Waglan Lighthouse, Waglan Island

Waglan Lighthouse (Waglan Island)
Interior of the lighthouse
Exterior of the lighthouse

Waglan Lighthouse is one of the few surviving pre-war lighthouses in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong was a regular port of call for ships even before 1841, and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 provided a further impetus to the growth of trade. The government and the business community recognised the need for lighting to be provided along the coasts to warn and guide shipping. A British naval surveyor, Commander Reed, was instructed in 1867 to investigate suitable locations for lighthouses to cover the approaches to Hong Kong’s port, and he proposed three locations including Waglan Island and Gap Rock, a small island to the south of Hong Kong Island on the route to Singapore. However, as neither of the proposed locations lay within Hong Kong waters, the recommendation was not pursued any further. Towards the end of the 19th century, however, the proposal to build lighthouses at the same locations at the two main approaches to Hong Kong was raised again. Waglan Lighthouse was constructed by a French company for the Chinese Maritime Customs Service and entered into operation on 10 May 1893.

Featuring a state-of-the-art light that burned mineral oil in a rotating apparatus floating on mercury, Waglan Lighthouse was one of only two lighthouses with installation of this modern equipment in Asia at that time. Initially run by the Chinese Maritime Customs Service, the lighthouse was transferred to the Hong Kong Government on 1 January 1901 after the New Territories were leased to Britain in 1898.

Waglan Lighthouse is used not only as a navigational aid, but also as an outpost where weather information on the eastern corner of the territory is collected and analysed by the Hong Kong Observatory. It has been unmanned and automated since 1989 and is now managed by the Marine Department.

Waglan Lighthouse was declared a monument in 2000.

Waglan Island (Plan)

This lighthouse is still running under the management of the Marine Department. For security and operational reasons, it is not open to the public.

The above information is for reference only, and is subject to change in accordance with the announcement of relevant organizations.