Why was the lighthouse necessary? 
Split Point Lighthouse The ‘White Queen’

When was she built?
How was she constructed in an era before electricity and hydraulics?
How does the light work?
Why are there so many lighthouses along the Victorian coast?

OPERATOR: Australian Maritime Safety Authority
CHARACTER: Group flash 4 every 20 seconds
LIGHT SOURCE: 120v 1000w tungsten halogen lamp
POWER SOURCE: Mains with diesel standby
INTENSITY: White 116,000 CD, Red 23,000 CD
ELEVATION: 66 metres above sea level
RANGE: White 20 nautical miles, Red 16 nautical miles
HEIGHT: 34 metres

Gallery13aWhy was the lighthouse necessary? 

• Some ten shipwrecks prior to 1890 along the Surf Coast prompted authorities to plan the lighthouse .

• Construction started in late 1890 and the lighthouse was illuminated in September 1891.• The original tendered price for the lighthouse complete with head lighthouse keeper’s quarters, assistant’s quarters, stables and a store room was 8057 pounds, 18 shillings and five pence. (About $20,000 today.)

• The Chance Brothers (from Birmingham and the major manufacturers in the world of lighthouse equipment of the day) manufactured the First Order lantern and the 920mm focal radius lens in 1886. They also manufactured the dome and the lighthouse equipment, including the cast iron stairs and balustrades. These fittings remain in the lighthouse today.

• Originally called Eagles Nest Point, it was renamed Split Point in 1913. It is a cement-rendered concrete and crushed rock tower, however the original drawings show that it was intended to be constructed of stone. The contractors, Messrs. R. Anderson & Sons (Anderson was a stonemason, originally from Scotland), had great difficulty getting materials to the site. An effort was made to transport materials by sea from Melbourne, but that route had to be abandoned, as the vessel employed to carry the supplies was wrecked through heavy weather on the coast. The stone was quarried locally at Lookout Hill and the ironbark timber was obtained close to the lighthouse.

• The tower design is modeled on that of a chimney as this structure promotes air flow from the base to the top. This greater air flow made the kerosene (and later, acetylene) flame shine brighter.

• The foundations are approximately 4 meters deep and are built up solid with cement concrete. The walls at floor level are approximately 2 meters thick, and finish about 50cm thick at the top. About 800 meters of concrete was used.

• The centre pole and staircase formed the scaffold around which the formwork was constructed and concrete poured. The men stood on the wall to prepare the formwork for the higher sections. The concrete and materials were then hauled up the sides and stairs.

• The tower is only painted on the outside so that moisture can escape internally from the concrete to prevent concrete rot. It was last painted in 2006.