‘Best office in the world’: Vacancy at 132yo Tasmanian lighthouse

If you’re looking for a project to keep you busy over the spring and summer months, one Tasmanian council thinks they’ve got the ultimate opportunity.

But anyone afraid of heights may want to think carefully about applying.

The Waratah-Wynyard council in Tasmania’s north-west is looking for someone to run tours of the historic Table Cape lighthouse.

The 132-year-old lighthouse is known for its expansive views of the coastline, and tulip fields nearby that come alive in the spring.

Two migrating whales in the ocean.
Migrating whales can be seen from the lighthouse.(Supplied: Michael Hyland)

Expressions of interest are open now, and the council’s manager of tourism and marketing, Rachael Hogge, says the lighthouse has “the best office views in the world”.

“The views are incredible. From the top of the lighthouse you can see all the way to Low Head in the east and beyond Stanley to the west on a clear day.”

“Because you’re looking from so high up, looking down into the water, you can see the whales and the dolphins.”

A grave near the Table Cape lighthouse, Tasmania.
A grave at the site of the Table Cape lighthouse.(Supplied: Michael Hyland)

The tours run between September and April, telling tourists about the storied history of the fully operational lighthouse.

Ms Hogge said that though some rules would be set by the council and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, it was a very flexible job.

“They would be running it as a sole trader or a partnership or whatever arrangement they wanted to make.

A woman gestures to the horizon while standing on the deck of a lighthouse.
Now that is a view!(Supplied: Michael Hyland)

‘I’d fully recommend it’: former operator

Michael Hyland has operated the lighthouse tours for the last three years and estimates he took at least 10,000 people around the area.

He has decided to retire, but insists it is the dream job.

“I was blown away by it all, it’s such a unique area,” Mr Hyland said.

Navy ship seen from a lighthouse.
A wide variety of ships pass by the lighthouse.(Supplied: Michael Hyland)

One of the highlights of his tenure was a man who decided to play bagpipes from the top of the lighthouse, 180 metres above sea level.

“I also had a blind person standing up there with the wind blowing in their face while I described everything to them. It’s just unbelievable.”

He said there was very little in the way of paperwork or overheads, making it a low-fuss operation.

While not every day is sunny — Mr Hyland said typical Tasmanian cold and wet conditions were inevitable — he said he was sad to leave.

Ms Hogge said it was the perfect job, with just one potential downside.

“Just as long as you’re not afraid of heights.”

Aerial shot of colourful rows of tulips
The area is famous for its tulip farms.(ABC Landline: Fiona Breen)