Last Updated on March 20, 2019 by Red Nomad OZ
I’m a lighthouse lover from way back. In fact, I was a lighthouse lover WAY before I became a loo lover! There’s something about those clean lines with the RED and (all too often) the white against a dramatic coastline and sky that makes my shutter-button finger itch!
It’s itched so much over the years that I’ve got too many lighthouse shots for one post, even when I exclude all most of the ones with a list to the left. Or right.
So even though this isn’t the definitive SA lighthouse guide here’s my pick of 10 of the best South Australian Lighthouses!
1 Cape Banks Lighthouse, Carpenters Rocks
This rugged and remote stretch of shipwreck-strewn coastline at the southern end of Canunda National Park near the southern end of South Australia is so wildly beautiful it’d take a special kind of lighthouse to really stand out.
Maybe that’s why this one’s painted in Toxic-Waste-Orange?
MORE: Red Nomad OZ visits Carpenters Rocks
2 Cape Jaffa Lighthouse, Kingston SE*
Where is the Cape Jaffa Lighthouse? Wait, let me guess – you’d be thinking ‘Cape Jaffa’, right?
Nowadays, instead of warning ships away from the Margaret Brock Reef, its original location off Cape Jaffa, 21 km away by road, this little lighthouse peeks out above the holiday shacks, houses and Norfolk Island Pines on the Kingston SE foreshore.
It’s not operating as a lighthouse any more, but it DOES double as a lookout over the awesome panorama of Lacepede Bay.
*SE = South East to distinguish it from another SA town, Kingston-on-Murray
MORE: Kingston SE and the Limestone Coast
3 Point Malcolm Lighthouse, Narrung
I’ve only been to the Point Malcolm lighthouse once. On a narrow spit of land separating Lake Albert from Lake Alexandrina near the end of the massive Murray-Darling River system, it’s the only inland lighthouse in the Southern Hemisphere!
So I can’t imagine why I didn’t take a photo on my pre-digital-camera visit many years ago. But that’ll explain the completely gratuitous photo of sunrise over Lake Alexandrina instead of the lighthouse pic you were expecting 😀
Kathy from 50 Shades of Age has kindly given me permission to use her photo of the Point Malcolm lighthouse at Narrung! Thank you Kathy – one day I’ll return and actually take a photo myself 😀
MORE: Camping at Narrung
4 Cape du Coudic Lighthouse, Kangaroo Island
With 14 shipwrecks come to grief on the rocks, reefs and islands below this stunning sandstone lighthouse on Kangaroo Island’s south-western cape, the Flinders Chase coastline punches above its weight in the death-and-destruction stakes.
That makes lugging 2000+ blocks of stone AND all equipment up a 92 metre high (300 foot) cliff by foot and flying fox in order to build it SO worth it!
MORE: Kangaroo Island
5 Port Adelaide Lighthouse, Port Adelaide
Is this the most well-travelled little lighthouse in OZ?
In 1869 it stood at the mouth of the Port River, before being relocated to the nearby Wonga Shoal off Semaphore Jetty in 1901.
In 1986, after a long stint on South Neptune Island off the Eyre Peninsula even further away, it was restored and re-built on the Port Dock!
Just down the road and round the corner from the South Australian Maritime Museum!
MORE: Port Adelaide Maritime Museum
6 Troubridge Island Lighthouse, Troubridge Island
What makes the archetypal lighthouse? Let’s see. Classic colours. Striking silhouette. Killer view from the top. Lighthousekeeper’s cottage. Only accessible by boat. On a deserted island.
If that’s what it takes, then this splendid structure on a tiny island off Troubridge Shoal 6km by boat from Edithburgh at the foot of the fabulous Yorke Peninsula could well be the ultimate South Aussie lighthouse getaway!
But be warned! Visit the island only in the company of people you get on well with – because there’s nowhere to hide!
MORE: Red Nomad OZ visits Troubridge Island
7 Troubridge Hill Lighthouse, Yorke Peninsula
It’s just as well this unusual award-winning cylindrical lighthouse built from specially fired wedge-shaped bricks was built to withstand the above-average winds plaguing this part of the southern Yorke Peninsula.
Although high winds are the least of the problems facing ships ploughing through the heavy seas beneath the long stretch of jagged, water-worn limestone cliffs below the lighthouse.
But at least they’ve got an architectural marvel to look at!
MORE: 7 Days on the Southern Yorke Peninsula
8 West Cape Lighthouse, Pondalowie Bay
Shade your eyes if it’s a sunny day at this cliff top lighthouse above the Spencer Gulf’s thundering seas that proving once and for all why the lighthouse is there – the sunlight reflecting off the stainless steel plates coating can be blinding.
Missing the kangaroos, rock parrots and wildflowers on the Cape would be a tragedy. But it’d be even MORE of a tragedy to lose your footing on the rough, rocky path and plunge into the sea WAAAAAY below!
MORE: Red Nomad OZ visits Innes National Park
9 Cape Spencer Lighthouse, Innes National Park; AND
10 Althorpe Island Lighthouse, Althorpe Island
On a fine day, the staggering panorama of and from Cape Spencer is a TWO-lighthouse-view. At the end of the Cape with vertiginous limestone cliffs plunging into the treacherous waters below, the mainland lighthouse overlooks its counterpart on Althorpe Island, 8 km away at the western end of Investigator Strait.
Is this the ultimate lighthouse lovers fantasy?
Are YOU a South Australian lighthouses lover? Where’s YOUR favourite?
I love lighthouses too….there’s something about them that just makes you want to climb to the top of them. I think my most favourite of the few I have seen would have to be Byron Bay.
The Byron lighthouse is FAAAABULOUS, Melissa – not surprised that’s your fave!! I’ve climbed to the top of a few – luckily the staircase is generally so narrow there’s nowhere to fall if vertigo kicks in!!
This post really hit a chord with me. Last Christmas, we travelled to Tassie for a holiday. We took photos of several lighthouses, but I misplaced all the Tassie pics during a recent move. I just found them, and one of my holiday projects was to identify all the photos including the lighthouses. It was fun comparing our lighthouse photos with internet photos in hopes of identifying ‘our’ lighthouses. I love the Table Cape area of Northern Tassie. The Table Cape Lighthouse is a beauty! I think it’s different from anything above in that it’s practically surrounded by flowered fields. Beautiful post. Thanks!
Good luck with the id process Wanda! I’ve been amazed at how different a lighthouse can look when I compare my shots with those taken by ‘real’ photographers! I look forward to visiting Table Cape (and a lot more besides) of Tassie on my next visit – this year we had a 10 day whirlwind that wasn’t nearly long enough!!
What a variety of styles. They all have great views shame they are no longer manned. The automatic machine couldn’t care less about the view.
Diane, I’m sure one day they’ll find a way to beam the light remotely or something, so the romance of the lighthouse will be forever lost. Isn’t that a gloomy thought?!?!?!
What a good timing… There is a lighthouse in Enoshima Island in Kamakura. It is not 6 km away by boat. We can just walk on the bridge. But this island is still interesting. Hope to update it some day.
I love to see the ultimate Aussie lighthouse experiences!
Kozue, I saw your wonderful lighthouse – what a coincidence we both had lighthouse posts this week! The lighthouses on islands are the most interesting, I think – maybe one day we will see each other’s lighthouses!
Great photos! I also love lighthouses!
Thank you Emma – and welcome! It’s an awesome feeling to be at the top of a lighthouse looking out over the sea and at whatever rocks, reefs and rough seas are below! I hope they don’t ever do away with them!
#6 is my absolute fav here, Red! Awwww, the water, too. One of our “bakery-girls” collects lighthouses and all I could bring from Perth was a pic of the lighthouse at Hillary´s boat Harbour. She loved it anyways 🙂
Yes, Iris – #6 is my favourite as well! It’s down in South Australia, but it looks like a tropical beach! Send your bakery girl the link to my post if she wants more Aussie lighthouses – then you can send ME something from the bakery 😀
They are so romantic aren’t they Red? All that imagining the old lighthouse keeper at his lonely vigil amidst thrashing waves wild weather … so many stories to be told. Loved your pics and the lighthouses you’ve visited (er do they have loos in them?) and wonder if you’ve been to our two lovelies in the fair south west Cape?
I think it’s the romance of the wild, wet and windy, remote, rocky and raging that sucks me in every time, Jo! AND the odd loo as well … although weirdly, there’s not such an emphasis on the loos at lighthouses!! I haven’t been to the south west corner AT ALL (unless I went as a child & don’t recall) let alone the Cape, so I look forward to someday making their – and maybe even your – acquaintance!
I love these posts! My favourite one is the Troubridge Island and Lighthouse – look at that view! – Tasha xxx
Thank you Natasha! I guess that means my work is done 😀 You have picked my favourite – and the real thing is even better! I stayed there a few years ago – it was AWESOME!!
There are some lovely light houses in this post, but I think what makes them really pretty is the contrasting backdrop with those beautiful blue Aussie skies. 🙂
Ah yes, Yum! There’s nothing quite like a blue Aussie sky – and South Australia does BLUE SKY like no other state!! And that’s why my ‘dull day’ photos mostly didn’t make the cut!
G’day REd, after several looks and ums and ahs, I’ve decided on Cape Spencer and Althorpe.
Keep that trigger finger dancin’ girl.
I thought of you when I prepared this post, Rose! The Cape Spencer/Althorpe Island combo is probably the best view both of, and from an SA lighthouse. But I shouldn’t say that – there’s still quite a few I haven’t seen!
I just love the lighthouses Red, there’s just something about them. Perhaps its also that many lighthouses hold such history and stories of hardship and isolation.
Ah! you gave me a fabulous idea in your comment – I’m going to join the parrots, suck on some of the nectar in those palm flowers and forget the flamin’ incessant heat.
Oi, good memory girl that you remembered me and lighthouses!
There’s a real romance to the lighthouses, Rose – probably because of the reasons you mention! I think you’d suggested a lighthouse post a couple of times – so it’s all your fault! There’ll be more to come, too! Good luck with the ‘free booze’ thing – although I don’t guarantee that gum flower nectar will have the same effect on you as the lorikeets!!!
Given my solitary nature I could have easily been a lighthouse keeper. Although, I have heard they were tough jobs that kept everyone in the crew busy.
Visited a lighthouse down in Daytona Beach, Florida a few years back. It’s just a museum now but what is strange to think about is that during most of its operation Daytona Beach, now a major vacation site for all of North America, was once an isolated outpost where what few inhabitants there were spent a lot of time fighting malaria.
Hey Beach Bum! I’ll meet you half-way – I think I could have been a lighthouse keeper when the weather was fine!! Too rough would be too scary!! And I don’t think fighting malaria – not to mention sharks, pirates, strong winds, rough seas, cabin fever, fellow inmates and the rigours of isolation – would have been much fun. But that’s just me!
They are all really good. I think my favourite is the Cape Jaffa. It’s a bit different. Queenscliff at the entrance to Port Phillip Bay has two lighthouses, one of them white and another black, unpainted bluestone. There is some story about lining the black and white lighthouses up from the water, but I can’t recall it now. Five minutes away is the white Point Lonsdale light house.
The Cape Jaffa lighthouse is a cutie – size obviously doesn’t matter!! I’m not sure about the lining up thing either, but it could be that if you’re out at sea and can’t find the passage, you line up the black against the white (or vice versa) that will take you safely through the reef/rocks?? ON Lord Howe Island there’s two giant Norfolk Island Pines for that purpose!
I once spent a night in a lighthouse keeper’s cottage during two weeks spent walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in Wales. Unfortunately it was a foggy night and the foghorn sounded at very regular intervals throughout the night. Somehow lighthouses had less appeal after that incident.
Hahaha, that sounds appalling, John!! Maybe the trick is to find a de-commissioned lighthouse? Then you’ve got the romance without the reality!! Have a great weekend!!
I love lighthouses and used to dream of living in a lighthouse keeper’s cottage when I was younger. Much younger.
Why not have the best of both worlds, River? Just find a lighthousekeeper’s cottage to stay in, and let someone else do the dirty work!!!
The Troubridge Island lighthouse is very scenic over the shallow turquoise waters and white sand. I have only seen the one at Kingston S.E. and although we stayed at Carpenter Rocks I don’t recall seeing that one. I think my favourite lighthouse during our travels was at Cape Leeuwin (the most southerly point of WA). It was a towering structure overlooking where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet.
Kathy, the Troubridge Island lighthouse is the archetypal lighthouse IMHO! The Carpenters Rocks one was further north than the actual township & shacks – and a dirt road. I haven’t been to Cape Leeuwin – yet – but the pics I’ve seen look VERY impressive! Of course the Cape Byron lighthouse up your way is an Aussie icon!
Take it that lighthouse No.1 isn’t that successful if the area is strewn with shipwrecks!
Hahaha, good point, Fun60!! But why blame the lighthouse? Maybe it’s the captain’s fault??!! In some cases, the number of wrecks showed a need for the lighthouse (Duh!) but so many are in such heavy seas wrecks are inescapable! Maybe the lesson is not to sail those seas 😀