CAWA Trip 2018 – Cape Leeuwin

Posted on

1/9/2018
We had a little sun for the first day of spring but it was short lived. After a lazy morning and bacon and eggs for brunch we headed out to Cape Leeuwin which is the most south westerly point in Australia and where the Southern Ocean and the Indian Ocean meet. The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse was built from local limestone between 1895-1896.

When completed the lighthouse, which used a kerosene wick lamp, was the largest of its kind in the world. It had an intensity of 250,000 candelas and could be seen 40 km out to sea. In 1925 it was upgraded to vaporised kerosene and in 1955 a radio beacon was installed. It was manually operated until 1982 when it was converted to electricity. In 1992 it was automated. Set on foundations which reach 6.71 m below the surface to the bedrock, the light is 56 m above sea level. It now can be seen 48 km out to sea. We decided not to do the guided tour which involves climbing 186 stairs over 7 floors in the round and just to pay $5 each to walk around the historic precinct.
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Glenn was able to show the area to his friends in America using the camera in his phone and I wandered taking some photos. The sea was a bit wild and we could see showers coming in as we asked another tourist to take our photo where the oceans meet.

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At the time of construction there was also a waterwheel which was built in 1895 to tap a spring and provide water for the workers building the lighthouse. It continued to operate until 1928. Today it stands idle and calcified with limestone.
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We drove back to town stopping at Flinders Bay for a look before we enjoyed fish and chips for lunch. We wandered the couple of shops that were open and then Glenn went to the museum where the exhibits included historic wood working tools and a shipwreck display while I had a coffee at the bakery. Since the rain came in it has been very cold and we welcomed our little fan heater back in the van.

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