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Fitzroy Island Light
Fitzroy Island Light is located in Queensland
Fitzroy Island Light
Fitzroy Island Light
Location in Queensland
Location Fitzroy Island
Coordinates 16°55′34″S 146°00′07″E / 16.92622°S 146.00205°E / -16.92622; 146.00205
Year first constructed 1943
Year first lit 1973
Deactivated 1992
Construction concrete tower, tile covered
Tower shape octagonal tower
Markings / pattern white tower
Height 56 feet (17 m)
Admiralty number K3168
ARLHS number AUS-074
Little Fitzroy Island Light
Location Little Fitzroy Island
Coordinates 16°55′23″S 146°00′23″E / 16.92297°S 146.00650°E / -16.92297; 146.00650
Year first constructed 1992
Automated 1992
Construction fiberglass tower
Tower shape cylindrical tower
Markings / pattern white tower
Height 4 feet (1.2 m)
Focal height 33 feet (10 m)
Characteristic F I(3) WRG 15s.
Admiralty number K3168
NGA number 9956

Fitzroy Island Light is an inactive lighthouse on Fitzroy Island, a continental island 29 kilometres (18 mi) southeast of Cairns, Queensland, Australia. It was only active between 1973 and 1992, though a light station at the area is active since 1926 and to these days. It now serves as a visitor centre of the Fitzroy Island National Park.


The first station in the area was established in 1929 on the nearby Little Fitzroy Island, with the purpose of warning ships in the Grafton Passage of the reefs around the island. The station on Fitzroy Island was established in 1943, during World War II to supplement the Little Fitzroy Island Light.

The light characteristic shown by the 1943 light was unique in Australia, and perhaps in the world, in that the characteristic seen (and not just the light colour) was dependent on the direction, corresponding to different Morse code signals. On the direction 217°, the middle of the channel, it showed a group of four flashes every 16 seconds. North of this direction, the first two flashes looked like a single long flash, resulting in one long flash followed by two short flashes, i.e. a Morse code "D" (go down). South of 217° it would show two short flashes followed by a long flash, i.e. a Morse code "U" (go up). This was achieved using two synchronised rotating bullseye lens panels, which were taken from the Cape Northumberland Light first-order lens.

In 1973 the current Fitzroy Island Light was constructed, the fifth of a group of seven concrete towers erected between 1964 and 1979 in Queensland, in order of erection Cape Capricorn Light, New Caloundra Light, Point Danger Light, New Burnett Heads Light, itself, Point Cartwright Light and Archer Point Light. At that same time the Little Fitzroy Island Light was deactivated. The light source was an array of sealed beam lamps.

In 1992 the lighthouse was deactivated, and Little Fitzroy Island Light was made active again. The lighthouse on Fitzroy Island now serves as a visitor centre for the Fitzroy Island National Park.


The lighthouse is octagonal in form, topped with a lantern and a gallery. It is made of concrete and covered with tiles, much like Point Cartwright Light and New Burnett Heads Light.

The site also includes several preserved lighthouse keeper cottages and auxiliary buildings.

Site operation and visiting

Fitzroy Island is accessible by ferry from Cairns, and the lighthouse is a 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) hike from the ferry landing. The site is open, but the tower is closed to the public. It is operated by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service as part of the Fitzroy Island National Park. The unique 1943 light is on display in the lighthouse office. The lamp from the last lighthouse is on display at the Cairns historical Society Museum.

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