|Forty minutes along the East Tamar Highway from Launceston is the picturesque seaside holiday village of Low Head, with its pristine beaches. Here you will find one of Australia’s most dramatically located light houses and its oldest pilot station, established in 1806. Located in the 1835 Pilot Row, the Low Head Pilot Station Museum oozes old world ambience and tells the story of the Port of Launceston. Once Australia’s third busiest port, its merchants controlled whaling and sealing along the south coast of Australia. They also founded Victoria and nurtured Melbourne and Adelaide, until their colonies became self-sufficient.
At the museum you’ll revel in the story of the pilot station: of how the first pilot became a pirate; and how the second harbour master turned to bushranging and got away with it. Discover the treacherous Tamar River with its dangerous reefs and strong currents. See the relics of the age of sail and steam. Visit the room from which the telegrams were transmitted by the first submarine telegraph cable in the southern hemisphere.
Afterwards, walk around the grounds of the station past the other heritage buildings. Grab a bite from the Coxswain’s Cottage Café and watch the pilot boat leave to guide ships through the dangerous entrance to the river. Later visit the Low Head Light House. If visiting on Sunday, be at the light house at noon to hear Australia’s only regularly sounding fog horn.