Griffiths Island Lighthouse. Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia. (1859) by Ralph de Zilva

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Griffiths Island Lighthouse. Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia. (1859) by 


Nikon D700 & Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens

Runner Up in the All About Lighthouses “Avatar Challenge” on 17.12.2012
Winner in A Paradise Somewhere groups “A Lighthouse In Paradise” challenge on 08.12.2012
Top Ten in Australian Coastal Towns in the challenge “Something From An Aussie Island” on 13.07.2012

Featured in
All About Lighthouses on 24.09.2012
Australian Coastal Towns on 07.09.2012
Islands, Islands, Islands on 27.07.2012

The Griffiths Island Lighthouse is 11 m high and was built in 1859 from bluestone by John Griffiths, employing Scottish stonemasons,. Originally built on what was a separate small island known as Rabbit Island, landfill and the construction of a breakwater have made it a part of Griffiths Island proper. The bluestone cottages built for the lighthouse keepers were demolished following the automation of the light around 1956. In 2000, volunteers helped to restore the site by revealing the foundations of the cottages, which had been overgrown.

The light’s focal plane is located at 12 metres above sea level, the character of the signal is a double flash every ten seconds.

Griffiths Island is a small island at the mouth of the Moyne River, in Port Fairy, south-western Victoria, Australia. It is now connected by a short causeway to the mainland, which gives easy public access on foot. Notable features of the island include the Griffiths Island Lighthouse and the Short-tailed Shearwater (or Australian Muttonbird) breeding colony. A walking track, including some beach-walking, circumnavigates the island.

The island was originally known as ‘mallone’ or ‘mallin’ in the local Aboriginal language. In 1835 a whaling station was established on the island and purchased by John Griffiths, after whom the island was named. At about the same time, sealers established themselves there, though overhunting soon eradicated the local population of seals. Whaling ceased in 1843.

In about 1850 a mission to the Aborigines was established on the island, though it only lasted about three years.

Much of the land area of Griffiths Island is covered by the breeding burrows of an estimated seasonal population of 30,000 Shearwaters. These birds may be seen at dusk between late September and mid April as they return from foraging trips at sea to incubate their single eggs and subsequently feed their growing chicks. The young birds leave in early May, after the adults have departed. A public viewing platform has been built for visitors to enjoy the spectacle.

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I have always had a love of capturing images and in my early teens took many photographs on my little Kodak camera. I loved the wild open spaces and bird life in particular and longed to be able to be an accomplished photographer. It took ill health and a forced early retirement to re-kindle this love of photography. I am a self-taught amateur photographer who has had no formal training. I take great pride and joy in my work and these days have the time to pursue this wonderful hobby.

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  • David Davies
    David Daviesover 2 years ago

    I love lighthouses! Great lighting, Ralph.

  • So do I, thanks very much David.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Audrey Clarke
    Audrey Clarkeover 2 years ago

  • Thanks Audrey.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELover 2 years ago

    Beautiful photography and lighting Ralph

  • So sorry for the delay Andrea but I missed your comment. Thanks so much.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Rachel Williams
    Rachel Williamsover 2 years ago

    Great point of view. Awesome photo!

  • Thanks very much and sorry for the delay

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • miroslava
    miroslavaover 2 years ago

    great shot and history

  • Thanks very much Miki for your comment and fave.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • PhotosByG
    PhotosByGover 2 years ago
  • Thanks Graham

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Judi Rustage
    Judi Rustageover 2 years ago

  • Thanks so much Judi for the feature.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • PhotosByG
    PhotosByGover 2 years ago

  • Thanks very much for the feature, Graham.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Evita
    Evitaover 2 years ago

    Wonderful work !!!

    Click on the link below to view your feature and congratulate your fellow artists
    All About Lighthouses FEATURES September 24th, 2012

  • Thanks so much Evita for the feature.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Jane Neill-Hancock
    Jane Neill-Han...about 2 years ago

    A Lighthouse in Paradise

  • Thanks very much Jane for the wonderful news and also to those who voted.

    – Ralph de Zilva

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