Fingal Head Light

Fingal Head Light is an active lighthouse located at Fingal Head, New South Wales, Australia, a headland about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) south of Point Danger, which marks the Queensland border.

Fingal Head Light
Fingal Head Light 2009.jpg
Fingal Head Light, 2009
LocationFingal Head, New South Wales, Australia Edit this at Wikidata
Coordinates28°12′00″S 153°34′15″E / 28.200019°S 153.570828°E / -28.200019; 153.570828
Constructed1872 Edit this on Wikidata
Constructionconcrete (foundation), sandstone (tower) Edit this on Wikidata
Height23 ft (7.0 m) Edit this on Wikidata
Shapecylindrical tower with balcony and lantern
Markingswhite (tower), white (lantern) Edit this on Wikidata
Power sourcemains electricity Edit this on Wikidata
OperatorAustralian Maritime Safety Authority Edit this on Wikidata
First lit1878 Edit this on Wikidata
Automated1920 Edit this on Wikidata
Focal height80 ft (24 m) Edit this on Wikidata
Lensfourth order catadioptric[1]
Intensity37,000 candela Edit this on Wikidata
Range17 nmi (31 km; 20 mi) (white), 14 nmi (26 km; 16 mi) (red) Edit this on Wikidata
CharacteristicFl WR 5s Edit this on Wikidata


An historical view of the lighthouse pre-1920, with the lightkeeper of the day

The station was first established on 19 February 1872, a wooden pole structure of approximately 30 feet (9.1 m), holding a fixed kerosene wick burner[2] which shone a fixed white light with an intensity of 1,000 cd.[3] It was described by a daughter of William Arnold, the first lighthouse keeper, as being shaped like a large meat safe, mounted on a wooden structure resembling a pigeon loft. The keeper had to row from the Tweed Heads Pilot Station each day and light the lantern at sunset, and a hut was constructed for him to stay in.[2]

In October 1878 the Maritime Board of New South Wales decided to construct a modern lighthouse at the location. It was the third of five lighthouses of similar design designed by James Barnet in 1878–80, the other four being Richmond River Light, Clarence River Light (now demolished), Tacking Point Lighthouse and Crowdy Head Light.[1] It originally had a porch and an annexe serving as oil room. A four-room, single-storey lighthouse keeper's house was constructed about 20 metres (66 ft) northwest of the tower.[2] The lighthouse and keeper's cottage were constructed by Joseph William Mortley and Shepherd who were successful with their government tender.

On 15 June 1920 the light was converted to an automatic carbide lamp (acetylene gas) apparatus, with an intensity of 1,500 cd, and altered to group flashing. Soon after, the station was demanned and all buildings other than the tower were demolished.[3][1]

In 1980 the light was converted to electricity.[2] The current light source is a modern FA-251 Beacon with a 12 Volt 75 Watt HL-2000 quartz halogen lamp. It is fed by mains electricity with a Battery standby.[3] It revolves once every 30 seconds.[2]

The current light characteristic is a flash every five seconds, red to east and white to other directions (Fl.W.R. 5s). It is partially obscured.[4]


The circular tower is made from bricks and cement rendered from the outside. It is capped by an oversailing bluestone platform at 12 feet (3.7 m) above ground levels, supported by shaped bluestone corbels. The platform is surrounded by a handrail of metal standards and rails. It is topped by the domed lantern housing the optical apparatus, a fourth order catadioptric.[1]

Site operationEdit

The light is operated by Transport for NSW.[5] The site is managed by the New South Wales Department of Lands.


The light is accessible by road from the Pacific Highway just south of the Tweed River. Parking is provided, and there is also a public beach and a picnic area just north of the lighthouse. The tower itself, however, is closed to the public.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d RNE263.
  2. ^ a b c d e Tweed Heads Historical Society.
  3. ^ a b c Lighthouses of Australia Inc.
  4. ^ List of Lights
  5. ^ According to NSW Maritime, though Rowlett says Australian Maritime Safety Authority
  6. ^ Rowlett.