Point Perpendicular Lighthouse, Jervis Bay
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The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse was established in 1899 to replace the inaccurately placed Cape St George Lighthouse.
The original 1860 lighthouse had been built in the wrong position due to inadequate supervision by the authorities of the day. It was not visible to the northern approach at Jervis Bay and failed to warn of offshore reefs.
Even though when the error was realised it was intended to show a light at Cape St George only as a temporary measure it was not until 1898, over 30 years later, that work began on its replacement on the northern side of the entrance to the bay.
This tower is believed to be a “first” in New South Wales. It is erected on a flat concrete base and is the first tower to be constructed of concrete blocks – made on the ground – lifted into position, then cement-rendered on both the inside and the outside.
This building technique eliminated the use of heavy scaffolding and shuttering which is necessary for the “concrete poured” construction of towers.
Most of the stores and materials for the new lighthouse were landed at Bindijine Wharf, constructed in 1898, on Honeymoon Bay inside the sheltered side of Jervis itself. They were then carted by house and cart to Point Perpendicular.
The original apparatus was vapourised kerosene, 100,000 cd with a range of 33 kilometres. The power was increased to 222,000 cd in 1909 and again to 316,000 in 1923. The light was converted to electric operation in 1964 with the installation of 2 diesel generators. When to light was finally replaced in 1993 the power was 1,200,000 cd.
The new “lattice” style tower is solar powered and the lightstation has been demanned.
ACCESS: The lighthouse can be reached via Nowra and is at the end of the Beecroft Peninsula in the Jervis Bay Military Reserve. Access is restricted 110 days per year for gunnery practice. 200 metre walk from car park, then enter through side gate next to one of the keeper’s cottages.