$2.1 million Cape Nelson Lighthouse restoration complete

top of lighthouse

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has completed a major restoration project of Cape Nelson Lighthouse, south of Portland, Victoria. 

AMSA undertook this $2.13 million restoration to ensure the future safe operation of, and access to, the lighthouse.  

Key upgrades undertaken in the refurbishment include: 

  • Restoration of the lantern room; 
  • Restoration of the stone structure, including new external coatings; 
  • Restoration of the internal access ways, including the removal, repair and reinstallation of internal staircases; 
  • Restoration of the powerhouse, including timber work repairs and new internal/external coatings; and 
  • New electrical systems for both the lighthouse and the powerhouse.

Works took 10 months to complete and required the removal of the entire staircase and balustrading. The staircase and balustrading were transported to Melbourne for refurbishment, before being reinstalled in Cape Nelson Lighthouse.  

AMSA Acting Executive Director Response Kevin McEvoy said the works were critical to preserving Victoria’s maritime heritage. 

“Cape Nelson Lighthouse has a rich history, and it holds a special place in the heart of the local community,” he said. 

“AMSA takes the responsibility of maintaining heritage lighthouses very seriously, because we know they are important to the tourism economy and cultural identity of many regional towns. 

“With this refurbishment, the community will be able to appreciate the majesty and history of Cape Nelson Lighthouse for many years to come.” 

Mr McEvoy said AMSA has a history of maintaining the safety of Australia’s aids to navigation network through in-house technical expertise and specialist contractors. 

“Australia’s aids to navigation network has stood for over a century, evolving and expanding with the economic development of Australia and in response to advances in technological innovation, and growth in maritime trade and activity,” he said. 

“AMSA has been the custodian of this network for the last 33 years, safeguarding the lives of seafarers and our precious seas and coastlines. 

“Together with our state and territory partners, we have ensured the maintenance, modernisation, and growth of this network through our work – today, it stands at more than 22,000 aids to navigation, of which about 450 are directly managed by AMSA.” 

Works for Cape Nelson Lighthouse began in November 2022 and were undertaken by McElligotts Pty Ltd.  

“McElligotts have done excellent work on the restoration of the Cape Nelson Lighthouse, and we would like to thank them for preserving the heritage of the building while ensuring it remains safe for future use”.  

Photos of the newly refurbished Cape Nelson Lighthouse are available at: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/U6ieQXCm3C/files  


For more information and interview requests, contact media@amsa.gov.au or call 1300 624 633. AMSA can link directly to TV newsrooms across Australia, and internationally, from our dedicated media studio, for live or pre-recorded interviews or crosses with our spokespeople.


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