36°04' S, 137°27' E
Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park covers 2 locations and includes
a large Wilderness Protection area as well.
The 2 locations are:
Murray Lagoon, from Kingscote - 41 kilometres (25 miles), American
River - 39 kilometres (24.5 miles), Penneshaw - 55 kilometres
Point Tinline / Cape Linois from Kingscote - 61 kilometres (38.5
miles), American River - 54 kilometres (34 miles), Penneshaw -
70 kilometres (42.5 miles)] , after a strong south-easterly
wind in May and November Paper Nautilus shells can be found along
the beaches of D'Estrées Bay.
The park covers 24 316 hectares (60 080 acres) of wilderness and
has spectacular coastal scenery.
The geography consists of undulating plains of calcrete with overlying
coastal sand dunes. These are covered in places by mallee scrub
and other coastal brush. The coastline is dominated by rock cliffs
and includes stretches where the land falls more gently to the
sea. Sandy beaches are in the more sheltered bays.
Many birds can be seen in the area:
- maritime species, i.e. gulls, terns
- swamp, i.e. swan, various wetland waders
- scrub species, i.e. wrens, pardalotes
- a limited number of parrots
Little is known of the reptiles in the area, but always when bushwalking
be aware that Kangaroo Island has some venomous snakes. The tiger
Snake is more common near swampland and if approached will retreat
unless it feels threatened. Immediate medical assistance must
be sought if bitten by any snake on Kangaroo Island.
The Common Brushtail Possum and the Tammar Wallaby occur along
the central strip in the Wilderness Protection Area. At Cape Linois
and further inland are the Kangaroo Island Kangaroos which inhabit
the mallee and other scrubs.
Murray Lagoon to the north of the reserve is the Island's largest
freshwater lagoon, a wetland habitat supporting abundant bird
The park also includes the western end of D'Estrées Bay, historical
site of the early whaling industry with peaceful beaches and some
camping areas. The Cape Gantheaume Wilderness walk of about 20
kilometres (12.5 miles) starts here.