The Point King Lighthouse was built in 1858 in the hope of bringing more passenger steamers and mail ships to the Port of Albany.
King George Sound is an excellent all weather harbour but the outlying islands and narrow entrance to Princess Royal Harbour sometimes made navigation difficult.
Following the Crimean War, the British Government offered to built two lighthouses, one at Point King and the other on Breaksea Island.
The lights were prefabricated and arrived in June 1857, with building starting soon after. The Point King lighthouse became operational on 1st January, 1858, making it only the second lighthouse built on the WA coast.
From 1858 until 1911 the resident light house keepers and their families tended the light each evening. Samuel Mitchell was the longest serving, from 1867 until 1903.
In 1913, the lighthouse was automated, and with keepers no longer required, the site was left vacant. Perhaps due to its exposed position and lack of daily care, the lighthouse rapidly degraded, failing sometime around 1915.
In 1893, as part of the Princess Royal Fortress coastal defence, a 6-inch gun emplacement and underground magazine were constructed nearby. The concrete mount and bunkers are still visible today.
In 1913 the lighthouse was automated, and with keepers no longer required, the site was left vacant.
Today, the Point King Lighthouse is a ruin, located at the tip of Point King. The roofless 4-room stone and rendered building features a central hallway and brickwork details around the doors. Empty windows stare into the distant past.
The ruins present an ideal photographic opportunity to capture the rugged coastline of King George Sound and the rich maritime history of Western Australia's first settlement.
Point King can be reached from the Ellen Cove Boardwalk and is near the Attaturk Memorial. Please take care as the coast can be unpredictable.
Article updated 26/10/2015.