Nelson Head Light, also known as Nelson Head Inner Light, is an inactive lighthouse on Nelson Head, a headland near Halifax Park in Nelson Bay. Unlike other lighthouses, the Nelson Head Light had no tower, but was shown through the window of the lantern room.

The station was established in 1872 with four kerosene lamps shown from a wooden tower. The light guided ships into Port Stephens. In 1876, the light was installed in an octagonal lantern room attached to the cottage and shown through a 3-metre window. The light was electrified in 1946, and automated in 1984. In 1995 the light was replaced with a solar powered lantern which was attached outside the previous lantern room. In early 2003, the light was deemed unnecessary, and it was shut down.


The cottage was occupied by 14 successive resident keepers, and the Maritime Service Board, until 1985. Since 1986, the cottage has been preserved and maintained by the Nelson Head Lighthouse and Rescue Station Trust. In 1990, the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol was appointed as trustee. The house is now managed by Marine Rescue NSW. under the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol, and serves as a maritime museum.

Nelson Head Light, 1902

The view towards Tomaree Head from Nelson Head


The Tomaree Museum Association Incorporated aims to develop a  regional museum and interpretative centre to document, protect and promote the history and changing natural environment of Port Stephens.


The Tomaree Museum Association acknowledges the Worimi people,
the traditional owners and custodians of the land and waters upon which Tomaree Museum stands. We should like to pay our respect to the Elders
past and present, and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this
website contains a range of material which may be culturally sensitive
including records of people who may have passed away.