Port Shepstone Lighthouse

The Port Shepstone lighthouse is rated at 27′000 candlepower. 500 metres south of the mouth of the Mzimkhulu River the lighthouse, made of iron, was cast in Britain and shipped to Natal in the 1890’s. Initially it stood at green point to warn of the Aliwal Shoal, but was later brought to Port Shepstone.

Port Shepstone Lighthouse is a national monument!

This 8 metre circular cast iron tower is painted with a black and white checkered design. The lighthouse is equipped with a radio beacon and is fully automatic. It is run off the mains supply and has two standby diesel/alternator sets.Port Shepstone Lighthouse

Built in 10 March 1905, the lighthouse is situated at the mouth of the Umzimkulu River on the Natal South Coast. The town of Port Shepstone was named after a well known statesman in native affairs, Sir Theophilus Shepstone.

The Port Shepstone lighthouse was developed out of a signal station, which was used during the time that Port Shepstone was an operating Harbour. The signal Station was replaced by the present cast iron structure of the lighthouse in 1906. This structure came from higher up the coast, Scottburgh, where it had been used to mark the southern end of that famous hidden reef, the Aliwal Shoal.

Before these developments, an ordinary ships masthead lantern was exhibited at the top of a ladder like structure and came into operation in 1895. In 2005 the Lighthouse centenary was celebrated, and a beautiful photo calendar was made available to the public by the then Hibiscus Coast Tourism.

The lighthouse has become a familiar landmark to the thousands of holiday makers who visit Port Shepstone, just 1 hour south of Durban. The coastline running south from this beacon is notorious for its wrecks, in fact this stretch of coastline between Port Shepstone and Cape Hermes at Port St Johns is particularly dangerous.

Probably the most famous of these wrecks are the Sao Joao and the Grosvenor. The Sao Joao, a richly laden Portuguese Galleon, wrecked with its alleged riches, has never been located. The Grosvenor sank beneath the waves off the Pondoland shore with her hoard which legend insists included jewels, gold and silver bars and some say the fabulous Peacock Throne of the Moguls believed to be worth well over 6 Million Pounds.

Razor sharp rocks, strong currents, pounding surf and inaccessibility to this wreck has put paid to recovering any treasures that might lie beneath the murky waters.

The lighthouse has a range of 26 sea miles, and 1 130 000 CD light power. The Revolving electric light flashes 1 flash every 6 seconds. The focal plane is 24 meters above sea level.

Visit and Tour the lighthouse

Pop into the Tourism office situated at the Port Shepstone lighthouse for a first hand tour.

A guided tour of the lighthouse is just R5

Last Updated (Saturday, 12 July 2008 14:44)

 
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