35°39' S, 137°37' E
Population: 1450 (census 1996)
Kingscote is a
smart looking small township, with a population of around
1450. It is situated overlooking the waters of the Bay of Shoals
to the Northeast and on the Southside the beaches of Nepean Bay.
It was the first settlement in South Australia in 1836. There
was some idea about it becoming the new free colony's Capital.
A shortage of reliable fresh water ended this thought and the
migrants that survived the rigours of the trip from England and
the hardships faced on Kangaroo Island, moved to what is now known
At Rennie's Bluff near Reeves Point stands a Mulberry tree which
was planted by the original immigrants. It still bears fruit.
Around the location of the tree is a cemetery and lots of historical
information. Up the road from this point is the Hope Cottage Museum.
Hope Cottage is the remaining cottage out of a set of three identical
cottages named 'Hope', 'Faith' and 'Charity' built in the 1850's
by the Calnan brothers. Exhibits depict the pioneering history
of Kingscote and Kangaroo Island.
First named 'Angas', after George Fife Angas, one of the colony's
founders. An argument resulted in it being named 'Kingscote' after
Henry Kingscote, another of the founders.
Locals believe that another name the town was known by was 'Queenscliffe'.
But this is unsourced information at this time. There are 2 hotels
in the town. One is the 'Queenscliffe' locally known as the 'Queenie'
and the other one the 'Ozone'.
Kingscote was an important port until the 1990's, with ferry and
freight services coming here. In the early days, the basalt and
bricks for the road which was built between Port Adelaide and
the new town of Adelaide were shipped from here.
Kingscote is the Island's main town and its centre of commerce
and tourism. It boasts several retail shops where groceries, clothing,
shoes and souvenirs can be obtained. 2 hardware stores,
2 petrol stations and 2 banks with ATM facilities, can also be
found here. There are a variety of other services and amenities
to cater for the local and visitor needs. There are 2 art galleries
in the town as well - both offer artworks of various types produced
by local artists.
The well staffed Kangaroo Island General Hospital and Health Centre
are located to the North of the jetty and overlook yachts and
fishing vessels that dot the water.
Fishing is excellent from the jetty and the larger fishing vessels
use this port facility to off load their catches.
On the Southeast of the town, a steep rise provides a good vantage
point for views over the town, the bay and Western Cove.
To the Southwest is Brownlow. The Kingscote Yacht Club is midway
between Kingscote and Brownlow. The rise gives way to beach and
swampland near the mouth of the Cygnet River where birds nest
and breed in profusion.