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The Eastern Lighthouse at McCrae, on the Mornington Peninsula, guided ships through the South Channel on the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay. The steel tower, which is listed on the Victorian Historic Buildings Register, is the tallest lighthouse on mainland Victoria, standing at 33.5 metres.

The original McCrae Lighthouse was a timber structure built in 1854. This was dismantled and replaced by the current structure, which was built in England by the Chance Brothers & Co in 1874, shipped to Australia, and erected in 1883.

This lighthouse has unique features in that it had not only dioptic, but also catadioptic and holophotal lens systems. When in operation, the light gave, with the South Channel Pile Light, a "lights-in-line" channel-centre guidance to inward-bound ships coming up Port Phillip Bay towards Melbourne.

The lighthouse was decommissioned by the Port of Melbourne Authority in 1994 following the modernisation of other navigational aids in Port Phillip Bay. It was transferred to the McCrae Foreshore Committee via the Department of Natural Resources and Energy in 1996.  The lighthouse keepers buildings have been demolished.

Location: 38 21' S  144 55' E
Nearest Town: McCrae
Operator: Port of Melbourne Authority
Built: 1874 (in England)
First lit: 1883
Decommissioned: 1994
Open to public: Grounds only
Access: Sealed road
Accommodation: No
Character: Flash every 15 seconds
Lens: Dioptic, catadioptic and holophotal lens systems
Power source: Mains power
Structure: Steel tower, externally braced with steel lattice
Height: 33.5 metres
Elevation: 45 metres
Range: 13 nautical miles

* Lighthouses of Australia Inc
* Lighthouses: Australia
* Australian Lighthouses


Photographed by K. Eggleston, 29 April 2001 Kristie Eggleston

Photographed by K. Eggleston, 25 February 2000 (at midnight) Kristie Eggleston



The lighthouse is in the Lighthouse Reserve on the beach side of the Nepean Highway at McCrae between Dromana and Rosebud. 

The lighthouse is fenced off, although there is no restriction of access to the reserve.


Lighthouses of Australia Inc Garry Searle's Lighthouses Australia

Grant & Tracey's Lighthouse pages Dromana and District Historical Society
Kevin Mulcahy's Australian Lighthouses

Page last updated:  27 December 2003

Copyright 1999-2003 Kristie Eggleston. All rights reserved.
Email: kristie_eggleston@hotmail.com