The commercial hub of Kangaroo Island, Kingscote is the oldest European settlement in South Australia. It serves as the tourism gateway for the island, providing accommodation, multiple attractions and a comprehensive tourist centre.
The island was first settled in 1836, serving as the capital of South Australia for four years until the trails of the island necessitated the capital’s move to Adelaide. Kingscote is now home to 1800 residents, and the town is rich in history.
To the north of the main town lies Reeves Point. The initial location for Kingscote, historical features include a 177 year old mulberry tree planted by the original settlers, the settlers’ cemetery and the Hope Museum – housed in one of the first built cottages on the island. The mermaid statue of the Aurora Ozone Seafront Hotel has been a feature of the foreshore since 1907.
Sitting on the shore of the Nepean Bay, Kingscote is surrounded by sandstone cliffs populated by a colony of Little Penguins. Tours run after dusk are a popular way to see the penguins return from their day’s fishing. The extensive wharf and jetty provides excellent fishing, most commonly yielding garfish, Australian herring, King George whiting and snook.
Kingscote boasts a large assortment of accommodation, as well as a variety of shops and commercial buildings. It is the gateway to the rest of the island, providing tour operators and car hire. Most sights on the island are within a two hour drive. An airport and a ferry connect Kingscote to the mainland, the boats running four times daily.