Saturday, November 5, 2011

AUSTRALIA

Cape Leeuwin is the most south-westerly mainland point of the Australian Continent, in the state of Western Australia. The first known ship to have visited this area is the Leeuwin ("Lioness"), a Dutch vessel that charted some of the nearby coastline in 1622. The 39 m (128 ft.) round limestone tower was first lit on December 1, 1896 and is one of Australia's best known lighthouses. It stands at the end of a narrow peninsula with spectacular views of the Indian Ocean to the north and the Southern Ocean to the south.
The light was totally manually operated until 1982 when it was converted to electricity replacing the clockwork mechanism & kerosene burner, one of the last in the world. Automated in September 1992, it also serves as an important automatic weather station. Originally unpainted, the tower had the natural stone color of Tamala limestone and in 2003, after being completely renovated, was painted white. Guided tours are conducted daily at the lighthouse and visitors can climb the 186 steps and seven floors to achieve the gallery and a wonderful view of the cape.