The Flinders National Park is a stalwart stop-off on all Kangaroo Island tours. This beautiful stretch of parkland is home to some of Australia’s most elusive and fascinating creatures, as well as stunning scenery that spans back thousands of years.
But it’s not just pretty views and eclectic wildlife that draw visitors to the park and its surroundings; it also boasts a magnificent history that can be delved into in many of the landmarks around it. This is exactly the case at the Cape Du Couedic Lighthouse, one of Kangaroo Island’s most iconic attractions.
Constructed between 1906 and 1909, the lighthouse itself is made up of a tower made from 2,000 pieces of local stone. In the land that surrounds it, there are three four-roomed cottages that house the head keeper of the lighthouse, the two assistants, and their families.
Every ten seconds, the lighthouse emits two flashes that are sent out via a Fresnel lens made by the Chance Brothers.
When the lighthouse was first built, it actually couldn’t be reached by land, and instead sat on its very own island off the coast of the island. Any stores, materials, and equipment that needed to go inside the lighthouse were deliver by boat and hauled into the edifice by a unique flying fox winching system – that would have, originally, been powered by two horses.
Today, the flashes from the lighthouse are automated and the three keepers’ cottages are no longer lived in by the keeper and their two assistants. Instead, visitors to the area can stay the night in the cottages for a rare and memorable experience on Kangaroo Island.
Together with its cottages, onsite stable and store, and the jetty, funnelway and store ruins at Weirs Cove are now all registered as separate state heritage places on the South Australian Heritage Register, and provide visitors with a unique insight into the history of the region and why the lighthouse and its outbuildings played such an important part in Kangaroo Island’s past.
As well as digging into the fascinating history that still imbues the lighthouse, visitors can marvel at the stunning views from the edge of the cape. On one side, the lush expanse of Kangaroo Island unfolds in a show of ancient greenery and pristine sands while, to the other side, the mesmerising waters seem to expand out to the horizon and beyond.
Cape Du Couedic Lighthouse is a must-visit for anyone who wants to visit Kangaroo Island and discover its cacophony of fascinating stories.