Cape Bruny (Photography by Joe Shemesh)
Following a series of mishaps and shipwrecks south of Bruny Island, including the catastrophic wreck of the convict transport, George III, in 1835, Governor George Arthur agreed to erect a lighthouse to guide vessels past Bruny Island.
When first lit in March 1838 Cape Bruny was Tasmania’s third lighthouse, and Australia’s fourth. It is now the country’s second oldest and longest continually staffed extant lighthouse.
Life for Cape Bruny’s nineteenth century lightkeepers harsh and the nightly task of maintaining the light was unremitting. Despite their long hours on duty, Tasmanian lightkeepers were poorly paid and many toiled for years without leave.
Technological advances in the 1980s and 1990s permanently altered the operation of Australia’s lighthouses. When Cape Bruny light was lit for the last time on 6 August 1996 and replaced by a solar powered light nearby one of Australia’s last remaining staffed light towers was decommissioned.
Along with most other Tasmanian light stations Cape Bruny was transferred from the Commonwealth Government to the State Government 1 May 1998. In December 2000 it was added to the South Bruny National Park.
See our detailed history of the Cape Bruny Lighthouse for more information.