Things To Do in Cape St FrancisCape St Francis Lighthouse
Where? Cape St Francis, Sunshine Coast, Eastern Cape
How much? Free to browse
Boasting the tallest masonry tower on the South African coast, the Cape St Francis lighthouse, called such as it lies above the generous bay early Portuguese navigators christened such, actually lies on a small rocky outcrop known as Seal Point.
The rocks around here should give one an idea of the danger on this stretch of the coast, which was notorious for the number of shipwrecks that happened along here, starting as early as 1690 when the Noord ran aground near the cape. However, only later in August 1871, did the Governor of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope make an enquiry into how best to light the eastern coastline. The need for a lighthouse was so great that the government actually sacrificed a new lantern meant for Cape Agulhas to light the intended lighthouse at Cape St Francis, the lamp of which was finally lit in November 1876.
The circular tower extends twenty-eight metres from the ground to the balcony, the wall of which is described as unusually thick. By 1882 the inner wall of the lighthouse was said to be rather dilapidated and the plaster was falling off in rather large chunks exposing bare stone.
Despite this slow disintegration, the lighthouse remains standing. Added to this is the fact that it acts as a lightning conductor of note, shattering window panes on the three occasions this happened up to 1921.
Cape St Francis Lighthouse was declared a national monument in May 1984. It may lie only 30 kilometres from Humansdorp but until 1964 it was the most isolated lighthouse on the mainland. Today the still active, completely white, lighthouse is a pivotal point of the seaside town, and many visitors tour the lighthouse as something rather worthwhile.