Cleveland Lighthouse (former) | Environment, land and water | Queensland Government

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Cleveland Lighthouse (former)

  • 600772
  • Shore Street North, Cleveland Point


State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
21 October 1992
Transport—water: Lighthouse
3.6 Developing secondary and tertiary industries: Inventing devices
5.4 Moving goods, people and information: Using shipping
Construction period
1864–1865, Cleveland Lighthouse (former) (1864 - 1865)
Historical period
1840s–1860s Mid-19th century


Shore Street North, Cleveland Point
Redland City Council
-27.5101884, 153.2890594


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Criterion AThe place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

The former Cleveland Lighthouse, erected in 1864-65, is important in demonstrating the pattern and evolution of Queensland's history, being one of the first lighthouses built in the colony of Queensland, and a prototype for subsequent timber-structured lighthouses. It is significant also for its association with the early European settlement of Cleveland.

Criterion BThe place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland’s cultural heritage.

It demonstrates rare aspects of Queensland's cultural heritage, being one of the few remaining polygonal lighthouses of its type in Queensland and the only extant timber-structured, timber-clad 19th century lighthouse in Moreton Bay.

Criterion DThe place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places.

The former Cleveland Lighthouse is important in being one of the first lighthouses built in the colony of Queensland, and a prototype for subsequent timber-structured lighthouses.


The former Cleveland Lighthouse was built late 1864 to early 1865 by the Queensland government, on an ungazetted reserve at Cleveland Point.

It comprised a fixed kerosene light, equal in power to a sixth order dioptric light, placed on the summit of a wooden tower at an elevation of 10.6 metres above high water mark. Visible at a radius of 14.5 kilometres, it was used by small craft trading to Cleveland, the Logan River and other places in the southern portion of Moreton Bay.

It was not the first light at the Point. A government light was first displayed there in April 1864, and prior to this the Hon. Francis Edward Bigge MLA [NSW], a grazier who lobbied in the 1840s and 1850s to establish Cleveland as the port for Moreton Bay, had erected several lights at Cleveland Point at his own expense.

The 1864-65 lighthouse at Cleveland Point was the first built in Queensland under the direction of the colony's first portmaster and marine surveyor, Captain GP Heath RN. It was a prototype for subsequent similar, timber-framed lighthouse structures, which could be relocated as the sandy coastline channels constantly shifted and reformed.

In 1874 the lens apparatus from the Comboyuro Point light was placed in the Cleveland lighthouse. A still more powerful apparatus, thought to be the one currently at Cleveland which bears a Chance Brothers, Birmingham, maker's plate dated 1875, was installed in 1879. A red sector was incorporated into the light in 1920. In 1934 the illuminant was changed to electricity and a round concentrated filament lamp was placed inside the prisms of the light.

The lighthouse was re-sited in 1975 to permit a new lighthouse to operate from the established nautical position. Some reconstruction was done at this time. The lens apparatus was removed and is displayed in the tower of the Redland Shire Council Offices.


This is a timber-framed, hexagonal, tapering weatherboard tower, with glazed top panels capped by metal roofing. A narrow walkway, with pipe rail, surrounds the upper level, supported on metal struts.

External boarding is white painted with a notable chamfered lower edge. Timber stops, full height between each face, are round-edged. A timber boarded door, complete with early hardware, opens at ground level to the west. Small four-paned windows appear at first and second levels, in the opposite eastern face.

The interior is unpainted except for a priming coat evident on many new timbers. The cross-braced timber framing divides into three above-ground levels of timber decking, connected by a ladder.

At the top level five clear glazed panels and one red perspex panel overlook the water. Under the sill in the western face, a painted timber hatch opens on to the boarded walkway. A 200mm diameter cast iron pipe about one metre high stands bolted to the centre of this floor. The light has been removed from the slotted upper flange. A 100mm diameter central capped vent leads through the metal roof.

The reconstructed lighthouse retains its early form, and is set amidst shade trees near the loop road on Cleveland Point.

Image gallery


Location of Cleveland Lighthouse (former) within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
20 January 2016
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