South Solitary Island Reopens to Chopper Tours

Tourists enjoying the view from the lighthouse gallery. Photo: supplied.

 

AFTER two years of watching the South Solitary Island lighthouse cast its beam from across the sea, locals and history buffs will once again be able to see it first-hand as the island reopens to guided walking tours.

As of last weekend, Precision Helicopters has brought back the popular tour, which gives lighthouse aficionados access to the winding interior of the structure itself, and a peek within the now-abandoned Keepers Quarters.

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President of the Friends of South Solitary Island Lighthouse (FOSSIL) group, Chris Bramley, believes the buildings that are situated on the island have a special historical significance.

“Built just 92 years after the first fleet arrived, the construction of South Solitary Island Lighthouse and the dwellings remain an extraordinary accomplishment.”

He says the tours provide an insight into the distinctive characteristics of the Coffs Coast landmark.

“For history buffs, the adventurous or the inquisitive, the return of the helicopter tours provide a unique opportunity to experience 142 years of history.

“Members of FOSSIL are pleased to have been able to assist in past restoration works on the dwellings, which showcases the Head Keepers dwelling.

“For us, it is important to honour the link with history, not merely be caretakers.”

The tours will operate on the first weekend of each month from May to August, with the next flights to the Island on 4 and 5 June.

 

By Sam PARKER

 

South Solitary Island Lighthouse and Keepers quarters. Photo: supplied.

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