Wollongong Heritage and Stories

Category tag: illawarra museum, science

bellambi lighthouse lamp

The Bellambi Coal Co. Ltd. erected a beacon light on the shoreline at Bellambi Point in 1913.  The light sat on a steel tower 15.8 metres above sea level and could be seen up to 12.9 kilometres out at sea.

It was powered by electricity generated at the Bellambi mine and enabled ships to access the company’s jetty at night.  The light also warned sailors of the dangerous Bellambi Reef.  At least seven vessels are known to have founded on the reef.  The last was the Munmorah on 18 May 1949.

The Bellambi Jetty was very exposed when the wind came from the south or east.  Ships could not use it in bad weather and had to wait off shore until conditions improved.  This affected the viability of the jetty and the mines.  The development of safer harbour facilities at Port Kembla led the company to discontinue use of the Bellambi Jetty in 1953.

The light was decommissioned on 1 March 1954.  In 1955 a storm washed away much of the jetty.  The army detonated the remains in 1967.