Nelson Head Inner Lighthouse Cottage

The Reserve:

Nelson Head Lighthouse Cottage and Rescue Station Reserve, nestling within its white picket fence, is situated on a lawned headland that rises some 53 metres (175 feet) just inside the entrance to Port Stephens. In 1875, the headland was chosen as the lighthouse site because it provided the best views of the extensive waters of the Port - and still does!

Lighthouse Cottage:

The historic lighthouse keeper's cottage offers visitors beautiful views, local history, information on marine rescue and light refreshments in its welcoming tearooms. It now operates as a museum of local history.

Visitors can learn about:

  • The area’s development
  • The men and their families who staffed the lighthouse
  • How the light operated
  • Shipwrecks in the vicinity
  • 1942-45 wartime activities of the Royal Australian Navy's Amphibious Warfare
  • Establishment, HMAS Assault and Joint USA/Australian Combined Operations
  • Training School, located in Nelson Bay
  • The fortifications erected during World War II to defend the Port.

The reading section allows visitors to peruse material on local history. Interesting videotapes of the port's history are also available for viewing.

Tea Rooms:

Adjacent to the museum is the Inner Light Tea Rooms where the visitor can enjoy light refreshments whilst enjoying magnificent views from the covered terrace.

The Grounds:

The cottage lawns are a very popular venue for wedding ceremonies. Bookings are required.

Volunteer Marine Rescue Base:

The Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol operates the marine rescue base. Visitors are most welcome to view operations during daylight hours.

From its shop, the division's Ladies Auxiliary sells a wide range of interesting items for the visitor. Views from here are also outstanding.

Sealed car park for visitors. Disabled access to all facilities, including toilets, except for radio base.
Contact 02 - 4984 9758

Open Time:
Reserve, Cottage & Tea Rooms open 10.00am - 4.00pm Daily Radio Base open for inspection daylight hours

Contact Details:

Nelson Head Inner Lighthouse
Lighthouse Road, Nelson Head
Nelson Bay, NSW 2315
Telephone: 02 - 4984 9758
Fax: 02 - 4984 1944