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50 Lighthouses and Lookouts Challenge

I’ve a new challenge! It’s 50 Lighthouses and Lookouts by my next birthday. And I’ve already started!

It’s all about exploring and doing something different. So on my actual birthday we went to five lighthouses and lookouts – well one currently operational lighthouse – Green Cape, one light tower – Eden Marine Rescue, and Boyd Tower.

Boyd Tower NSW as part of my 50 Lighthouses and Lookouts Challenge

Boyd Tower

Now, incase the light tower and Boyd Tower don’t actually count as lighthouses, they do count as Lookouts (heee heee). And that’s part of the joy of setting your own parameters for your own challenge!

Green Cape Lighthouse by Belinda Stinson

Green Cape Lighthouse

Green Cape Lighthouse certainly does count as a lighthouse and it was even an adventure driving out to it along a dirt road with loads of pot holes. The fires had burnt all through her, down to the water in many areas and it had been fierce.

Surprisingly, the fire had stopped at the highly flammable coastal heath – so maybe that had been a wind change?

When I was walking out to the lighthouse and getting my first glimpses of it I thought “Oh, this is just the right decision! What a great challenge, yay me!”.  I’m thoroughly enjoying this challenge already. I’m already popping with new creative ideas, and that’s such a big part of these challenges for me.

Sign for Green Cape Lighthouse

A sign for adventure!

My Challenge’s Parameters

The fun part of making up your own Challenge is setting your own parameters so it fits with you life and pushes you out exploring.

So for this challenge I knew I wanted to include lighthouses but I was concerned that with my work requirements and COVID inter-state travel change ups. Initially I thought I might be able to get to 10 – 12 lighthouses and that would be a bit of a challenge in itself but maybe I can get more in.

I also want it to be fun, I want to enjoy the exploring. I don’t want to feel pushed and end up with negative thoughts around it. That would defeat the purpose of it all.

When I was driving past another Lookout sign on a country trip to restock regional stockists a lightbulb went off (pun intended), let’s include Lookouts!

It would mean exploring both rural and coastal scenic vistas. How good is that? Excellent!

Belinda at Disaster Bay Lookout

Me at Disaster Bay Lookout

I’ve also realised that many lighthouses also have lookouts. This has posed a couple of questions, as all lighthouses inherently have views, when is a lookout the same or different to the lighthouse? My answer is when I need to walk further then it can count as a lookout. If it is right next to it, then no.

Next was figuring out the accountability details. Ideally I’d like to sketch at each location. Realistically, I may not always have the time and I don’t want to be put off from a quick visit just because of that. I can take photos of each place. And you need to take photos of the views you’re sketching so that works.

In the back of my diary I’ll write up the date and location I visit. This worked really well with the beaches challenge so I’m keeping it up.

Because it is my challenge it is my rules. Same goes for you – your challenge, your rules.

Sharing the Challenge

I’m not one for putting up each and every place on Facebook or Instagram. I don’t need that sort of external validation. But as a dear friend plainly pointed out to me, it doesn’t need to be anything to do with “external validation”, it can be just about sharing. And she’s completely right of course.

I am learning that the beach photos I’ve been sharing have been really appreciated by friends who are feeling stuck, especially with all that’s happening with COVID. It’s a novel idea to me that my photos would be making others feel better. The same plain speaking friend said, “well durr Belinda! Of course they are!”. I was concerned friends would thinking I’m showing off about living this coastal life! Two sides to every coin.

So the end result is, I’ll share some photos online and here with the hope they bring joy to you.

Finding the Lighthouses

I’ve found two websites about Lighthouses:

Lighthouses of Australia – this link is for NSW but you can find other states and NT

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Lighthouses

Eden Marine Rescue Lighttower

Eden Marine Rescue Light Tower – is it a lighthouse? It does the same job….

I also love maps, especially printed ones as they’re great for exploring and easily seeing places in context. I certainly use Google maps etc but you can be sent on wild goose chases with them and it’s always much safer to have a general idea to start off with for where you’re meant to be going.

Printed maps are tactile and so much easier to share with others as you pour over them, checking roads, landmarks, lookouts and everything else.

I’ve found quite a few lighthouses simply by searching along the coastline and then planning trips. It would be useful if lookouts were as consistently marked.

For the Love of Magpies

Jennifer’s Magpie

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