Lighthouses have been an integral part of Yorke Peninsula’s history, guiding ships and boats safely around the rugged coastline.
The 'bottom-end' of Yorke Peninsula has some of the most treacherous coastline in Australia, which has resulted in many shipwrecks.
If you have ever wondered what it might be like to be a light keeper…you can rent your own island and stay in the lighthouse keepers cottage on Troubridge Island.
Troubridge Island lighthouse was the 1st Australian lighthouse to be built of cast iron and it was the 2nd lighthouse to be built in South Australia. The lighthouse was prepared in England and shipped to Australia in pieces, with construction completed in 1855. The lighthouse was manned from 1856 to 1981. The island became a conservation park in 1982 when purchased for $42,000 by the State Government.
Special wedge shaped clay bricks were custom made to build this unusual lighthouse. It is designed to be resistant to high winds and earthquakes, as in the early 1900's the area experienced numerous earthquakes. Measuring 32 metres high, Troubridge Hill Lighthouse has a light range of 22 nautical miles and operates off mains electricity with a backup generator.
Completed in 1882, the Corny Point lighthouse is made of limestone quarried from a nearby farm. De-manned in 1920, the light continued to shine until the 11th December 1942, when a Japanese invasion was feared and it was turned off for several weeks. It was converted to electricity in 1978.
Entries from the light keeper's logs describe how it survived earthquakes and other natural phenomenon such as seeing meteors flying past.
Costing a total of £11,000 to build, Althorpe Island's Lighthouse was made out of a mixture of limestone and hard sandstone quarried from the island. Powered by twin diesel generator sets and a 120 volt 1000 watt tungsten halogen lamp, it was first lit on February 14th 1879 and continued to shine for 112 years.
Standing 15 metres tall and 91 metres above sea level, the light reached 24 nautical miles into Investigator Strait. The light was converted to operate on automatic solar power in 1991 and the island was declared a conservation park in 1996.
Today, Althorpe Island is looked after by the Friends of Althorpe Island who work alongside the staff from Innes National Park to conserve the lighthouse, the keeper's cottages, and local plant life.
Constructed of stainless steel and built in 1980, West Cape is a fully automated lighthouse, standing 67 metres above sea level with a range of 22 nautical miles. The lighthouse can be accessed by a walking trail from within Innes National Park and has spectacular views across Pondalowie Bay.
An automatic beacon was commissioned in 1950, with a major upgrade taking place in 1970 to the cement structure you see today. Standing 78 metres above sea level and powered by a 120 volt 1000 watt tungsten halogen lamp, Cape Spencer Lighthouse has a light range of 23 nautical miles.
The lighthouse can easily be accessed through Innes National Park and a short walk takes you to the tower itself with a magnificent view overlooking Althorpe Island and on a clear day all the way across to Kangaroo Island.