What is significant?
The Point Hicks (Cape Everard) Lightstation was constructed in 1888-90 as part of the third campaign of lighthouse building in Victoria which also resulted in lights at Cape Nelson, Cliffy Island, and Split Point (Aireys Inlet). The light tower was originally designed to be built in the local granite but, probably due a shortage of skilled stonemasons, was instead constructed of concrete. The keepers' quarters and outbuildings are constructed in weatherboard. The lightstation was designed by Public Works Department architect Frederick Hynes and was constructed by J Horne and Co for £13,991. The name Point Hicks was adopted in 1970 in commemoration of the first sighting of Australia by Captain Cook in 1770.
Cape Everard lightstation transferred to the Commonwealth ownership after Federation. From the mid 1960s changing patterns of shipping, in particular the rerouting of shipping lanes further offshore to avoid the Bass Strait oil fields, meant that Point Hicks was no longer needed as a first order light. From January 1991 the main 26 nautical mile light, originally kerosene and later electrically operated, was replaced by a 10 nautical mile light operated from the balcony. Ownership of the lightstation passed back to the Victorian government in 1995.
How is it significant?
The Point Hicks (Cape Everard) Lightstation is of historical, social, architectural, archaeological and scientific importance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
The Point Hicks (Cape Everard) Lightstation is historically and socially important as an intact lightstation complex from the 1880s. The windswept location with its protective stone walls is a poignant reminder of the remote lifestyle of lightkeepers until comparatively recent times. Point Hicks is also of historical interest as the place where the first sighting of Australia by Captain Cook in 1770 is commemorated. It is unlikely that Cook actually saw the headland and while historical controversy clouds the issue, it is of note that the Victorian government felt strongly enough about it to change the name of the place in the Cook bi-centennial year.
The Point Hicks (Cape Everard) Lightstation is architecturally and scientifically (technologically) important an intact complex of lightstation buildings. It is unusual as the first concrete tower constructed in Victoria and as one of the tallest light towers in Australia. The quarters are unusual in being built of timber rather than the more usual stone. Although decommissioned, its lens apparatus is still in-situ and is a marvel of technological achievement.
In common with all remote lightstations, Point Hicks is of archaeological importance for the richness of its artefactual remains including parts of the lighthouse and everyday evidence of human occupation. There are remains nearby of two known shipwrecks, the Kerangie (1879) and the Saros (1937). There are also extensive aboriginal shell middens within the lighthouse reserve.