Lighthouse to shine

The Rotto (Wadjemup) lighthouse during its reno and gleaming white afterwards.

THE fully restored Rottnest Island Lighthouse has been picked to shine for World Aid to Navigation Day.

The 19th century limestone tower, which still has its original lens intact and still in operation, is nowadays operated remotely by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which picked it to highlight World AtoN Day.

The lighthouse, also known by the island’s Indigenous name Wadjemup, was built on its highest point and first lit on March 1896. 

In February last year AMSA undertook major conservation works which included painting the lighthouse from top to bottom – inside and out – refurbishing its spiralling staircase, lantern room and mezzanine floors, reglazing the lantern-house, upgrading the electrics, cleaning the mercury pedestal and fixing the stonework.

AMSA heritage coordinator Sarah-Jane Lakshman said World AtoN Day provided an opportunity to recognise the 62 heritage-listed lighthouses on the authority’s books.

“These lighthouses remain an important part of the network of aids to navigation along the Australian coastline with many being heritage listed.

“Lighthouses are also a historical symbol of safety and have been a part of ensuring safe passage for ships along our coastline for more than 100 years,” Ms Lakshman said.

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