35į43' S, 137į56' E
The port settlement of Penneshaw originally known as Hog Bay,
is situated at the far eastern end of Kangaroo Island. It
is the town, where the Sealink ferry service arrives.
The neat houses on the sloping hill give the town a Mediterranean
look as you approach from Backstairs Passage, which is the 15
kms (9.3 miles) body of water, that separates mainland Australia
from Kangaroo Island. The water can be treacherous for small craft,
however it is very striking and dolphins can often be seen shadowing
the bows of boats, or playing in front of the beach which arcs
around the town.
Penneshaw has a colourful history, even before settlement. As
the coast of mainland Australia is clearly visible, it seems possibly,
that it was a point of residence for our earliest inhabitants.
Stone spearheads and other items have been found on the rolling
hills above the township.
These belonged to the aboriginal people, which inhabited the Island
around 10,000 years ago. It is not known why the aboriginal people
left the island or whether they died out here. However, that is
unlikely because fresh water and food would have been as plentiful,
as when the English explorer Matthew Flinders and French explorer
Nicolas Baudin both visited here in 1802.
Frenchmanís Rock, carved by a crewman from Baudin's ship, can
be seen at the beachfront and there is a fountain tapping the
natural springs, that both these explorerís sourced water from.
Various runaway convicts, sealers and whalers jumped ship, and
lived at this location well prior to official settlement of South
Australia. Small cottages around the town attest to their skills
and desire to make Penneshaw their permanent home. There is a
very small, natural harbour, near the town that would have offered
protection to longboats when they rowed ashore.
A variety of Stores and places to eat are in the town. The KI
Tourist Information Centre is on the road leaving the township
and caters to the tourist and locals.
With a permanent population of around 350 people, there are a
large number of accommodation services ranging from;
Self contained holiday homes
Bed & Breakfast
A backpackers hostel
The town is home for a number of local artists and their wares
are available from various shops in the town. Farmland surrounds
the town, which also boasts a museum and it is a starting point
for driving around the island, for those on self-drive holidays.
Wildlife in the area is the Tammar Wallaby, the Island sub species
of the Grey Kangaroo, Rosenberg Goannas, short-nosed Echidnas,
various birds and the town is famous for itís Fairy Penguins.
These can be seen coming ashore at sunset. There is a special
viewing area set aside and tours are available to observe the
It is worth spending some time in Penneshaw. It has a lot to offer
to the visitor ..... Information, good food, locals ready to help
you to make your visit to Kangaroo Island a very pleasant one.
The main roads of our Island are sealed bitumen, but roads to
some attractions are rough ironstone/bauxite gravel, which is
rounded and caution is advised when driving .... especially when