6 of the most amazing lighthouses you can stay in
Have an unforgettable romantic adventure with an overnight stay at one of these stunning lighthouses across Australia, from Byron Bay to Kangaroo Island.
- September 2019
As more people seek out extraordinary accommodations, historic lighthouses that have been reborn as unique stays are trending. Here are six spectacular spots in Australia where you can play lighthouse keeper for a night or two.
Cape Byron Lighthouse, Byron Bay, NSW
Wake to sunrise at Australia’s most easterly point, staying in one of two three-bedroom Lighthouse Keepers’ cottages, which are a very accessible 30-minute hike up a well-paved walkway from Byron Bay township (or a 10-minute drive). The Insta-worthy Cape Byron Lighthouse, home to the nation’s most powerful beacon, is open to the public for tours from 8am until sunset. But with an overnight stay, you’ll enjoy uninterrupted views of Byron’s beaches and get the rugged headland to yourself all night long.
Montague Island Lighthouse, NSW South Coast
Home to penguin and seal colonies, this windswept island nine kilometres off Narooma is visited by more than 90 species of seabirds, as well as pods of passing whales and dolphins. The granite lighthouse dates back to 1881 and the only accommodation options on the 81-hectare nature reserve are the five-bedroom lighthouse keeper’s or the three-bedroom assistant lighthouse keeper’s cottages.
Cape Otway Lightstation, Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Having weathered more than 170 stormy years, the 1848-built Cape Otway Lightstation is Australia’s oldest surviving lighthouse. You can choose to stay in either the renovated rustic Lighthouse Keeper’s cottage, a lodge or a smaller studio, then venture out to climb the 78 steps of the sandstone lighthouse for dramatic clifftop views 90 metres above where the rolling Bass Strait and Southern Ocean collide. Bonus: there’s a café and daily tours.
Point Hicks Lighthouse, East Gippsland, Victoria
This one marks the spot where Captain Cook’s lieutenant, Zachary Hicks, first sighted the Australian mainland aboard the Endeavour in April 1770. More than 100 years later, the towering 39-metre lighthouse was built in 1890 and alongside it are two cottages and a bungalow made from timber salvaged from 19th-century shipwrecks. Bring binoculars and hiking boots because there’s plenty of birdwatching, bush and beach walking. Or venture through the teal door and up the spiral staircase for a complimentary tour of the lighthouse.
Wilsons Promontory Lightstation, Gippsland, Victoria
The only way to get to this spot is via a sweat-inducing 19-kilometre hike but it’s the isolation that makes the trek worth it. Couples can stay at Banks Cottage, with spectacular views of Bass Strait and the “comfiest bed you’ll find”, according to chief ranger Brent Moran. Or a group of friends can spend the weekend huddled in one of two bungalows, as salted winds howl outside. From Melbourne Airport, it’s a 3.5-hour drive south to Telegraph Saddle car park, from where the walk to the 1859-built granite lighthouse begins.
Cape Borda Lighthouse, Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Perched on cliffs on the north-west tip of Kangaroo Island, the beacon from this historic lightstation cuts through the night over the Investigator Strait. Stay over in the three-bedroom Flinders Light Lodge or in one of two smaller huts, which are a two-hour drive south of Adelaide, followed by a 45-minute crossing on the SeaLink Ferry. During the day, join a tour of the 1858-built square lighthouse and make sure you’re around as the island’s cannon, once used to warn ships during fog, is fired at 12.30pm.