Climbing the spiral iron staircase inside the cool and dark lighthouse at Bustard Head is the only way to truly appreciate the history of Queensland’s first coastal lighthouse.
The lighthouse visit is part of the 1770 LARC Paradise Tour and will transport you back in time 150 years with tales of early settlers and lightkeepers who tried to tame the wilderness; only for it to be dubbed the “Lighthouse of Tragedy”.
Outside, visit the light-keeper’s cottages and engine room to get a sense of what it was like to live in times gone by. Then step inside the only operating lighthouse open to the public in Queensland.
Copper oil cans, mail sacks and maritime flags line the walls and the original machinery used to rotate the lighthouse lens is on display. Hear how heavy weights had to be lifted every two hours during the night to ensure the safe passage of passing ships.
Complete your visit by climbing to the top of this 16m-tall iron beauty and marvel at the 360-degree views of the majestic coastline. At the top of the lighthouse, looking at the clear waters and sandy beaches, it is hard to imagine the danger posed to ships, but guides will tell tales of shipwrecks and maritime miracles while pointing out the dangerous rocks scattered in front of the headland.
The tour will also take you around Bustard Bay, arguably one of the most beautiful and untouched places in Australia.
Traverse across four tidal creeks in the bright pink amphibious LARC vehicles and visit the 35m sand dunes at Middle Island for some sandboarding fun.