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Point Danger
Point Danger -
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Year first lit: 1971
Automated: 1971
Construction: Concrete
Tower shape: Four rectangular pillars
Markings/Pattern: White with the principal compass directions inscribed on the pillars, bronze sculpture between the pillars
Height: 20 meters
Focal Height: 45 metres
Range: 18 nautical miles (33 km)
Characteristic: Fl.(2) 10s
Admiralty number: K2845
NGA number: 5868
ARLHS number: AUS-132

Point Danger is a high steep headland right on the border between Queensland and New South Wales, Australia, at the southern end of the Gold Coast. The headland separates Snapper Rocks/Rainbow Bay to the north, and Duranbah beach and the Tweed River mouth to the south

  • A popular park and lookout.
  • Captain Cook memorial lighthouse.
  • Centaur Memorial and Walk of Remembrance
  • The Point Danger Volunteer Marine Rescue.
  • The southern end of the Gold Coast Oceanway

The Centaur Memorial remembers the sinking of Australian Hospital Ship Centaur by a Japanese submarine on 14 May 1943. The Walk of Remembrance commemorates other ships lost to Japanese and German action during World War II and takes the form of plaques arranged in a semicircle around the lookout fence.



Captain James Cook while sailing North about 5 pm on 16 May 1770 (Log Date) encountered the reefs that run 3 nautical miles (5.6 km) East from Fingal Head and Cook Island, to avoid these reefs Cook was forced to change His course to the East.

The next morning, (same log date 16 May) James Cook, although much further out to sea, recorded the location of the reefs and named the point off which the island and reefs lie - Point Danger. [1] He wrote:

We now saw the breakers again they lay two Leagues from a point under which is a small Island, their situation may always be found by the peaked mountain before mentioned from them this mountain or hill, and on this account I have named Mount Warning it lies 7 or 8 Leagues inland the land is high and hilly about it, but it is conspicuous enough to be distinguished from everything else. The point off which these shoals lay I have named Point Danger.

These reefs are now named Danger Reefs' and comprise Inner Reef, South Reef and Outer Reef.[2]

There has been controversy over the naming of Point Danger for many years. Evidence suggests that Fingal Head was the point James Cook named Point Danger in May 1770. As a consequence, the Geographical Names Board announced in 2008 that the official records for Point Danger and Fingal Head would be changed to reflect both the historical versions of the naming of Cook's Point Danger.[3] [4] [5]


The lighthouse/Cook Memorial was finished in 1971. It is an unusual modern style lighthouse and was the first in the world to experiment with lasers to increase its beam. The experiment was unsuccessful and it returned to conventional electric lamps. It emits a double white flash every ten seconds at a focal plane height of 44.5 metres. However there are no reefs off, or running East from this point.[6]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Australian Hydrographic Chart "AUS 813"
  3. ^ "Cook's Point Danger" Geographical Names Board of NSW - ISBN o-7313-8831-3
  4. ^ Minutes-Meeting of Tweed Shire Council Page 432-435 06/09/2000
  5. ^
  6. ^ Australian Chart AUS-813

External links

Further reading

  • James Cook's hand-written manuscript -16May 1770 - held at the National Library
  • Henry Rous' hand-written manuscript log from HMS Rainbow - held at the National Library
  • John Oxley's hand-written manuscript 'Fri.31 Oct [1823] - Archives Office of NSW (location 2/8093)
  • Australian Hydrographic Chart "AUS 813"
  • Fingal Head or Point Danger.

Coordinates: 28°10′S 153°33′E / 28.167°S 153.55°E / -28.167; 153.55



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