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Green Cape Lightstation Keepers' Cottages

Green Cape area in Ben Boyd National Park

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Learn more about why this park is special

Green Cape Lightstation Keepers' Cottages is in Green Cape area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Aboriginal culture

Aerial view of Ben Boyd National Park coastline. Photo: John Spencer/DPIE

The Yuin People are the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Ben Boyd National Park and they have a long and complex relationship with the coastal environment. At Twofold Bay, the Yuin People had a special relationship with the orca whales. The orcas drove humpback whales into shore, the people used spears to kill them and the orcas and people shared the meat. Aboriginal people later taught European settlers to work with orca whales during the shore-based whaling days of Twofold Bay.

Giants of the deep

Humpback whale breaching. Photo: Jonas Liebschner/DPIE

Enjoy some of Australia’s best whale watching here between September and November when hundreds of whales and their calves move in to Twofold Bay to frolic and feed before migrating south to Antarctica. You can get a good view of Twofold Bay from the viewing platform at Boyds Tower. At the southern tip of the park, see if you can spot whales near Green Cape Lightstation or Disaster Bay lookout.

  • Green Cape lookout Green Cape lookout in Ben Boyd National Park is one of the best places to enjoy whale watching in NSW.

Rocks tell a story

People whale watching from a rock shelf near Bittangabee Bay. Photo: John Spencer/DPIE

Ben Boyd’s stunning rock formations, inlets and headlands are the result of extensive geological folding. Most of the park lies on red, brown and green shales, sandstones, siltstones and quartzites. They were formed in the Devonian period around 360 million years ago—before dinosaurs roamed the earth. You can see these rock types exposed along the cliffs and headlands. The Devonian period is known as The Age of Fishes and internationally-significant fish fossils have been found in several places along the park’s coastline.

  • Light to Light walk Begin this multi-day walk at Boyds Tower down the far south coast, and end at Green Cape Lighthouse. Stop for a swim and the opportunity to spot seals, seabirds and whales.

Vulnerable species

Long-nosed potoroo. Photo: Sharon Wormleaton/DPIE

The heathland in the Green Cape area of the park provides significant habitat for vulnerable species like the eastern ground parrot and striated fieldwren. It’s also a stronghold for NSW’s population of the endangered southern brown bandicoot. Around 50 native mammals and nearly 150 species of birds have been recorded in Ben Boyd National Park, including 1 critically endangered bird, 4 endangered animal species and 25 vulnerable species.

  • Light to Light walk Begin this multi-day walk at Boyds Tower down the far south coast, and end at Green Cape Lighthouse. Stop for a swim and the opportunity to spot seals, seabirds and whales.

Fascinating coastal heritage

Visitors a the Bittangabee Bay ruins. Photo: John Spencer/DPIE

The first shore-based whaling station on mainland Australia was set up at Twofold Bay in 1828. Benjamin Boyd established a competing business and built a private lighthouse, Boyd's Tower, and a township, Boydtown, before being declared bankrupt. The coast was the site of many shipwrecks. Green Cape Lighthstation started operation in 1883 but shipwrecks continued, including the Ly-ee-moon that sank in 1886. You can pay your respects to some of the 76 victims at a graveyard a short walk from the lighthouse. There are also regular guided tours of the lighthouse.

  • Davidson Whaling Station Take a guided tour at historic Davidson Whaling Station – discover how killer whales helped the Davidson family. And when you're done, finish the day with a picnic at the nearby beach.
  • Green Cape Lightstation heritage tour Put yourself in the shoes of a 19th century lighthouse keeper at Green Cape Lightstation in Ben Boyd National Park. Explore the lighthouse's history and the fate of the Ly-ee-Moon on this guided tour.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Photo: Peter Sherratt

    Yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)

    The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is one of the largest species of parrot. With dusty-black plumage, they have a yellow tail and cheek patch. They’re easily spotted while bird watching, as they feed on seeds in native forests and pine plantations.

  • White-bellied sea eagle. Photo: John Turbill

    White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)

    White-bellied sea eagles can be easily identified by their white tail and dark grey wings. These raptors are often spotted cruising the coastal breezes throughout Australia, and make for some scenic bird watching. Powerful Australian birds of prey, they are known to mate for life, and return each year to the same nest to breed.

  •  Superb lyrebird, Minnamurra Rainforest, Budderoo National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

    With a complex mimicking call and an elaborate courtship dance to match, the superb lyrebird is one of the most spectacular Australian animals. A bird watching must-see, the superb lyrebird can be found in rainforests and wet woodlands across eastern NSW and Victoria.

  • Lace monitor, Daleys Point walking track, Bouddi National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Lace monitor (Varanus varius)

    One of Australia’s largest lizards, the carnivorous tree-dwelling lace monitor, or tree goanna, can grow to 2m in length and is found in forests and coastal tablelands across eastern Australia. These Australian animals are typically dark blue in colour with whitish spots or blotches.

Plants

  •  Black sheoak. Photo: Barry Collier

    Black sheoak (Allocasuarina littoralis)

    The black sheoak is one of a number of casuarina species found across the east coast of Australia and nearby tablelands. Growing to a height of 5-15m, these hardy Australian native plants can survive in poor or sandy soils. The barrel-shaped cone of the black sheoak grows to 10-30mm long.

  •  Grey mangrove, Towra Point Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

    Grey mangrove (Avicennia marina)

    Grey mangrove is the most common and widespread mangrove found within intertidal zones across Australia, and throughout the world. Growing to a height of 3-10m, they thrive best in estuaries with a mix of fresh and salt water. They excrete excess salt through their long thick leaves, and absorb oxygen through their aerial root system.

  • Old man banksia, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)

    Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.

Look out for...

Grey mangrove

Avicennia marina

 Grey mangrove, Towra Point Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

Grey mangrove is the most common and widespread mangrove found within intertidal zones across Australia, and throughout the world. Growing to a height of 3-10m, they thrive best in estuaries with a mix of fresh and salt water. They excrete excess salt through their long thick leaves, and absorb oxygen through their aerial root system.

Environments in this area

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Walker on a section of the Light to Light walk. Photo: John Spencer/OEH