The Umhlanga Lighthouse is fully automated though its form is hand captured by local artists whose works are sold to foreigners chartering international waters with framed fragile portraits of this sturdy structure. Mistress of memorabilia and master of light since 1954, this 21m high circular concrete tower has a light range of 24 sea miles at a focal plane height of 25 meters above high sea level. It has never been attended by a lighthouse keeper with the official warden residing at the adjacent original beach cottage of the area, now the Oyster Beach Hotel.
The Whale Bone Pier better known as the Umhlanga Pier was declared by CNN as the “Best In World!” and “world’s most beautiful pier” in 2014. This accolade was made after CNN proclaimed Durban one of the world’s most underrated cities.
The uMhlanga lighthouse was completed in 1954. Construction was completed in four days and 19 hours. The circular concrete tower, painted white with a red band at the top, stands 21 metres above the beach and has a focal plane height of 25 metres. The fixed red light enables ships waiting to anchor in the outer anchorage, to monitor their position. If the red light is undetectable, the ship’s anchors have probably dragged and are too close to shore. The lighthouse has never had an official ‘keeper’. The Oyster Box Hotel, which was built in 1869, has been the tower’s custodian. The construction of the lighthouse cost R23 838. There are 95 steps to the top of the uMhlanga Lighthouse.
The Pearls of Umhlanga is a spectacular residential resort offering luxury apartments and penthouses that will give you the best return on investment, and will place you closer to the beach on the region’s most desirable and sought-after coastline. The final phase of The Pearls of Umhlanga, Pearl Sky, has marked the opening of the first luxury boutique mall in Umhlanga, called Pearls Mall. The Pearls of Umhlanga can only be described as iconic, rare, flawless, luxurious and valuable. This lavish residential resort, situated on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, is setting new standards for developments in South Africa and crafting a blueprint for the most opulent of lifestyles.
Umhlanga Rocks has many luxury hotels and apartments right on the beach, including the Cabana Beach Hotel, the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Oyster Box Hotel, the Umhlanga Sands Hotel and Pearls of Umhlanga apartments. Many of these have views of the landmark lighthouse. It has a large increase in population during the summer months.