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Restoration of the heritage listed North Head Lighthouse in Bowen is on track for the planned unveiling ceremony to celebrate its 150th anniversary of operation in November.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said the council and community funded restoration of the 1866 lighthouse is an exciting project with significant tourism and economic flow on benefits for the region.
“The North Head Lighthouse is one of only two Queensland lighthouses that remain intact and on their original site, giving us all a valuable reminder of this region’s history,” Cr Willcox said.
“The North Head Lighthouse Complex is important in demonstrating the evolution of Bowen’s history, particularly the establishment of port facilities to serve the region’s hinterland in an early period of its history,” he said.
“It also continues to reinforce that Bowen was a port since the 1860s and the lighthouse is clearly visible from the town with the characteristic white and red-domed structure reflecting an earlier period of shipping and its associated dangers.”
Work started on the council and community restoration project in May this year and the cleaning of paintwork is almost finished while progress on the main timber structure has been slow due to damage found in the platform and dome support frame.
The Dome/ Lamp Room was transported to Brisbane for refurbishing and is due for return early next week.
The area surrounding the lighthouse, track-line, cylinder storage shed and house area will be cleared, and a pathway created permitting a safe approach for visitors.
The finalisation of the project will include the installation of interpretive pictorial signage depicting the early history of the lighthouse, the lighthouse keeper’s residence and North Head Island itself.
Council will continue to work closely with the community to arrange a suitable celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the construction and operation of the lighthouse, scheduled to occur in mid-November.