Places I Love: Woodman Point Lighthouse

You don’t need to board a plane or a train or a ship to see the world, or even Fremantle and environs, just join our Jean Hudson @jeansodyssey as she takes you to the places she loves!

Did you know that Woodman Point Lighthouse is only painted on the seaward side?

This quirky little lighthouse, only 9.8 metres high, is perched unpretentiously on top of a hill overlooking Cockburn Sound.

It is the second most ‘inland’ lighthouse within Australia, after Point Malcolm on the Murray River in South Australia. It is not actually on Woodman Point, but to the eastern side of Cockburn Road.

It’s also known as Woodman Lighthouse, Woodman Light, Gage Roads Lighthouse or Coogee Lighthouse.

The lighthouse and keepers’ cottages were constructed from locally quarried limestone. Built as a leading light, this lighthouse replaced the Arthur Head lighthouse and has provided shipping with a safe route via Gage roads into Fremantle Harbour since 1902.

Originally constructed as a rotating light but converted to a sector light of Red, White and Green. This lighthouse is the only one in Australia which has the port and starboard sectors reversed – the result of original, incorrect installation.

Woodman Lighthouse became automated in 1955 and its light can be seen for 34.5 nautical miles (63.9 km) in clear weather.

During WWII, the Army used the site as a communications base and observation post.

The lighthouse is closed to the public and surrounded by a high mesh fence. It can be reached by a track behind the keepers’ cottages. The cottages are now leased.

Woodman Point is the area where the Quarantine Station existed and operated from 1880 until 1979. The station’s purpose was to prevent communicable diseases present in immigrants and ship’s crew from spreading into the general population. It dealt with scarlet fever, leprosy, small pox, bubonic plague and Spanish Flu. Listen to our podcast on the Quarantine Station here.

Today, the coastal area around Woodman Point has walk and cycle paths. There is an abundance of shorebirds – it is an important resting, feeding and breeding site to Pied Oyster Catchers, Ruddy Turnstones, Grey Plovers and Fairy Terns.

Take a walk or cycle the trails and explore the historical sites in the area.

The Woodman Point Jetty – known locally as the Ammo Jetty – is a great spot for fishing and meeting the local pelicans!

* Story and photographs by Jean Hudson @jeansodyssey. Jean is a regular feature writer and photographer here on the Shipping News. Discover more of her informative Places I Love stories as well as other feature stories and Freo Today photographs, right here.

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