Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
Most recently I have been enjoying exploring other art genres, including Eco-dyeing.
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Monday, 19 March 2018

Cape Leeuwin - meeting of the Oceans - Western Australia



Last week we managed to put aside a few days to go away in our caravan. Travelling only a couple of hours south from our home put us in the heart of the beautiful Cape to Cape region of Western Australia’s beautiful south west.  This is the area between Cape Naturalist and Cape Leeuwin, arguably one the most beautiful part of Western Australia abounding with beaches, forests, caves, wineries, restaurants, galleries, bush walks and escapes, and much more.
 
By lunchtime we had booked into the Hamelin Bay caravan park situated in the Leeuwin Naturalist National Park, and within a short walking distance – only about 500 metres, to the beach. 

But more about Hamelin Bay another day. 


 On one of our days we re-visited the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. Situated just south of Augusta, Cape Leeuwin was named by Matthew Flinders on 7 December, 1801, during his circumnavigation  of Terra Australis (Australia), taking the name from the Dutch navigators, Leeuwin’s Land, when the ship the Leeuwin (The Lioness) rounded the cape in March 1622. 

Cape Leeuwin is the most south-westerly point of Australia, and according to our guide one of the world’s most notorious Capes along with Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn. 



The lighthouse, which is the tallest mainland lighthouse in Australia, guards one of the busiest sea traffic routes on Australia’s coast.  The shallow rocks stretching 7 kilometres out from the Cape, diverging currents and massive swells claimed 22 ships before the lighthouse was built, and only one since then. Winds can reach 100-160 kilometres on the Cape. 
The position of the light is latitude 340 22’ south, longitude 1150 08’ east.

Here is a little video I took to show you - 


The Cape Leeuwin lighthouse was officially opened by the then Premier of Western Australia, Sir John Forrest, on 10 December 1896. 

The lighthouse was constructed of hand-carved local tamala limestone quarried about 1.2 kilometres away at Quarry Bay, and built on a foundation of 22 feet (6.71 metres).  The walls are 7 feet thick at the base, and a spiral staircase takes you up to the light and the viewing platform. The elevation of the light is 39 metres above the ground and 56 metres above Mean Tide level. 


 Until 1982 the lens of the light was rotated by a counter weight driving a clockwork mechanism, and the beacon was a pressure kerosene mantle type. Think of the lighthouse keepers who had to carry cans of kerosene up the narrow staircase of lighthouse at least four times every day! In 1982 it was converted to hydraulics and electricity. The light was automated in 1992 and has a range of 25 nautical miles. 


 Three lighthouse keepers and their families lived at the Cape and maintained the lighthouse. They only had one day off, Sunday, every two weeks, and if they went away from the lighthouse, had to be back before dark to light the light. Supplies were delivered by ship. 
  
The lighthouse precinct is heritage listed and includes interpretive signage, boardwalks, decking and telescopes. You can go on a guided walk of the Lighthouse, but be warned there are 186 steps to negotiate to get to the top! Or you may choose to take a self-guided audio tour of the precinct which shares information about the history of the lighthouse, its keepers and the area, but this doesn’t include entering the lighthouse. 


  The other lighthouse you can visit in the Capes region is the Cape Naturalist Lighthouse at the northern point of the Capes. The Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturalist lighthouses mark the start and finish of the 135 kilometre Cape to Cape walking track.

The Cape Leeuwin lighthouse is also a great place to spot Humpback and Southern Right whales May to September as well as fur seals and many varieties of sea birds.

Tours of the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse operate every half hour from 9.00-4.30pm daily, except Christmas Day.

While you are at the Cape make sure you visit the nearby waterwheel, built in 1895 to supply water during construction of the lighthouse, and later to supply water to the lighthouse keepers’ cottages. The waterwheel was built to power a hydraulic ram to pump water from a nearby natural spring. Today the wheel is encrusted with calcified lime and no longer turns, but it is a reminder of the past.

Also at the Cape is a memorial to 10 sailors aboard the HMAS NIzzan who lost their lives in 1945 when a rogue wave hit the ship. And a memorial to commemorate the contribution of "N" class destroyers in WW2 and those who served in them.

More information on the Cape’s lighthouses and the Cape to Cape Track please click here - Lighthouses - Margaret River Attractions

For information on the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse heritage value please click here – State Heritage WA

Before we go, one last look at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. I took this photo several years ago when I was taking photos with slide film for a magazine. Yes I have played around with it a bit in digital post processing, but this is wild weather on the Cape. 

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this look at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.  I wish they would open up their cottages for accommodation. I would love to stay there. Have you ever stayed overnight at a lighthouse? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments. 

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.  

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36 comments:

  1. I've always been fascinated by lighthouses but haven't ever been inside one. What a wonderful place to visit and imagine having the Southern Ocean on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other, what a view! Happy Caravanning, where will you take us to next I wonder?

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    1. Oh Maggie, you must visit a lighthouse. They really are quite fascinating, particularly the history.

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  2. Sure sounded rather windy there! Lovely lighthouse.

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  3. You take the most amazing photos. I love lighthouses and don't remember ever seeing a photo of this one! Thank you!

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  4. Whoa, what a beautiful coast - I kind of like it when the sea is a little rough (great for shooting pics:) ) Beautiful light house -oh boy, lime stone is very pricey in the USA. Don't know if I make it with 186 steps!
    You may have forgotten about St. Paddy's Day, but you had plenty of beauty in the weekend! Thanks for sharing your weekend with All Seasons! And have an adventurous week!

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    1. I was struggling by the end of the 186 steps. Thankfully there was floors and rest stops in between.

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  5. Jill, Thanks for posting the video. It was great! Always enjoy your posts. Have a great week. Sylvia D.

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  6. Lovely views - and I could 'hear' why a lighthouse was needed here - that wind could wreak havoc on ships .... I have never stayed in a lighthouse, but I sure would be interested! I would also be interested in the 135 km track, end to end!

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    1. Yes, we have planned to do the Cape to Cape Track, but have never quite got to it yet, thought we have done "little bits".

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  7. What a gorgeous adventure you had! I love the ocean so much, and lighthouses always delight me. :-)

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  8. Such a beautiful part of our state. I loved your photos, especially the ones depicting wild and windy weather. It's nearly always been windy when we've been there, but the sheer force of nature really add to the appeal - and the romanticism of a lighthouse (although the reality of manning one was very different in the past).

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    1. yes I think actually the reality of living there is far removed from visiting as a tourist - particularly on a remote island when it was just manned by one man or family, not like in this case where there was 3.

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  9. Love places like this! The beauty is incredible but I am a total nerd and enjoyed all the historical facts you included. I am the one always trying to find out the history behind the names. I can give you a tour of the California Coast telling you everything about the history behind the names.

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    1. It really adds to a visit to learn the historical facts. The older I get the more I want to know the history.

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  10. Wonderful shots! I love that lighthouse.

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  11. Lovely photos and video. Have a nice week

    Much🌼love

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  12. Beautiful tour. The sand in your 2nd photo looks so soft and white.

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    1. Western Australia has among the best beaches in the world! they are, mostly, all soft and white! Lucky us!

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  13. That's a beautiful lighthouse~
    Thanks for joining us at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2018/03/the-beautiful-biltmore-estate.html

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  14. Wow, it looks really dangerous BUT beautiful there. It’s amazing what a well managed lighthouse can do to save lives.

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  15. Wonderful photos! Thank you and have a wonderful day!

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  16. A fascinating post. Glad you posted the video as no photos can convey the sound. Wouldn't like to be out on those seas.

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    1. I've only just discovered I can post my own videos. So I hope to post more as time goes on. Bonus!

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  17. What a beautiful and rugged place. That first shot shows two oceans that I've never seen, both in one photo!

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  18. Wow! Absolutely gorgeous! :)

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  19. What a beautiful place for a get-away! Gorgeous photos! I love the lighthouse, and also the WWII memorial to the sailors. Very important places to visit. And your video was wonderful!

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  20. Gorgeous! Someday I hope to get back to visit! Would love for my husband to see as he has never been. I know he would love to go diving on the Great Barrier Reef. I only went to NSW so I would love to go about Australia too.

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    1. It is a big and diverse country Kelleyn. We haven't seen it all yet. When you visit you really need to know where you want to go.

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  21. How gorgoeus! I love being by the water - thanks for sharing!

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  22. I spent a few hours touring this interesting lighthouse and meeting point of the two oceans a few years ago on our around Australia caravan trip. The day I visited the weather was pretty wild too and I wore my warm parka because it was freezing cold in March! Thanks for bringing back memories of Cape Leeuwin

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  23. Beautiful photography - I do love lighthouses and your seascapes with the lighthouse are fabulous

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  24. I just love the seaside and seeing all the different lighthouses around the world. Such beautiful pictures.

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    1. A USA "friend" of mine collects all the different light signals from lighthouses.

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  25. Ah, that lighthouse! I would go just to see that. And the meeting of two oceans is a fascinating concept. I've seen the meeting of 2 lakes (the Great Lakes) and of 3 rivers, but never of oceans!

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  26. I love lighthouses and this one is so charming!

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  27. I've always wanted to stay overnight in a lighthouse - and have wanted to do Cape to Cape as well. I never knew that it was the meeting place for 2 great oceans & as always your colour is fabulous. #teamlovinlife

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