South West Rocks

South West Rocks is located on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, near the mouth of the Macleay River. It is approximately 40 km from Kempsey. Jerseyville is located nearby.
The population of South West Rocks is 4,069 people, though the town maintains a steady growth rate, the tourist population of South West Rocks increases markedly during the holiday season. Beautiful scenery, numerous beaches, and man-made attractions such as Trial Bay Gaol and Smoky Cape Lighthouse are published as local tourist attractions.

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Whilst Arakoon was originally established as the township on Trial Bay in 1866, by 1889 South West Rocks had established itself as a popular bathing resort with people of the Macleay Valley. South West Rocks got its name most likely from the captains of passing ships, who claimed it was safest to moor vessels near the rocks, south west of Laggers Point (the point on which Trial Bay Gaol is built). Another theory is that their moorings would be safe if they kept the rocks to their south west. Trial Bay was named after a brig, The Trial, which was stolen and wrecked by convicts in 1816 in the bay that now bears its name.
On 13 May 1770, Captain James Cook observed smoke from a fire on a mountain which he named Smoky Cape. The headland in front of the mountain is now the location of Smoky Cape Lighthouse.1972, a Sydney Harbour showboat, Sydney Queen, and the former Newcastle car carriers Lurgurena and Koondooloo, were wrecked on the Main Beach after breaking free from their moorings in heavy storms. Elements of all three vessels were salvaged, but the hull of Sydney Queen filled with sand and could not be removed. It was eventually burned to the waterline to remove the obstruction from the beach.

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Smoky Cape Lighthouse

Captain James Cook sighted and named Smoky Cape on Sunday 13 May 1770. Smoky Cape Light was first exhibited on Sunday 15 April 1891.
In 1791, convicts built Australia's first manned light, a wood fired beacon on the south head of Sydney Harbour. This eventually became the Site for Australia's first light tower, Macquarie Lighthouse built in 1818.
In 1886, Alexander Kethel, member for West Sydney proposed the need for a light at Smoky Cape. James Barnet the Colonial Architect was summoned to design and have the light built. Cecil W Darley Engineer in Chief took over from Barnet due to a change in administration before final plans were completed. Tenders were called on 2 January 1889 and a contract was awarded to Messers Oakes and Co. Unfortunately Mr Oakes died during the construction, but the work was carried on by his executors.

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The cost of construction, including tower, optical apparatus, quarters and ancillary buildings, amounted to £1600.
The light still operates from the original lens and lantern. However in 1962 when the light was converted to electric Operation, the clockwork weight driven machinery was removed together with the vaporised kerosene lamp.
The current characteristics of the light are:

POSITION: Latitude 30 deg 55.4 min South, Longitude 153 deg 05.2 min East
CHARACTER: Flashing (3) ever 20 seconds
Length of flash, 0.1 seconds
Short Eclipse 3.1 seconds
Long Eclipse 13.5 seconds

LENS: 920mm focal radius, 9 panels, catadioptric. One revolution every 60 seconds.
LAMP: 120 volts, 1000 watt, tungsten halogen
INTENSITY: 1 000 000 candelas
RANGE: Nominal 25 nautical miles, Geographical 28 nautical miles
ELEVATION: 128 metres above sea level

Source: wikipedia / onsite information board