Smoky Cape Lighthouse is an active lighthouse located on Smoky Cape, a headland east of the town of South West Rocks
, New South Wales
, and within the Hat Head National Park
. It directs boats towards The Entrance
to the Macleay River, which is located just to the north of the lighthouse.It is one of the last major lighthouse complexes designed by the New South Wales
colonial architect of the time, James Barnet, and was one of Australia's last lighthouses to be designed for architectural excellence. Standing on a granite headland 140 metres above the sea, its light is the highest in New South Wales.
The lighthouse was first proposed in 1886 to ensure the safety of the increasing coastal traffic on the northern seaboard of New South Wales, and was completed in 1891. The contract to build it was won by Mr Oakes but he died during construction and the work was completed by his executors. As a result of the Commonwealth Lighthouses Act of 1911, management of the lighthouse was transferred in 1915 to Federal control because of its status as a coastal light.