Place Details

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North Reef Lightstation, North Reef via Curtis Island, QLD, Australia

Photographs None
List Register of the National Estate (Non-statutory archive)
Class Historic
Legal Status Registered (08/07/1980)
Place ID 16455
Place File No 4/03/182/0009
Statement of Significance
North Reef Lighthouse, built in 1878 is significant as a rare example of a lighthouse built on a coral reef, incorporating a residence at the base of the tower with a rain water tank underneath the structure (Criteria B.2 and F.1). The North Reef Lighthouse is significant as an important element in the establishment of navigational aids along the Queensland coast, which reflects the development of the coastal regions of Queensland after its separation from New South Wales (Criterion A.4).
Official Values Not Available
Description
The North Reef Lighthouse is the last of the four lighthouses recommended by the parliamentary committees in 1864, and was to prove the most challenging. The site was a small sandbank on a coral reef, on which Stanley proposed to place a cast iron cylinder 12m in diameter and 15m tall, which would penetrate the sand and rest on the coral. Inside the cylinder, concrete would be poured to form a hollow base for the tower and quarters, which would encircle it. The base would be hollow and serve as a tank, fed by fresh water from the roof of the quarters. Tenders were called in January 1876, the job going to Walker and Company of Maryborough for 7,964 pounds. By another oversight the government had called tenders before the money was voted by parliament, and Walker had to wait six months before receiving approval to proceed. Even so, there were many more delays which financially embarrassed Walker, but the company completed the project in November 1878, fourteen months after the original contract date. The tower and dwellings were constructed of timber sheathed in galvanised iron, the total height being 24m. As with Cape Capricorn, details of the original lantern are not available, but the power was increased in 1923 and again in 1929. North Reef was converted to electric operation in 1977 and demanned. North Reef was one of the major achievements in Australian lighthouse construction. The North Reef light was converted to solar operation in 1987. It is not known whether the place has Aboriginal National Estate values as these have yet to be formally assessed.
History Not Available
Condition and Integrity
Works in 1987 involved the mounting of six solar panels on the roof of the quarters, facing north. They do not affect the architectural aspect of the tower.
Location
North Reef, South Pacific Ocean, 77km north-east of Curtis Island and 115km east of Emu Park, comprising the light tower and the quarters which encircle it.
Bibliography
From Dusk Till Dawn (1988). Department of Transport and
Communications. MacMillan Australia, Sydney.

Information on file - National Trust (Queensland).

Report Produced  Mon Apr 21 08:01:55 2014