I have mentioned in many of my posts earlier. I love visiting lighthouses and admiring the way they are built. It’s so cool to see a lighthouse in action. Even though the major function of a lighthouse is to warn boats of dangerous areas and to act as a navigational system, each of the lighthouses are unique and designed differently. They are the traffic signals of the sea. Whenever I go on road trips in Australia that are along the coastal routes, I try to visit the lighthouses along the way.
Refer All about lighthouse for information on lighthouse functions and why lighthouses are constructed.
About Norah Head Lighthouse..
Norah Head lighthouse, built in the year 1903, this lighthouse provides a panoramic view of Pacific ocean. It is an active lighthouse and hosted the last lighthouse keeper in New South Wales (NSW). Located at Norah Head, visiting this lighthouse is one the things to do while traveling to the Central Coast in NSW.
The lighthouse is open over the weekends between 10 AM and 1:30 PM. Since the Norah Head lighthouse is not too far from Sydney, it makes a perfect one day trip from Sydney and a great road trip to spend the weekend at.
Note: There are no cafes or restaurants at the Norah Head lighthouse. However, the nearest restaurant is just about 200 to 300 metres from the lighthouse.
One can stay at the Norah Head lighthouse. There are two separate accommodation options available at the lighthouse that can host 8 people each at one time, one is the Assistant lightkeepers quarters and the other is the Head lightkeepers quarters. Refer their official website to book and know the availability.
The lighthouse is also famous for weddings.
How to reach Norah Head lighthouse?
- Driving – Norah Head lighthouse is around 120 kilometers from Sydney Central Business District (CBD). The drive is the quickest way to reach the lighthouse and it takes just about 2 hours drive.
- There are plenty of free parking spaces available.
- Public transportation – Reaching Norah Head lighthouse from Sydney CBD is a bit complicated. One needs to take a train and then two buses to reach the stop that is closest to the lighthouse.
- The Central Coast and Newcastle line goes to Wyong train station from Central train station.
- Then a bus needs to be taken from Wyong train station to Lake Haven bus stop.
- Where one can board the last bus from Lake Haven bus stop to Bungary Road before Maitland street.
- The Bungary Road before Maitland street bus stop is around 1 kilometre from the lighthouse.
- Up-to-date information on trains and buses can be found on the Transport for NSW website.
Note: While taking a public transport in NSW, always ensure that you check for the timings including the return journey. Because not all buses and trains are frequent and there are chances where one may miss the return bus/ train.
Guided Tour of the lighthouse
The lighthouse is open for visitors and has guided tours every day of the year except the Anzac Day and Christmas Day. The guided tour costs AUD 6 per adult and is totally worth it. The guide takes the visitors to the lantern tower where you can see the lantern in operation. Pretty cool, isn’t it!
The guided tours can either be booked on their website or at the entrance.
The guide ‘Chris’ provided us a brief history of the lighthouse and the structural design. The lighthouse was built due to the many wrecks occurring around that area during the late 1800s and this lighthouse was built to stop from more ship wrecks. The lighthouse is around 90 feet (27.5 metres) high. There are 96 steps in the tower, made of concrete with slate treads and cast iron. The first three stages of those steps are same size whereas the last stage of stairs are narrow and steep.
Did you know that earlier in the day, if one had to be employed in the lighthouse, then the person had to be a male, married and short?
Chris also mentioned how a few mistakes were deliberately made while building this lighthouse. Two mistakes were made on the door – one of the stars were incomplete and the lion was facing the other side unlike the British symbol which faces the opposite side.
We then headed to the lantern tower. Even though at a distance the lighthouse, looked like it was blinking, but in reality there were no lights blinking, it was just the lantern rotating.
I would definitely recommend the 30 minutes guided tour. It provides an insight into the history and the operations of a lighthouse.
There are plenty of other things to do in the area, some of them include:
- Feeding pelicans at The Entrance.
- Visiting Australian Reptile Park.
- Sand boarding at Port Stephens.
Safety for solo female travelers
Norah Head lighthouse is extremely safe for solo female travelers. There are no issues whatsoever and is completely monitored. However, like any other place in the World, be cautious and know your surroundings, especially at nights.
Note: I did not travel alone to this lighthouse. The visit to the lighthouse was as part of my road trip in the Central Coast.
Even if you do not take the guided tour, I would definitely suggest visiting this beautiful lighthouse as it provides amazing views of the ocean. It is one of the few active lighthouses where one can walk up the tower and see the lantern in action.
Most towns or cities on the East Coast of New South Wales (NSW) have inactive/ active lighthouses and if you love visiting them, refer Lighthouses in NSW post.
Have you been to Norah Head lighthouse? If yes, did you like it and what were your thoughts? I would love to know, drop a comment below or write to me on Solopassport@gmail.com.