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

Ralph de Zilva

Cedar Creek, Australia

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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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