Feel like you’re a few centuries too late for a swashbuckling adventure of the high seas?
Not to worry – lighthouses have stood the test of time on serene beaches, rocky outcrops and dramatic cliff faces. Dig out your compass, because these lighthouses have a veritable bounty to offer…
Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Yes, it’s on the most easterly point of Australia, perches on top of a sheer cliff, and the location practically guarantees frolicking dolphins, but have you seen the lighthouse? Absolutely gorgeous. You can take a tour inside, take photos of its ornate crowns, or try a spot of whale watching.
Tip: Go in the early morning, and be one of the first people in Australia to see the sun rise.
Stay at: Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific Kirra Beach (1 hour drive)
Aireys Inlet, Victoria, Australia
Locals may call it The White Queen, but this lighthouse is famous nation-wide as the filming location of the children’s television show Round the Twist. It has only recently been opened for tours, but there are also plenty of activities in the area – try horse riding on the beach, with the lighthouse as a picturesque background.
Tip: The lighthouse has a school holiday program, including a Round the Twist themed tour for kids (and the young at heart!).
Stay at: Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific Torquay (30 min drive)
Rottnest Island, Perth, Western Australia
A short ferry ride from Perth is a gorgeous seaside village. Cars are banned (you can hire bikes or amble along walking trails), and secluded beaches are a dime a dozen. One of the two lighthouses on the island, Bathurst stands guard as you snorkel with bottlenose dolphins, watch the seasonal whale migration or relax with a good book.
Tip: Wadjemup is the second lighthouse on the island and is open for tours.
Stay at: Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific Perth (The Outram) (30 min by car to ferry)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
It’s Australia’s oldest functioning lighthouse, and, according to Governor Macquarie, the most beautiful – he granted a pardon to its convict architect, Francis Greenway. A sheer cliff drop on one side, the other is relatively flat parkland that’s perfect for gazing out over Sydney Harbour, walking the dog or playing Frisbee.
Tip: Tours of the lighthouse run every two months, so plan ahead!
Stay at: Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific Sydney (15 min drive)
Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Fancy a hike? This lighthouse is the pinnacle of an 8 hour walking track, but the views over the Bay of Islands are breathtaking . You can also learn about the daily life of a keeper in the historic cottage managed by the Dept of Conservation.
Tip: If, like me, hiking isn’t really your thing, you can still take a day cruise around Cape Brett and the aptly named Hole in Rock (the natural arch of Piercy Island).
Stay at: Edgewater Palms (a few minutes walk for cruises, or 1 hour drive to the track)
These five lighthouses will get you started, and there are plenty more to explore…
Have you visited any of these locations? What did you think? What are some other lighthouses you’ve fallen in love with?
Related Articles: Neha’s MyStory poem about her holiday at Flynns Beach (with great pic of Tacking Point Lighthouse!)