Region's lighthouses in the spotlight

Cape Otway lightstation will be celebrate International Lighthouse Weekend with a range of activities today and tomorrow.Picture: JACKY GHOSSEIN

Cape Otway lightstation will be celebrate International Lighthouse Weekend with a range of activities today and tomorrow.Picture: JACKY GHOSSEIN

CAPE Otway lightstation — the oldest surviving lighthouse in mainland Australia — will celebrate International Lighthouse Weekend with a range of events.

Activities and open days across the region have been planned, with lighthouses at Flagstaff Hill and Cape Nelson open to the public.

The Cape Otway lightstation light has been in continuous operation since 1848.

A Lightkeeper’s Wife’s Dinner will be held at the Lightkeeper’s Cafe with a four-course dinner featuring local food and drinks, as well as an after-dark tour of the lightstation.

Bush Tucker sessions are also planned and lightstation guide Brad West, a descendant of the Gulidjan people, will steam snapper fillets infused with bush tucker flavours in baskets made from the strappy leaves of the lomandra.

Self-guided tours through the entire lightstation grounds take in the telegraph station, a World War II radar bunker, an Aboriginal cultural trail, the cemetery and a climb to the top of the lightstation.

Characters of the Cape will present an early history of Cape Otway, giving a glimpse into the lives of Australian pioneers.

Flagstaff Hill has guided tours all weekend and on Saturday night a bonfire will be lit.

Manager Peter Abbott said bonfires were the original lighthouses.

There will be a talk on Sunday afternoon at 2pm on the history of the Warrnambool breakwater.

The Flagstaff Hill amateur radio group will also connect with lighthouses around the world.

Mr Abbott said the group previously had chatted to stations across Australia and in Russia, Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Tours will run in Portland across the weekend. There are more than 350 lighthouses on Australia’s coastlines.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority acting chief executive officer Mick Kinley said this year marked 99 years of continuous aids to navigation management by the Commonwealth.

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