Friday, May 7, 2010

Cleveland Lighthouse

I usually avail myself of public transport when I get out to take photographs for this blog, but sometimes that is just not feasible. Cleveland is about an hour's drive from where I live, and much longer if I were to try to get there on buses and/or trains. So I scheduled a day where I could prise the car keys from mrs tff's clutches, and duly drove down there to take photos for several posts that were in the planning stage. But the fickle gods of photography had other plans - firstly a storm, then rain, and then... (you'll find out at the bottom of this page). Cleveland is south-east of Brisbane, situated on Moreton Bay. It is now a suburb of the Redland City Council, so named because of the red soil of the area, originally a farming community. Shipping was the early form of transport to the region, and in 1864-5, a lighthouse was built for the safety of the vessels that plied the waters. Our historical photo today is actually a Christmas card from around 1908, showing some picnickers at Cleveland Point with the lighthouse in the background.(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #193124)

The lighthouse was a hexagonal structure built from timber, and a kerosene lamp at the top provided the illumination to keep ships off the coastline and sandbanks nearby. It stood 10.6 metres above the high water mark and could be seen over 14 kilometres away. The lighthouse was designed by Capt GP Heath, RN - he was Queensland's first port master and a marine surveyor. The design allowed for the structure to be moved if the shoreline were to change, and it became the prototype of many other Queensland lighthouses. The light underwent several changes as technology allowed, culminating in the installation of an electric filament in 1934. This lighthouse remained in operation until 1975, when it was relocated to allow a more modern light to be installed in its place. Here is a picture of the structure being moved at that time - it was only moved about thirty metres.(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #36434)
And my recent journey? After driving through a storm and then putting up with persistent rain whilst trying to take a couple of other photographs, I arrived at the lighthouse to find...
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

The bloody thing was covered in scaffolding and swaddled in green netting. Not even a glimpse of the lighthouse to be seen. I've included a photo anyway, useless as it is. I'll replace it if I ever have a chance to get back to Cleveland in this lifetime. Those of you who can't wait that long can look here. Returning home, I investigate further, and find that the lighthouse needed to be restored after being eaten away by galahs! Now it has been photographed by one!

PS - A visit to Cleveland today (26/01/2012) disclosed that the renovation of the lighthouse is complete. Now it looks like this:
(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Water wise


  1. Would you believe we did the exact same thing recently? My son wanted to see a lighthouse so out we trekked, only to be greeted by the same sight as you. Luckily for us we had also planned to eat dinner in the wonderful restaurant out there so all was not lost.

    Great blog by the way :-)


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