South Solitary Island Lighthouse Optic

The former South Solitary Island lighthouse optic.

The South Solitary Island Lighthouse Optic (SSILO) is a beautiful and fascinating object of regional, national, and international significance with profound links to the origin story of Coffs Harbour. (SSILO Management Plan, pg.39)

A dramatic landmark off the Coffs Coast, the South Solitary Island Lighthouse is located about 18 kilometres north-east of Coffs Harbour.  It is the most isolated of the New South Wales’ light stations. The lighthouse optic, which comprises a lens and pedestal, was installed in 1879 and became operational on 15 March 1880, a catalyst for safe coastal shipping and the economic development of Coffs Harbour.

The optic was replaced in 1975 with a fully automated electric light, bringing an end to lightkeeping on the island. Removed from the island in 1976, optic was installed in the then Museum at 189 Harbour Drive. The most valuable object in the Yarrila Arts and Museum (YAM) collection, it was carefully relocated in 2023 to its current position on the Jetty Foreshore, once again in sight of the ocean where it belongs.