Around Kingscote

Pelican feeding, shopping, aquarium and penguin tours, museum

Kingscote is Kangaroo Island’s main town and the site of South Australia’s first official European settlement. The Hope Cottage Museum traces this history with a comprehensive display that will interest everyone. Hope Cottage is one of the early homes built by the first settlers – ‘Faith’, ‘Hope’ and ‘Charity’. ‘Faith’ no longer exists, ‘Hope’ is the museum and ‘Charity’ is a private residence.

At the bottom of the hill, at Reeves Point, is the “Old Mulberry Tree” brought from England to Kangaroo Island in 1836 by the original settlers and still bearing fruit in season. Across the track is the Pioneer Cemetery, and up the hill nearer Kingscote is the monument marking the arrival of the first settlers.

Nearby is the old basalt quarry, where basalt was mined and sent to Adelaide for the Port Adelaide Railway.

On the edge of town is the “Island Beehive“, an organic honey producer offering public tours, honey, souvenir sales and a café.

At 5pm each afternoon, the “pelican man” feeds the pelicans, and informs and entertains visitors for the price of a donation towards the food and his effort.

After dark visit Kingscote’s “red light district” on the wharf. It’s OK, it’s kid friendly! The Kangaroo Island Penguin Centre’s Aquarium and Penguin Tour – 7:30pm and 8:30pm during winter, later through summer. Experienced guides tell you about the marine life around Kangaroo Island’s waters, show you sea horses, weedy sea dragons, cuttlefish, whiting and more bizarre small creatures, before taking guests on a laser guided star talk (weather permitting), and then a walk through the penguin colony with special red lights. The red lights protect penguins eyes, as the birds can’t see red well.