Light shining on Cape Leeuwin heritage precinct

Standing tall: The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse Precinct is named as a finalist in three categories of the 2020 Western Australian Heritage Awards. Photo: Tim Campbell
Standing tall: The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse Precinct is named as a finalist in three categories of the 2020 Western Australian Heritage Awards. Photo: Tim Campbell

The Margaret River region's dedication to heritage tourism has been recognised in the 2020 Western Australian Heritage Awards, with the region highlighted across five different categories.

Finalists in the awards were announced last week, which celebrate the dedication and high-quality work being undertaken in Western Australia in areas related to heritage tourism.

The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse Precinct was named as a finalist in three categories (Interpretation Project, Heritage Tourism Product, and Conservation or Adaptive Reuse of a State Registered Place), while the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (MRBTA) was selected as a finalist in the category of Private or Public Organisation.

MRBTA Asset and Environment Manager Mark Delane was shortlisted for the Professional Contribution award.

On Tuesday morning Minister for Heritage David Templeman announced the lighthouse was the successful winner of the Heritage Tourism Award.

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse site manager Rikki Andrew said the recognition was "a massive credit to everyone involved.

"The visitor experience at Cape Leeuwin has been transformed from an already brilliant guided lighthouse tour with stunning views to an amazing interactive storytelling experience which gives a real insight into what life was like for our lighthouse keepers. The team is very proud to be a part of it."

Members of the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse team on site at the precinct. Photo: MRBTA

Members of the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse team on site at the precinct. Photo: MRBTA

The announcements represent the first formal recognition for the recently developed Interpretive Centre at Cape Leeuwin, which was opened to the public in December 2019.

The space is located in one of the original lighthouse keeper cottages and shares the history of the site through artefacts, short stories, interactive technology, and a large-scale animated film.

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse recommenced operations last month as part of Phase 2 of the COVID-19 WA Roadmap.

MRBTA Joint CEO Steve Harrison said it was exciting that the hard work that had gone into improving the site has been formally recognised.

"Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is a key drawcard for visitors to the region and is MRBTA's highest visited attraction," he said.

"MRBTA has an ongoing commitment to preserve the historical site and continue to keep up with demands of the modern traveller by improving the visitor experience.

"The organisation is proud of this achievement and we look forward to the announcement of the winners."

Finalists include both Aboriginal and historic heritage, and span both the metropolitan and regional areas.