Byron lighthouse awarded top global gong

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The Cape Byron lighthouse at northern NSW’s Byron Bay has picked up a prestigious global heritage gong.

The beacon – at Australia’s most eastern point – was on Thursday named the 2021 Heritage Lighthouse of the Year by the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities.

It earned the award due to its “rarity, aesthetic characteristics, cultural significance, architecture and strong connection to the local community”.

The lighthouse – in place for more than 120 years – is also Australia’s most powerful navigation aid, glowing at an intensity of 2.2 million candelas.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority chief executive Mick Kinley said the lighthouse was vital for navigation on the country’s east coast.

“(We are) extremely proud that Cape Byron’s long contribution to maritime safety has been recognised … through this prestigious international award,” Mr Kinley said in a statement.

“The title of Lighthouse of the Year allows the tower’s historical, architectural, technical and social significance to be truly celebrated.”

The Lizard Lighthouse in England and the Palmido Lighthouse in South Korea were the other two finalists for the award.

The Cape Byron Lighthouse was placed on the Commonwealth Heritage List in 2004. There is also a museum inside the bright white pinnacle construction.

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