The Cape Leeuwin lighthouse was manually operated until 1982 by a kerosene burner mechanism.
One of the last lighthouses in the world to still operate on such a rudimentary system, it was finally converted to electricity in 1982 and automated in 1992.
With 7 steep floors and 186 steps to its peak of 39 meters (some 56 meters above sea level), a trek to the top of the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse is not for the faint hearted. Visitors will admire the limestone that makes up the tower and its surrounding cottages for their yesteryear charm.
Adventurers and hikers regularly visit the area surrounding the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse, drawn to the popular and well-renowned Cape to Cape Track which takes off from nearby to the lighthouse. The track is a 135km trail which kicks off from Cape Leeuwin and follows the spine of Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge through the National Park, mostly following the coast.
Some 4WD tracks are accessible, but most of the trails were designed for walkers.
The Cape Leeuwin lighthouse and surrounding trekking areas are quite isolated in their settlement, with the town of Augusta being the closest township to the area, and the town through which visitors to Cape Leeuwin can gain access.
For those who are interested in the history of the unique area, Cape Leeuwin was named after the first ship to visit the area in 1622. A Dutch vessel known as the Leeuwin or “Lioness”.
Visiting the lighthouse is a great trip for visitors to the Margaret River Region not only for its history but also as it is one of the best locations to go whale watching in the South West of W.A. The Humpback and Southern Right whales can be spotted from June to September. Flinders bay, at the river mouth to the Blackwood River, is a breeding ground for the whales, where you can see Humpback and Southern Right whales alongside each other and new born calves from mid July.
The Cape Leeuwin lighthouse is open for full tours every single day of the year, except Christmas Day from 8:45am to 5pm. Allow yourself about a 45 minutes to drive there from Margaret River.