THE Cape Otway Lightstation will celebrate its 170th year next month, marking the occasion with a range of free festivities and events open to the general public, titled “You Light Up My Life”.
Kicking off at 6pm sharp on August 18, “You Light Up My Life” is planned to coincide with International Lighthouse Weekend.
The celebrations will begin with the rare opportunity to witness the original Fresnel lens be relit for the first time in 20 years after it was replaced by a satellite beacon in 1994.
A limited number of ticket-holders will be given access to climb the tower to allow this once-in-a-lifetime viewing from the lighthouse.
Taking place simultaneously around the site will
be a range of family-friendly activities including a bonfire, live music, ghost tours, historic story-telling and a variety of delicious and locally sourced food and wine available.
“Special permission had to be sought from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to turn on the light, which is able to shine beams in excess of 40km out to sea” Lightstation manager Trish Goodlet said.
“We wanted to celebrate this incredible milestone with something really special, and being granted permission to turn on the light after all these years is really a dream come true.”
Built in 1848, the lighthouse was a significant Australian landmark for many early immigrants to Australia who had been at sea for up to three months before sighting the Lightstation shining brightly at Cape Otway.
Visitors are asked to bring warm clothing, a blanket to sit on and a torch.
Entry to is free but tickets must be reserved in advance online by heading to lightstation.com/you-light-up-my-life. Limited tickets are available to climb the tower. They will be issued in order of request in 15-minute intervals to allow viewing from the lighthouse. General viewing will also be possible from the whale viewing platform for those who miss out on lighthouse tickets.