Roman Rock Lighthouse

The Roman Rock Lighthouse is situated at the False Bay Harbour Basin near Simon’s Town. The lighthouse is quite special and unique in that it is the only lighthouse in South Africa to be erected on a single rock in the middle of the ocean. Helicopters ferried supplies to this nautical garden in 1992 when it underwent an extensive makeover. 

Candlepower 5 000 C.D.
Character of Light One flash every 6 seconds
Installation Date 16 September 1861
Range 13 sea miles
Structure 17 metre Circular cast iron tower painted white
Type of Light Dissolved Flashing acetylene gas
Other features Only rock lighthouse on the South African Coast

Standing 17 metres above sea level this lighthouse exposes its natural stone foundation when the tide is low. It has its own helipad so that helicopters can send supplies to the unmanned wonder, from the shore the helicopter could almost be thought to be the same size as the lighthouse.

In the past this building was manned by a Lighthouse Keeper and their assistants, they would live in isolation surrounded by the rising water mark and inhospitable South-Eastern winds. Since 1919 it has been fully automated with acetylene gas flashes visible from 13 nautical miles out to sea.

Joseph Nourse, Commodore of the Royal Navy, is to thank for the expensive erection of this lighthouse. He had stressed the urgency of protecting her Majesty’s ships who dropped anchor here in Simon’s Town bay at night and after much deliberation, Roman Rock became the location for this construction. After four years of building, the lighthouse was completed and still to this day has been guiding South African Naval boats home.

Due to its location, Roman Rock lighthouse is best viewed from the shore, watch the 'swimming' lighthouse shine from a safe spot!


Free, best during daylight hours

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