Kangaroo Island is 110 kilometres south-west of Adelaide, and easily accessible by ferry or plane. The western end has two lighthouses Cape Borda and Cape de Couedic and the eastern end has one at Cape Willoughby.
In the mid-1800s, the final thoroughfare for ships making the voyage from Europe to Adelaide was off the Roaring Forty trade winds via Investigator Strait off Kangaroo Island. It was so hazardous, Cape Borda Lighthouse was installed in 1858 and is still in operation today. It is South Australia's third oldest and only square stone lighthouse and one of three in Australia to retain a Deville lantern room.
The small cannon was put in place to be fired during fog to alert ships of danger before the introduction of radio. It was also believed that due to the Russian scare, the placement of the cannon was symbolic of a small military presence, and therefore seen as a deterrent to invasion from possible enemy ships.
In late 1999, NPWSA restored the cannon and test-fired it at midnight 2000 as part of a global exercise of time-signals at maritime locations around the world. The cannon has since fired every day at the traditional hour of 1pm.
National Parks has tours of the lighthouse. A guide talks about the history and significance of the site and takes you through the lighthouse. A hike up a flight of stairs takes you to the crystal lens, designed to magnify the light.
You will visit the weather station, hear about the cannon, and someone on a tour, which is there at 1pm, will get to fire it.
The Replica Museum has early pictures, kerosene pumps, models of boats which were shipwrecked, old plates and bottles and bits and pieces belonging to former keepers.
Cottage accommodation is available. Flinders Light Lodge is a spacious and comfortable limestone cottage which once housed the keeper and his family. It has glorious sea views and sleeps six people.
Hartley Hut is a prefabricated cabin which originally served as the relieving keeper's quarters. It is cosy and modern, has sea views and sleeps two.
Woodward Hut is the most affordable heritage accommodation on the island. It is quaint and different and sleeps two.
Cutlery, crockery and pans are provided. Linen is charged at a nominal amount, or you may take your own. Of course, you need to take your own food along.
There is an abundance of wildlife around the lighthouse, and pets are not permitted. Revenue from cottage rental is used to restore and maintain the historic buildings.
Off the South Australian coast.
Cape Borda Lighthouse tours cost $11.50 for adults, $9 for concessions, $7 for children and $31 for a family pass.
Cape Borda Lighthouse cottages range from $17 per person per night for the Woodward Hut to $140 a night twin share for the Lightkeeper's Cottage.
Virgin Blue has one way fares to Adelaide.
One-way fares from;
- Melbourne, $99
- Sydney, $129
- Brisbane, $129
- Perth, $199
Prices quoted are correct on September 14, 2006.
Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.
Flinders Chase National Park
Ph: (08) 8559 7220
Fax: (08) 8559 7268
Accommodation: (08) 8559 7235
Ph: 13 6789