Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Parriwi Head Lighthouse

Parriwi Head Lighthouse, Parriwi Road , Mosman, NSW. 
The Parriwi Head Lighthouse, also known as Rosherville Lighthouse, is located in what is today a suburban setting in Parriwi Road at Mosman in Sydney. It is just up from The Spit on the southern side of Middle Harbour.

The Lighthouse  was built in 1911 to serve as the rear range light for the Grotto Point Lighthouse. This is located on Grotto Point, near Clontarf and is the subject of a previous blog*. The two lights act as navigational beacons for ships entering Sydney Harbour. Vessels moving between North and South Heads line up the shorter lighthouse on Grotto Point with the taller rearward light at Parriwi.

Location of Parriwi Head Light in relation to
Grotto Point Light which can be seen on
 the headland in the middle left of the photo

The Parriwi Head Light is located exactly one mile (1.6kms) across Middle Harbour from the Grotto Point Light, as shown in the photo above.

View of Parriwi Lighthouse looking up towards Parriwi Road.
The Parriwi Lighthouse stands today in its urban setting as an elegant white tower with dome.

Both the Grotto Point and Parriwi Lighthouses were designed by the architect, Maurice Festu, in a "Disney Castle" style. Being purpose-built structures to house lighthouses, they are both architecturally and historically significant. 

View of Parriwi Lighthouse looking up from Middle Harbour.

In 1911, the light at Parriwi was red being powered by a carbide lamp with acetylene gas generated on site. This was later replaced by compressed gas cylinders brought in by boat. Today the light, which shines through the horizontal slit just below the dome, is green and runs on electricity supplied through the suburban grid.

The Lighthouse is operated by Port Authority of NSW. The site is managed by Mosman Council. 

* See History Services Blog - 14 October 2012

If you are interested in researching Australian history go to our website at :

All photos taken March 2015

Blog prepared by Mary McGuinness

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