Narooma and Bermagui road trip; lighthouses of South coast NSW

A Journey to South Coast NSW’s Spectacular Lighthouses (2024)

Are you enchanted by the allure of lighthouses? I certainly am. Despite their simple function, each lighthouse boasts distinctive architecture and a unique history. Along the coastal cities of Australia, lighthouses NSW stand as iconic landmarks.

A few years ago, my friend and I embarked on a road trip, immersing ourselves in the exploration of the captivating lighthouses that grace the South Coast region of New South Wales (NSW). Join us on this journey as we unravel the individual stories and charm behind these coastal beacons.

For fun big things to see on the way, read 11 big things to see in NSW.

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Lighthouses NSW

In New South Wales, there are over 40 lighthouses, each carrying historical significance, with some designated as government-listed heritage properties. Among the 25 lighthouses managed by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) along the East Coast of Australia, approximately 13 are located within the NSW state.

Fun fact: I had the privilege of working at Roads and Maritime Services for over two years, and it remains one of my most cherished workplaces throughout my career.

Lighthouses in NSW
Lighthouses in NSW

You can explore the comprehensive list of lighthouses across Australia on the Lighthouse of Australia Inc. website.

Lighthouses in the South Coast NSW


As a part of my road trip, Wollongong marked my inaugural destination. Affectionately nicknamed “The Gong,” Wollongong is a charming coastal city that offers a convenient escape from Sydney, located just around 90 kilometers away. Within this picturesque coastal city, you’ll discover two prominent lighthouses: the Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse and the Flagstaff Hill Lighthouse.

Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse

Constructed in 1871, the Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse stands proudly in the Belmore Basin. Designed by Edward Orpen Moriarty, this lighthouse is one of two towers crafted from wrought iron atop a ferro-concrete base.

Lighthouses in South Coast New South Wales
Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse

Although it is no longer operational, the Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse holds significant historical value and is officially listed as a local government heritage site. Affectionately referred to as the “Old Wollongong Lighthouse” by locals, it remains a cherished landmark in the coastal city’s history.

Flagstaff Point Lighthouse

The second lighthouse in Wollongong is the Flagstaff Point Lighthouse, alternatively known as the Wollongong Head Lighthouse. Illuminated for the first time on 23 July 1937, it remains an operational beacon, providing oversight of the Tasman Sea.

Lighthouses in South Coast New South Wales
Flagstaff Point Lighthouse

The lighthouse features a lens with a heritage dating back to 1862, and its tower reaches a height of 25 meters. Beyond its maritime significance, Flagstaff Point Lighthouse has become a popular picnic spot, drawing locals and tourists alike to enjoy its scenic surroundings.

Culburra Beach

Approximately 99 kilometers from Wollongong lies Culburra Beach, often referred to simply as Culburra. This coastal town, nestled in the Shoalhaven area, is distinguished by the presence of the Crookhaven Lighthouse.

Crookhaven Lighthouse

Standing proudly at the entrance of the Shoalhaven River, the Crookhaven Heads Lighthouse is an operational beacon with a construction date of 1882, featuring a timber structure. Two viewpoints near the lighthouse offer breathtaking vistas of the ocean.

Lighthouses in South Coast New South Wales
Crookhaven lighthouse

Accessible by a walk of approximately 500 meters (mostly steps) from the car park, the Crookhaven Lighthouse is notably recognized as the most endangered lighthouse in NSW.


My next destination was Ulladulla, located approximately 80 kilometers from Culburra Beach. The name Ulladulla originates from an Aboriginal word signifying “safe harbor.” Renowned for its stunning pristine beaches and shimmering lakes, Ulladulla is a captivating coastal town.

Ulladulla Lighthouse

The Ulladulla Lighthouse, alternatively known as the Warden Head Lighthouse, was established at its present location in 1889. This structure stands at a height of approximately 40 feet.

Lighthouses in South Coast New South Wales
Ulladulla lighthouse


Situated around 130 kilometers from Ulladulla is the charming town of Narooma, which happens to be one of my favorite towns in Australia. The name Narooma originates from an Aboriginal word meaning “clear blue waters.”

Narooma Lighthouse Museum

While my next lighthouse may now serve as a museum, its beauty remains undeniable. Located adjacent to the Narooma Visitor Centre, additional information about this captivating lighthouse can be explored on the Museums and Galleries of NSW website. The centerpiece of this lighthouse is the original light from Montague Island Lightstation.

Lighthouses in South Coast New South Wales
Narooma lighthouse

Jervis Bay

Renowned for its picturesque white sand beaches, Jervis Bay is a charming village located on the South Coast, and it’s another place in NSW that I hold dear. The distance between Narooma and Jervis Bay is approximately 210 kilometers.

Cape St George Lighthouse

I was genuinely taken aback when I learned about my next lighthouse, the Cape St George Lighthouse, in Jervis Bay National Park. It surprised me because Australia doesn’t have many ruins, and this lighthouse stands as the remains of a structure. Erected in 1860, the lighthouse remained operational until 1889.

Lighthouses in South Coast New South Wales
Cape St George Lighthouse
  • The entrance fee to the national park is AUD 13 per vehicle.
Lighthouses in South Coast New South Wales


Located approximately 80 kilometers from Jervis Bay, Kiama is undeniably one of the most popular and hippest coastal towns in NSW. This town is perfect for spending a day over the weekend, making it an ideal one-day trip from Sydney.

Kiama Lighthouse

The final lighthouse on my journey was the Kiama Lighthouse, established in 1887. This incredible spot is perfect for spending an evening, offering a spectacular view of the sunset. Functioning as an active lighthouse, it is conveniently situated near the famous Kiama Blowhole.

Lighthouses in South Coast New South Wales
Kiama lighthouse

Road Trip Details | Lighthouses NSW (South Coast)

Embarking on the road trip that encompasses the aforementioned lighthouses is truly worthwhile, as the coastal views are breathtaking. This picturesque route spans approximately 800 kilometers and can be comfortably explored over 2.5 days.

Apart from expenses related to fuel, accommodation, food, and entry into Jervis Bay National Park, the overall cost of the road trip is quite reasonable. It offers a memorable journey without breaking the bank.

Closing Notes

As mentioned earlier, NSW boasts numerous lighthouses, and this road trip covered only a handful, leaving many others unexplored. Visiting each lighthouse and delving into its unique charm would require additional days of exploration.

If you’re aware of any lighthouses in NSW that haven’t been mentioned in this post, I invite you to share them with me at I’m always eager to expand my exploration and discover more hidden gems along the coast.

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A Journey to South Coast NSW's Spectacular Lighthouses (2024)
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    PIN for later reference | Lighthouses NSW

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