Point King lighthouse, located on the north shore entrance to Princess Royal Harbour, was the first navigational light for the port of Albany and the second lighthouse built on Western Australia’s coastline.
The lighthouse originally comprised of a keeper’s house which sat 47ft above the high water mark and an integral 17ft square wooden tower with a with an oil-fired light which required trimming daily and was visible from 12 miles. It was first used at sunset on January 1, 1858 and was made redundant in June 1911 following completion of a separate steel tower. Its history can be traced back to October 1856.
The Crimean War had just ended and British authorities had entered into a contract with the P & O Steam Navigation Company for a direct Royal Mail packet service from England to Australia, with Albany being the first port of call. For this service to be successful, lighthouses needed to be constructed so the lucrative mail-boats could arrive and depart from Princess Royal Harbour safely.
In May 1857, WA Governor Kennedy directed Captain Wray of the Royal Engineers in Fremantle, to travel to Albany and commence work on the construction of two lighthouses – one on nearby Breaksea Island the other at Point King.