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Point Malcolm on Lake Alexandrina was an important lighthouse

Point Malcolm mapPoint Malcolm

Point Malcolm Lighthouse, also known as Mundoo Light, is Australia's only inland light station. The concrete tower is also the nation's smallest lighthouse.

The lighthouse operated between 1878 and 1931 to mark the narrow passage between Lake Albert and Lake Alexandrina. It also served as a navigation aid for traffic on the Lakes.

Isolated farms, homesteads and settlements were dependent on the steamers were dependent on the steamers and other boats for supplies and transportation. Fishing boats, sailing vessels an cargo steamers regularly plied the waterways, and travellers between Adelaide and Melbourne sailed across the Lakes by steamer to reduce the long road trip.

By the early twentieth century the paddle steamers Judith, Milang and Murray were carrying passengers, goods and mail up to three times a week between Milang, Narrung and Meningie.

The Light Station

The Point Malcolm Lighthouse and keeper's cottage were constructed by Richard Tenouth, a well-known builder from Strathalbyn.

The tower is seven metres tall and was first operated in February 1878. The original white light revolved every ten seconds. It used seven gallons of mineral oil per month and had a visibility of ten miles. In November 1887 the lamp was altered to a fixed white light.

The keepers were self-sufficient and even sold extra craps. They stored the perishables in a small cave until a boat called to transport them to other settlements.

The lighthouse was turned off in September 1931 because of a decline in vessels using the Lakes. An automatic 'light on a pole' was installed to guide commercial and recreational traffic using the river and Lakes.

Poltalloch Station

Point MalcolmPoltalloch is one of the most significant pastoral properties on Lake Alexandrina. The original buildings date from the 1840s, with the newer homestead constructed in the 1870s. For many years transport for this isolated station was limited to boats crossing the Lake from Milang.

The property was first taken up by Neill Malcolm, a Scottish landowner, in 1839. He sent out a manger and named the estate Poltalloch after the Malcolm family home in Argyllshire. Malcolm originally planned to have Scottish peasants settle the land but, when this failed, the lakeside station was stocked with beef cattle and a substantial homestead was constructed.

Poltalloch continued under a manager for nearly 35 years until 1874, when it was taken up by John Bowman. He developed it into a thriving sheep station and constructed a substantial new homestead and other buildings west of the 1840s settlement. These buildings were laid out to resemble a small English village, with the 'village green' extending to the shore of Lake Alexandrina.

The first of the new buildings was the most important - a large iron and stone shearing shed that accommodated 22 shearers. It included a unique double-arched roof that allowed for a greater expanse without using timber. In 1904 a record 26,000 sheep were shorn in the woolshed.

Work began on the new homestead, a grand Victorian mansion. In 1876 and as completed three years later. The dressed stone was transported to the site by boat.

The Point Malcolm Lighthouse and the original and later Poltalloch homesteads are significant State Heritage Places protected by the Heritage Places Act 1993.


GPS: Zone 54 E 0335896 N 6068699
Panel east of the Narrung Ferry landing, next to the turnstile at the track leading to the lighthouse

Interpretive panels are located at:

River Boat Trail | Border Cliffs | Renmark | Berri | Loxton | Waikerie | Morgan | Blanchetown | Mannum
Murray Bridge | Tailem Bend | Wellington | Meningie | Point Malcolm | Milang | Goolwa

Please do not interfere in any way with ship-wrecks and land based heritage sites

Published with permission of Government of South Australia
Department for Environment and Heritage


 



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