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Nelson Head Light
Nelson Head Light.jpg
Nelson Head Light, 2008
Location Nelson Bay
New South Wales
Australia
Coordinates 32°42′37.24″S 152°9′41″E / 32.7103444°S 152.16139°E / -32.7103444; 152.16139Coordinates: 32°42′37.24″S 152°9′41″E / 32.7103444°S 152.16139°E / -32.7103444; 152.16139
Year first constructed 1872 (first)
Year first lit 1876 (current)
Automated 1984
Deactivated 2003
Tower shape one-story building and no tower
Markings / pattern yellow building
Height 10 feet (3.0 m)
Focal height 128 feet (39 m)
Characteristic occulting white and red sector
Admiralty number K2771
NGA number 111-6056 (currently unlisted)
ARLHS number AUS-116

Nelson Head Light, also known as Nelson Head Inner Light, is an inactive, unusual lighthouse on Nelson Head, a headland northeast of the town of Nelson Bay, New South Wales, Australia, near Halifax Park, on the southern shore of Port Stephens. The light guided ships into the port. Unlike other lighthouses, the Nelson Head Light has no tower, but was shown through the window of the lantern room, and later mounted outside.

History

The station was established in 1872 as four kerosene lamps shown from a wooden tower.

Nelson Head Light, 1902 cropped
Nelson Head Light, 1902

The current cottage was built three years later, and the light was first shown from it in 1876. The light was installed in an octagonal lantern room attached to the house, and shown through a 3 metres (9.8 ft) window. The house was occupied by 14 successive resident keepers, and the Maritime Service Board, until 1985.

The light was electrified in 1946, and automated in 1984. Since 1986, the house has been preserved and maintained by the Nelson Head Lighthouse and Rescue Station Trust. In 1990, the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol was appointed as trustee. The house is now managed by Marine Rescue NSW, under the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol, and serves as a maritime museum.

In 1995 the light was replaced with a solar powered lantern which was attached outside the previous lantern room. In early 2003 the light was deemed unnecessary, and it was shut down.

Visiting

The house is accessible by road from Nelson Bay and is open daily to visitors.

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