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Tacking Point Lighthouse, (Built 1879) Port Macquarie, Mid North Coast, NSW, Australia | by Black Diamond Images
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Tacking Point Lighthouse, (Built 1879) Port Macquarie, Mid North Coast, NSW, Australia

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In the early to mid 19th Century the main contact for the coastal towns of the north coast of New South Wales was sea transport. There were no roads and the railways were only just beginning.


There were few lights and in the Tacking Point area more than 20 wrecks occurred, the first being the schooner Black Joe in 1823, and the steamer Sumatra in the same year.


In 1879 the Tacking Point headland was cleared of its covering of lush subtropical rainforest and a fixed catadioptric light of less than 1000 candelas was erected.


According to wikipedia the Tacking Point Lighthouse is Australia's third oldest lighthouse but I am not sure that this is correct.

Australia's oldest lighthouse, Macquarie Lighthouse, is also located in NSW, with the first tower built on South Head in 1818.

The second oldest lighthouse is reported to be the Iron Pot Lighthouse on the Derwent River in Tasmania which dates to 1832.

Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse at Seal Rocks was built in 1875 by James Barnet as was Crowdy Head Lighthouse, just south of Tacking Point. Crowdy Head Lighthouse was built in 1878, a year before Tacking Point Lighthouse


Tacking Point Lighthouse stands at an elevation of 34m, is 8m high, and located approximately 8km south of Port Macquarie town green. It was built by Shepard and Mortley and was designed by James Barnet. It was the fourth lighthouse in a series of five small navigational lighthouses built to Barnet's design.

The 3 other lighthouses designed by Barnet were Fingal Head Light, Richmond River Light and Clarence River Light (now demolished). Only two of these lighthouses, Tacking Point and Crowdy Head still have a storeroom attached. All were very similar in design.


The Tacking Point Lighthouse was a fixed white light exhibited from a brick tower and was automated in 1919 and the lighthouse keeper was withdrawn in 1920. The remains of the lighthouse keeper's cottage can be found next to the lighthouse. The total cost of both buildings was £4,650.


The lighthouse is classified by the National Trust of Australia (NSW).


Australian Lighthouses

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Taken on February 6, 2012