foot post with a barrel at the top (and later the use of a lantern) indicated the best line of navigation to shore. After this it was replaced with a wooden structure, which was then taken down for the lighthouse as it is known today.

Violent storms had wreaked havoc upon the keepers and their families during their life at the lighthouse. In such isolation at times of walking or carts, the job was not an easy one to take on. The lighthouse is now entirely automated.

There are many walking tracks that meander around the lighthouse and cape with amazing views and flora in its natural beauty. Whale watching can be experienced at certain times of the year, usually September to December.

The lighthouse was first open to the public on 22nd November, 1986 by the Honourable Peter Morris MHR Federal Minister for Transport.

The Maritime Museum and Lighthouse are open daily from 9am to 4.30pm. On school holidays and long weekends they are open for an extra half hour until 5pm. They are only closed for Christmas Day.

Tours are conducted daily starting from 9.30am with the last entry accepted at 4pm. This includes school holidays and long weekends. The tour guide will show and explain operation of the lighthouse, history and more.

The cost of a 'Fully Guided Lighthouse Tour' is – Family of 2 adults & 2 children $33, Adults $13 each, Concession $12 each and Children 3 – 12 years old $7 each, with 2 years old & under free. Enquire about the 'Above and Below Discount Pass' for a further attraction and saving.

It may also be worth enquiring about the stamina required and length of the tour if you have very young children. Climbing lighthouse stairs and to and from the museum may exhaust some people.

Refreshments and memorabilia can be purchased on-site at the museum and car parking is available for everyone.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse can be found at the end of Cape Naturaliste Road, Naturaliste in Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, Western Australia. For further enquiries call (08) 9755 3955 or e-mail:

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
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Why? Learn about Australian history
When: 9am - 4.30pm Everyday, except Christmas. Open an extra 1/2hr on holidays.
Where: Cape Naturaliste Road, Naturaliste in Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, Western Australia
Cost: Various
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