The Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse

Short of running aground in a sea freighter, you will have to purchase a ticket to experience the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.  What ever happened to the good old days, when you could arrive unannounced on the shore, during a wild and stormy night? 

The light is a lofty 133 metres above sea level, though 110 of them are height assisted by coastal cliffs.  From land, the lighthouse struggles to rise above the local vegetation, though in all fairness, I guess the best view should be from the ocean.

Assembled in 1903 from limestone blocks sourced from nearby Bunkers Bay, the lighthouse was officially turned on in April 1904.  Originally the light was oil burning, but has since been replaced by a 1000 watt electric globe.  On a pleasant night, a passing ship can see the light 25 nautical miles out at sea.  It's just those wild, windy nights that cause all the visibility problems.  The last lighthouse keeper retired in September 1996, after being replaced by a desktop computer.  The turntable supporting the lens must rotate continuously during the day.  Otherwise the sun's rays striking the stationary lens, would start a bushfire, or burn impatient tourists waiting for the next tour.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse

The Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.

Looking across the cape from the lighthouse.

The official tours commence every half hour, and are the only way to see the lighthouse.  If you arrive just after the last tour has started, you'll have to pass 30 painful minutes in the back room looking at the Lighthouse Museum.  Hmmm.... so the Short Eclipse is 2.49 seconds and the Long Eclipse 7.49 seconds.  If you cannot hang around that long, Life On Perth can suggest two alternative ways to capture a free photo of the lighthouse.

Looking across Cape Naturaliste.

Option 1.   Option 2.  

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse Model

Take a photo of the 9cm model for sale in the gift shop.  After checking out the label under the model, it appears the Chinese Government must have commissioned a visit to the lighthouse at some stage.

The lighthouse can just be seen above the ridge.

Use a really big camera lens and you can take a photo 5km away from Sugarloaf Rock.  It just appears above the ridge.


It is also possible to photograph Bunkers Bay from the Lighthouse.   Bunkers Bay has a long white sandy beach, which is ideal for swimming, and snorkelling.  There is also a rather swish looking resort hidden in the bush behind the beach.  Hmmm.....  Perhaps you can even see the Lighthouse, if you stand at the right spot on the beach.  Next time maybe.

Bunkers Bay from the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.


Bunkers Bay as viewed from the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.



Copyright 2007