Cape Schanck Lightstation - Heritage Icons Project
The above timeline is a current projection and will be subject to assessments, permits, and on-ground and construction industry conditions.
Current status: A current conditions survey and initial site investigations have now been completed. Next up, a cost plan will be received for the project which will help us determine the scope of works.
Last updated: December 2023
This project is being delivered on the Traditional Lands of the Bunurong people.
Perched atop the rocky cliffs of Mornington Peninsula National Park, the lightstation complex is home to the historic Cape Schanck lighthouse and lightkeeper’s quarters.
The lighthouse was built from locally quarried limestone and is one of the oldest in Victoria – its flashing light helping to guide thousands of ships safely across the choppy seas of the Bass Strait since 1859. In fact, the tower’s original glass lens is one of very few in Australia that remains intact and in use today.
Close to Melbourne, families at Cape Schanck weren’t as isolated as many other lightkeepers across the country. However, provisions were still only delivered to the Dromana pier just twice a year until the late 1930s.
Today, the lightstation welcomes visitors from far and wide who climb the 21-metre lighthouse and take in the spectacular ocean views and even spot whales during their winter migration. One of the lightkeeper’s cottages has even been turned into a museum for visitors to learn about the unique history of the precinct.
The project will deliver important conservation works to rectify structural damage with the goal of reopening areas of the heritage-listed lightkeeper’s quarters that are currently closed to the public.
Community and visitors
By reopening areas of the lightkeepers’ cottage, these conservation works will help ensure this important structure remains protected for many years to come – enabling the community to continue to visit Cape Schanck and learn about its rich history.
The Heritage Icons projects are expected to create around 80 jobs over four years, many in specialist trades. Works will also support Victoria’s tourism industry by preserving and protecting this historical site for visitors at home and right across the world.
The Victorian Government is investing $1 million to repair the Cape Schanck Lightstation.
Environment and cultural heritage management
Parks Victoria will undertake relevant assessments during this project to identify and protect environmental and cultural values. Necessary permits and approvals will be sought before any works commence.
There are currently no access changes to the lightstation. Parks Victoria will provide ample notice of any impacts to the public prior to construction commencing on site.
News August 2023: Historic lightstations, forts and mansions to get a new lease on life