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Double Island Point Lightstation

  • 601722
  • Double Island Point, Double Island Point


State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
23 September 1998
Transport—water: Light station
Transport—water: Lighthouse
5.4 Moving goods, people and information: Using shipping
7.2 Maintaining order: Government and public administration
Clark, William Peter
Construction period
1883–1930, Double Island Point Lightstation (1883 - 1930s circa)
Historical period
1870s–1890s Late 19th century
1919–1930s Interwar period


Double Island Point, Double Island Point
Gympie Regional Council
-25.93199798, 153.18714353


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

Constructed in 1884, the 18th lighthouse built by the Queensland government, Double Island Point Lightstation occupies an integral part in understanding the establishment of maritime navigational aids along the Queensland coast and reflects the growth and development of Queensland after its separation from New South Wales.

Double Island Point Lightstation is associated with Commander George Poynter Heath, the first Portmaster of Queensland (1862-1890), a significant figure in the development of the Queensland lighthouse service. During Heath's time twelve major lighthouses were built along the Queensland coast.

Criterion CThe place has potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of Queensland’s history.

The area also has the potential to reveal further information about infrastructure associated with the lightstation.

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

The lighthouse is substantially intact, and survives as a good example of a type of lighthouse construction, a round timber-framed tower clad with glavanised iron sheets, unique to Queensland and incorporating Queensland resources. The use of a timber framed building clad in iron was continued throughout the Colonial Period, following the construction of the timber-framed lighthouse on Lady Elliott Island in 1873.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

Double Island Point Lightstation is significant as a well-known landmark, visible from sea and air approaches. Although a comparatively small structure, the lighthouse has aesthetic value, with the white tower, capped by a bright red dome, isolated against the green foliage of the headland. It makes a dramatic visual statement in the natural landscape.

Criterion FThe place is important in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement at a particular period.

The lighthouse is substantially intact, and survives as a good example of a type of lighthouse construction, a round timber-framed tower clad with glavanised iron sheets, unique to Queensland and incorporating Queensland resources. The use of a timber framed building clad in iron was continued throughout the Colonial Period, following the construction of the timber-framed lighthouse on Lady Elliott Island in 1873.

Criterion GThe place has a strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

The place has a strong association with the life of the lightkeepers, their families and maintenance and stores people, who contributed to the continuum of a system dedicated to the single aim of maintaining the navigational aid.

Criterion HThe place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organisation of importance in Queensland’s history.

(Criterion under review)


Up until 10 December 1859, the colony of New South Wales extended as far north as Cape York Peninsula. In 1859, the new colony of Queensland acquired over 5000 kilometres of coastline which had few safety features in place, and became responsible for all navigation lights and harbours along this coastline. At the time the only lighthouse which existed had been built at Cape Moreton [600257] by the New South Wales Government in 1857.

By 1862, the Queensland government had appointed a Portmaster, Commander George Poynter Heath and had passed the Marine Board Act 1862. In the two years following, due to a lack of funds to spend on marine safety, activity concentrated on dealing with pilots and harbour lights, The issue of coastal lights was not taken up until 25 May 1864, when Members of the Legislative Assembly moved that a Select Committee be appointed to enquiry into and report upon the state of the harbours and rivers in the colony. The Committee consisted of Messrs Macalister, Douglas, Sandeman, Cribb, Challinor and Bell and convened for the first time on 27 May 1864. The Committee widened the terms of reference to include..the question of the necessity of additional lighthouses on the coast of Australia, within the colony of Queensland.

A Select Committee was also appointed by the Legislative Council with the more specific field of reference to enquire into and report upon the requirements of this Colony, under its increasing trade and commerce, as to the provision of additional lighthouses for its coasts and harbors.

The reports of both Select Committees were in agreement regarding the necessity of a light at Sandy Cape. Other points where it was considered that lighthouses were required were at Cape Capricorn on Curtis Island, Point Danger or Cape Byron and Bustard Head [601260]. Lady Elliot Island [601580] and Double Island Point were also among the sites which the Committee indicated as possible suitable sites, however, it was not until the 1880s that the construction of a lighthouse on Double Island Point was seriously considered.

One of the earliest references to Double Island Point by Europeans was in 18 May 1770, when Captain James Cook, on his voyage of discovery in the Endeavour, named the island 'Double Island Point'.

In Heath's 1882 report to Parliament, he Double Island Point a light is required for vessels entering Wide Bay. In January 1883, Heath visited Double Island Point and recommended that the site initially suggested would not have a sufficiently wide outlook. He recommended a light at the top of the headland with the installation of a 3rd Order light. This advice resulted in plans and specifications being prepared, by the Colonial Architect's Office, for a lighthouse and cottages at Double Island Point. Tenders were called, at the end of June 1883, for both Double Island Point and Pine Islet lighthouses.

The contract for the construction of the lighthouses was awarded to WP Clark at a cost of £6900. The figure included costs for constructing the lighthouse at Pine Islet [601268]. The Double Island Point light was first exhibited on 11 September 1884. A report to the Marine Department's Treasure dated 30th June, 1895, states the initial cost of constructing the Double Island Point Lighthouse was £5199, with annual maintenance costs of £484. With the completion of the Double Island Point and Pine Islet lighthouses, Clark had been responsible for five of the nine towers built in Queensland since separation in 1859.

The establishment of the lightstation of Double Island Point is the first, and apart from grazing and recreational fishing, the only use of the site following European settlement of Australia. This use has been uninterrupted from 1884 until the present.

The tower is the only component of the lightstation constructed in 1884 still extant. The light was originally fitted with a Third Order Lens and an oil wick burner. In 1923 the illuminant was altered to a kerosene burner. Ten years later the light was converted to electric operation. The light was automated in 1991, reducing the work of the lightkeeper to that of caretaker, and facilitated the subsequent destaffing of the lightstation.


Double Island Point Lightstation is located on the highest point of Double Island Point, 70 kilometres north of Noosa Heads. The lightstation reserve is 57 hectares and includes all of the high rocky land at the point.

The site of the Double Island Point Lightstation can be divided into three areas: the Tower Area, the Cottage Area and the Remaining Area.

The tower is framed with hardwood and sheeted with iron plates about 2 mm thick. The footing and ground floor is mass concrete and the lantern floor and balcony are reinforced concrete. The height of the tower to the lantern floor is about seven metres and it supports a standard Chance Brothers lantern of cast and wrought iron with a copper cupola.

The Tower Area includes the tower, watch hut, power house and tank farm. Low dry stone retaining walls have been formed to the east of the tower. This has allowed the creation of a level area around the tower.

The existing track which provides access to the tower area is apparently the position of the 1884 track. It now has concrete wheel tracks to suit the LARCs which were used to supply the station until the mid 1980s.

The tower area contains few trees, and the grass is kept mown. Some introduced flowering plants probably indicate naturalised species from the cottage gardens. Two hoop pines near the first bend of the access track indicate an interest in landmark planting by some past keepers. The tower area is also the site for an anemometer and various radio aerials.

The Watch Hut is framed in hardwood and sheeted with asbestos cement. It has a concrete footing and floor and a corrugated asbestos cement roof.

The Cottage Area includes the two 1933 cottages, the weather shack, the garage and car ports, the workshop and store, the service pits, the flag pole, the stevensons screen and the tow barbecue areas. It is defined by surrounding fire breaks. The cottages are hardwood framed and are sheeted and lined with asbestos cement. Floors are hardwood, raised concrete stumps. The roofs were corrugated asbestos cement, but have been resheeted in colorbond corrugated steel.

The weather shack is timber framed, sheeted with asbestos cement, with a corrugated asbestos cement roof. It has a concrete slab-on-ground floor. It now functions as an office for the keepers, particualry in regard to recording weather observations. The flag pole is made from 75 mm diameter glavanised steel tube, with hardwood gallows set in concrete. It has stainless steel stays. The garage is a brick building with a concrete slab floor and timber framed aluminium sheet roof. At attached carport with galvanised steel tube columns and a hardwood framed roof with corrugated asbestos cement sheleters the keepers private vehicles. It has a concrete floor.

The workshop has a prefabricated galvanised steel frame clad with aluminium sheeting and a concrete floor. It has 240 volt electricity connected. It has a stainless steel bonding strip.

At least one person is buried at Double Island Point. The grave of Fanny Byrne is located at the foot of a depression to the south of the cottages. The grave is marked with a marble headstone and protected by a picket fence.

Image gallery


Location of Double Island Point Lightstation within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
20 February 2022