Lighthouses of Australia
Outer Barrier Reef Queensland
Ref: 3206.6 Built: 1999 Elevation: 29 Tower: 33 Range: 32 Lat: 17-07.8 Long: 152-08.5
Although East Diamond Islet is just across the channel from the southern end of Lihou Reef, the light on Lihou Reef is 130km away at the northern end of the reef. At 550km the light is further offshore than any other light in Australia and possibly the world. To reach the light the ship sailed through the only entrance into the reef's lagoon, a narrow channel just south of Turtle Islet, which is home to an automatic weather station. It was then 20km across the top of the lagoon to the tower. To put the size of the reef into perspective its lagoon is larger than Port Phillip, Australia's largest bay. It was windy again, with rain squalls and even within the lagoon it was quite choppy. The Lihou Reef tower has four vertical concrete piles that are covered with a heavy duty, rubber compound sheaf. There is also a small column used for mooring the LARC. A stainless steel tower surmounted by a four high, red, hexagonal GRP tower rises from the platform on top of the piles. It has a Vega VRB-25 lantern and a racon, which has a character of "K". The service included changing the 28 batteries. This turned out to be difficult because, due to a design error, the lifting davit on the platform is not on the same side of the tower as the mooring facilities. The batteries then had to be taken up the stainless steel tower to the GRP cabinet. There was also some urgency in completing the maintenance quickly as it was hoped to reach Frederick Reef 500km away the next afternoon with enough daylight to complete its maintenance. The ship weighed anchor, on schedule, just before noon.
Lihou Reef, Outer Barrier Reef,
550 km East of Townsville Qld