Bustard Head Lighthouse - Vernon Deck

After 1770 it was just a short passage across the bay up to Pancake Creek. The anchorages are similar - a strip of water that hugs the coastline and extends quite far back to let you get out of the swell. The big difference is that Pancake Creek is uninhabited. There is not a single house for miles except for Bustard Head Lighthouse. It was ordered and built in England where they actually assembled it in full before dismounting it and shipping it over to Australia. From 1868 to 1986 it was manned by lighthouse keepers who lived there with their families and animals. The little museum and nearby graveyard remain to tell the story of those days.

There is a nice walking track through the bush from Pancake Creek. It takes you to a lookout over Aircraft Beach and the ocean before winding up the hill to the lighthouse. Nowadays the light is automated and volunteers from the Bustard Head Lighthouse Association take turns to look after the houses and lawn. It seems there is a bit of friendly competition going on, everybody tries to leave the place in even better condition than their predecessor. If you come up on one of the amphibious LARC vehicles from 1770 the volunteers give you a tour of the buildings and tell you about the history.

We were fortunate to meet Kari and Ted Davenport while they were doing their second stint of the year as caretakers. Vernon and Ted started a chat about airplanes and boats and we ended up with an invitation for lunch. Kari cooked us a wonderful meal and we spent an afternoon swapping stories and hearing about their interesting lives. It is very inspiring to meet people who have accomplished so much and remain humble, happy and active. When they are not looking after the lighthouse they travel around Australia doing bird studies. We left the lighthouse full of good vibes. Thank you Ted and Kari!

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