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Cape Borda Lightstation

  • Picnic Areas
  • Walking Trails
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About

Cape Borda Lightstation is open from Saturday, September 26.

The lightstation was spared in the fires that ravaged the western end of Kangaroo Island in January 2020, but the surrounding Flinders Chase National Park was burnt.

Cape Borda Lighthouse is perched on cliffs overlooking Investigator Strait. Located on the north western corner of Kangaroo Island, this unique square lighthouse was built in 1858 and is steeped in European history.

The lightstation was established to guide ships entering the dangerous waters of Investigator Strait from the west. During colonisation, the South Australian settlement was almost entirely dependent on the shipping trade.

Take a self-guided tour around the Cape Borda Lightstation settlement. It will give you an insight into the early lightkeepers’ living conditions, and how isolation and a demanding routine dominated their often harsh lives.

Book your tour online before you go.

After the self-guided tour, enjoy a stroll along one of the walking trails around the park including the Cliff Top Hike. This short trail through a picturesque rock garden takes you to a stone lookout that provides an ideal vantage point for spotting whales and dolphins.

Download the National Parks of Kangaroo Island Visitor Guide: September 2020 to see what’s open in other parks across Kangaroo Island now. 

More information on bushfire recovery

Traditional owners

Aboriginal peoples have occupied, enjoyed and managed the lands and waters of this State for thousands of generations. For Aboriginal first nations, creation ancestors laid down the laws of the Country and bestowed a range of customary rights and obligations to the many Aboriginal Nations across our state. 

There are many places across the State that have great spiritual significance to Aboriginal first nations.  At some of these places Aboriginal cultural protocols, such as restricted access, are promoted and visitors are asked to respect the wishes of Traditional Owners.

In places where protocols are not promoted visitors are asked to show respect by not touching or removing anything, and make sure you take all your rubbish with you when you leave.

Aboriginal peoples continue to play an active role in caring for their Country, including in parks across South Australia. 

European history

The Cape Borda lighthouse was built in 1858, and is the third oldest remaining in South Australia. It’s also the only square stone lighthouse in South Australia and only one three lighthouses in Australia to retain a Deville lantern room.

It was built to guide sailing ships arriving off the Roaring Forty trade-winds and into the Investigator Straits.

Apart from warning ships of danger, the lightstation at Cape Borda was also a lookout for Russian ships. A small cannon was installed there – it was used to signal ships of danger before radio was available and to appear as if there was a military presence.

The light was converted to automatic operation in 1989.

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