Barrenjoey HeadlandLocation: Palm Beach
The headland, at the most northern tip of Pittwater, is made up primarily of sandstones of the Newport Formation, the top third is a cap of Hawkesbury sandstone. Around 10,000 years ago the headland was cut off from the mainland due to the rising sea level; subsequent buildup of a sand spit or tombolo reconnected the island to the mainland (a 'tied island').
The 1 km climb to the top of Barrenjoey Headland from the car park at Gov. Phillip Park, Palm Beach, is quite steep, but well worth the effort. The views north across Broken Bay to the central coast, west along the Hawkesbury River and south to Pittwater and Sydney Northern Beaches are spectacular.
Barrenjoey Lighthouse was the third light on the Headland and was completed in 1881. A customs station was established in 1843 at what was considered to be the back door of Sydney for smugglers. The first record of any light on the Headland was in 1855 when a fire was raised in a basket to assist mariners during stormy weather at a time when Broken Bay and the Pittwater had become a safe haven in storms for vessels carrying coal from Newcastle to Sydney.
In 1868, two wooden lighthouses were built at either end of the Headland to guide ships in. The need for a more permanent light lead to the construction of the current lighthouse. The tower is unpainted and built of sandstone brought in by barge and dragged to the top of the hill on sleds by teams of bullocks. The bullock tracks and some of the timbers used to smooth the track are still visible. UBD Map 257 Ref G 7
Bus No. 190, L90 from Town Hall Sydney; or by car to Palm Beach. Walk to lighthouse from Gov. Phillip Park.
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