Nobbys Head Light
History and museums
Nobbys Head Light is an active lighthouse on Nobbys Head, a headland on the south side of the entrance to Newcastle Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. An image of the lighthouse is included in the Coat of Arms of the City of Newcastle.
The lighthouse is operated by the Newcastle Port Corporation. The headland is managed by the Land Property Management Authority and is open to the public Sundays from 10am to 4pm.
The first beacon in the area was an open coal fire set on Signal Head, with a range of 7 kilometres (4.3 mi). This was changed in 1821 to a large metal device burning oil, which was visible for 12 kilometres (7.5 mi), but shortly reverted to coal as the oil system was not reliable.
By 1846 Nobbys Head, originally a small islet more than 60 metres (200 ft) high, was connected to the mainland with a causeway. The island was reduced in height to improve the sailing conditions and to accommodate a lighthouse and signal station, built in 1858. The lighthouse was designed by Alexander Dawson. The original light had an intensity of 20,000 cd and was attended by three lighthouse keepers.
In 1934 the light was electrified and automated.
The current light source is a 120 volt 1,000-watt (1.3 hp), quartz halogen lamp and the power source is mains electricity with a diesel generator as backup. Currently at the site are three one-story keeper's houses, a three-story signal station, and other buildings housing the port watch. The entire station is floodlit at night.