The Byron Bay Lighthouse.
“Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page. Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are passed.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher.
The rocky cliffs heading down to the sea, but where are the mountain goats?
I came across the quote by Henry Ward Beecher recently and thought it to be very sound advice, especially so if you wish to forget anything that has happened in your past life that has caused you pain.
The old lighthouse keepers house, now a museum.
Well, as much as I wish to follow Henry’s advice, I’m not ready to do so yet, as I have something wonderful to share with you all today, and it happened last year! But do note that I used the word “wonderful”, it was an exciting day at the time and I’m excited to be sharing the event with you now.
Rooms now display old photos and information of interest from the days of old.
My baby girl Emma and I love browsing around markets, especially markets selling alternate, but good quality wares. We had heard a whisper that the market at Bangalow, about three-quarters of an hour drive south and held on the last Sunday of each month was such a market.
Two Estuary Cod fish…..No, wait, isn’t that Emma?!
I’ll have to write another post about the market itself, as to combine two destinations into one story would be way too long, as Emma and I met a couple of interesting characters at the markets, whose stories are worthy of sharing.
Can you imagine waking up to this view at your front door every day? That’s what the lighthouse keeper used to do!
Today is the story of the lighthouse, at Byron Bay, situated on the eastern-most point of Australia and just a hop, skip and a jump from Bangalow, where Emma and I went to have lunch after we had finished the rounds of the market.
Some info for those of you who like to know the actual factuals….
The weather of the day was warm, but not the ridiculously unbearable humidity that we sometimes suffer through during the warmer months here. The sun blazed away in the blue sky and all was well with the world.
The room just inside the downstairs of the lighthouse, where people can wait, “patiently!” for the next tour to the top…. :)
Since my childhood days I have visited the lighthouse at Byron Bay. It’s a beautiful area and the point where the lighthouse is located holds magic in the air. There used to be wild mountain goats grazing on the steep inclines leading up to the lighthouse but I didn’t see any the day Emma and I were there. I think Emma thought I’d gone a bit potty when I told her to look out for the mountain goats! Sadly, we didn’t see any.
More actual factuals, this sweet little building was built in 1901. In the displays they even have the original plans of the two buildings.
Every time I have been to the lighthouse I have wanted to go inside. I became even more fascinated by the interior’s of lighthouses during the days when my children were young and loved watching a TV show called “Round the Twist”, based on books written by Australian author Paul Jennings, where the Twist family lived in a lighthouse. Strange events took place in and around the lighthouse, with a magical and sometimes supernatural slant, all of which had me riveted to the TV set as firmly as my children were, to watch the show.
And this would be the door to the inner sanctum, the door I have dreamed about walking through, closed.
The Byron Bay lighthouse has never, not once, in all the years I have visited, been open to the public, but lo and behold, on this fine Sunday afternoon when Emma and I arrived there, it was open! Oh joy of joys, I could finally go into the lighthouse!
Today they will open this door! Things are looking up, my friends!
“All who joy would win must share it. Happiness is a twin.” ~ Lord Byron quote ~ 1788-1824.
Is this really happening? Yes it is, I’m inside the lighthouse!
But wait, it gets even better….one of the friendly volunteers asked if we would like to go on the next tour, to the top of the lighthouse! Would I what!! I must admit that I think I may have heard a slight groan from Emma, when she found out that to be on the next tour, we would have to wait for nearly an hour. Hadn’t I waited for her to finish her ballet classes for eight whole years? Hadn’t I ferried her to friends houses until she was old enough to drive herself? Hadn’t I done so with barely a single complaint uttered? Now it was my turn for some fun; I made her wait. There were no further groans.
I admired and photographed it all, every single nut and bolt I could see. Okay, maybe I missed one or two nuts and bolts, but wow! :)
I should have counted the stairs as we climbed the course to the top, with me leading the way, but I didn’t. My camera was too busy clicking away at every turn in the stairs, at every flat platform, at every window, at every nut and bolt in the wall. I had waited for this day for a lifetime and I didn’t want to miss a single detail. It didn’t disappoint.
Here lies all the gadgemetry to project the beams of the light, right up at the very top of the inner sanctum..
“Roll on, deep and dark blue ocean, roll. Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain. Man marks the earth with ruin, but his control stops at the shore.” ~ Lord Byron ~ 1788-1824.
Here stands “Emma the Brave” casually posing for a photograph on the lighthouse balcony, as my legs go to jelly.
The top of the lighthouse was really fascinating and our friendly guide knew all the ins-and-outs of every specific mathematical detail there was to know about the structure of this fabulous creation, all very interesting on the day, however I’ve forgotten most of what she told us. I was there for the feel of the building, the magic of the area, the stories of the lighthouse keepers, the sounds of the ocean and the joy of the people who shared the tour to the top with us. Those feelings remain.
Realising that I couldn’t live in the lighthouse, we headed down. Such opportunities must remain with the fictional characters in children’s TV shows.
At the very top, I wimped out. I go jelly legged at heights and as much a I would have loved to have gone out onto the very narrow balcony surrounding the top edge of the lighthouse, I declined the offer. Well, I did venture out onto the balcony for two seconds, whilst holding the door and not looking directly down, and I even considered letting go of the door and walking a few steps along the balcony….it ended at mere consideration and I stayed inside. Maybe next time.
“Hello down there!” This young man was chastised by his father for holding up the traffic. I assured him that I didn’t mind and that I had taken his photo. :)
And there will be a next time, Emma and I have decided, and we will be taking my other daughter with us when we go. This much magic needs to be shared.
And the journey down the stairs continues. I didn’t count the stairs on the way down either….and my legs again turned to jelly when I learned over the balustrade to take this photo!
“Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.” ~ Lord Byron ~ 1788-1824.
Beaming Byron Bay Lighthouse.