Dent Island Lightstation Heritage Management Plan

We’ve worked with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to develop a heritage management plan to protect and manage the Dent Island lightstation, which was established in 1879.

The Dent Island Lightstation Heritage Management Plan identifies the lightstation’s historical and cultural values and how to protect, conserve, present and tell its story.

It contains detailed information on the area’s history and cultural significance as well as the condition of structures and other physical elements.

This helps outline the day-to-day needs of managing and protecting the lightstation, which was included on the Commonwealth Heritage List in 2004 for its cultural significance.

The plan applies to the lighthouse that is owned and operated by Australian Maritime Safety Authority and to the land and lightstation structures that we own and lease to a private lessee.

The Dent Island lightstation

The lightstation is located on the western side of Dent Island, which is in the Whitsunday region of the Great Barrier Reef approximately 18 kilometres south-east of Shute Harbour.

Established in 1879, the lighthouse is important evidence of how navigation aids along the Queensland coast developed and the history of lighthouse technology, accommodation and associated services.

First lit in 1879, the lighthouse was built in response to the dramatic expansion of regular coastal shipping along the inner route of the Great Barrier Reef following the economic development of northern Queensland.

The lightstation demonstrates the colonial government’s policy of investing in infrastructure, such as railways and lighthouses, to encourage the expansion of economic activity.

The land surrounding the lighthouse contains two houses, an engine room, winch house, derrick crane, landing platform, boat platform and access ladder, workshop/store/radio room, tramline, trolley and cables, metal water tank and stand, paths, stairs, graves and fowl house.

The lightstation complex dating from 1879 to 1960 is a complete intact example of a lightstation complex in Queensland.

Later stages of development have joined with the original fabric and detail of the lightstation to keep a functioning and effective aid to navigation.