Cape Wickham, King Island, Tasmania – Building Works

1838 – Voyage of the Beagle, of Charles Darwin fame, explored down the west coast of King Island.  Cape Wickham was named after the commander, John Clements Wickham.  Stokes Point was named after the surveyor on board at that time, John Lort Stokes, who later became commander of the vessel for the later part of the six year voyage (1837-1843).  Fitzmaurice Bay was named after a lieutenant on board, Lewis Roper Fitzmaurice (Ref: Mariners are Warned” by Marsden Hordern, Melb Uni Press 1989-2002). Thanks to Danny Gunn.

1861 – Cape Wickham lighthouse began operation.

1936 – Tasmania-Victoria telephone cable laid. Island had 120 subscribers.

1975 – Broad-band radio network and STD services.

2000 – CDMA introduced to the Island.

2007 – ADSL Introduced.

2011 – Ryan Wilks take on the challenge to design and rebuild the external façade of Cape Wickham Radio Tower. Cape Wickham located at the northern most point on King Island (Bass Straight), with the existing façade deemed structurally unsound and dangerous.


The project provided our team with the difficult task of determining the existing building structural supports, detailed engineering, preparation of a comprehensive methodology to remove / replace façade, and to re install new brickwork, flashings and doors whilst maintaining the facility in full operation. The facility, a key to communications on the island was upgraded successfully with no impact on the operational equipment or systems. Construction works were undertaken during the winter months, knowingly the worst months on King Island to undertake building works with constant rain and gale force winds up to 80-90km/h, this also played havoc with transporting materials and resources to site.

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