In the heart of Kings Beach sit two beautiful historic lighthouses. Only the discreet location of the Caloundra Lighthouses means that many visitors remain unaware of their existence.
They sit in a typical street in the tourism town, alongside the apartment buildings that dot the area’s skyline.
Yet the Caloundra Lighthouses represent years of history, and offer impressive views of the local area, the shipping channel, Moreton Island and the Glass House Mountains.
History of the Caloundra Lighthouses
The Caloundra Lighthouses mark the entry to the North West Channel, which is the main shipping route into Brisbane. When first built, the older lighthouse was located in an open expanse on the headland but over the years residential properties have been built, surrounding their location.
The older lighthouse which was built in 1896 is the oldest building in Caloundra and was constructed out of a timber frame and corrugated iron cladding. Its image can been seen in various locations around Caloundra, including in a mural at the library and in the logo for the local state school.
In 1968 the older lighthouse was replaced by the neighbouring Signal Station, Light and Radar Installation, which is a more modern looking structure made out of reinforced concrete.
The two sat side by side until 1970, when the 1896 lighthouse was relocated to Golden Beach where is remained for 29 years. However, after the Signal Station was decommissioned due to changing technology, the 1896 lighthouse was restored to its original, neighbouring position.
Visit the Caloundra Lighthouses
The Caloundra Lighthouses are looked after by the Friends of the Caloundra Lighthouses, which is a group of volunteers.
They open the Caloundra Lighthouses to the public every second and forth Saturday of the month, from 9am until mid-afternoon.
They are also regularly open to the public for special events held in conjunction with Sunshine Coast Council.
Entry costs $2 for adults, with children free, but remember that donations do go towards the upkeep of these beautiful buildings (so be generous!)
We visited the Caloundra Lighthouses as part of the Sunshine Coast Council’s Discovery Weekend.
We climbed the Signal Station first, which is an easy climb up the internal concrete staircase to the viewing platform at the top. The friendly volunteers offered an insight into the lighthouses’ history and the sights of the local area, while providing us with binoculars to get a better view of the local area.
The older lighthouse is a little trickier to climb and probably isn’t the best idea for really young children or if you’re afraid of heights!
Remember, the lighthouse was built in 1896, so expect to have to climb two wooden ladders to get to the top. Both our kids made it up and back down with a little coaxing, so it can be done, but note that due to the building’s age only small numbers are allowed to ascend at any one time.
The spectacular view from the top is definitely worth the climb and the authenticity and heritage of the historic building is impressive in its own right.
Fast Facts About the Caloundra Lighthouses
WHEN: Open second and fourth Saturday of the month, from 9am until mid-afternoon.
WHERE: 3 Canberra Terrace, Kings Beach, Caloundra
MORE INFO: www.facebook.com/sunshinecoastplaces/
*Information correct at the time of publication.