Not long after I moved to Sydney in 2009 I headed up to Palm Beach, famous as the setting for the TV soap Home & Away, and I noticed there was a lighthouse at the top of the Barrenjoey Headlands. I didn’t have time on the day to check it out, but after taking a recent tour of the beautiful Wadjemup Lighthouse on Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth, I was inspired to return to Palm Beach and make the trek up to northern Sydney’s very own towered beacon.

Constructed in 1881 close to the point where the Hawkesbury River meets the ocean, the sandstone lighthouse still remains in operation today, although it has been automated since 1992. It can be accessed by foot via the ‘Smugglers Track’, named so as the location was a popular for said activity in the early 19th century, up until a customs station was constructed in 1843. Currently, the spinning beam of 75,000 candlepower can be seen around 35km out to sea.

Here are some photos I took of my afternoon exploring Barrenjoey Lighthouse and the superb surrounding scenery. If you’re ever in the area, it’s totally worth spending some time up there yourself!


The lighthouse from the northern end of Palm Beach


Through the trees


The sand and cliffs of North Palm Beach from the Smugglers Track


Getting closer


The lighthouse 🙂


Against the glorious blue sky


Barrenjoey jet stream


There used to be two other lighthouses at the site; one was converted into a sundial after deconstruction


Palm Beach to the left and the calmer Barrenjoey Beach to the right, from the top of the service track