Win a Kangaroo Island getaway

Win a Kangaroo Island getaway

Tell us how the envi­ron­ment con­tributes to Good Living

The com­pe­ti­tion has now closed.

The lucky win­ner of our Good Liv­ing com­pe­ti­tion will have the chance to stay in a her­itage-list­ed light­house keeper’s cot­tage at either Cape Willough­by or Cape Bor­da on the rugged and beau­ti­ful coast­line of Kan­ga­roo Island.

To whet your appetite, here’s the first instal­ment of a two-part series on these unique places where you can escape the fre­net­ic pace of mod­ern life.

Vis­i­tors to Kan­ga­roo Island’s Cape Willough­by can immerse them­selves in the won­der and his­to­ry of South Australia’s first lighthouse.

Cape Willough­by is sit­u­at­ed on the island’s far east­ern coast at the entrance to the treach­er­ous waters of Back­stairs Passage.

The light­house was first lit in 1852 at a time when most trans­port was car­ried out by boat. All boats from the east­ern states to Ade­laide passed through Back­stairs Pas­sage and the Cape Willough­by light­house was their guid­ing light to the entrance.

There were three light­house keep­ers liv­ing with their fam­i­lies on the site in the ear­ly 1850s ensur­ing that the facil­i­ty was manned 24 hours per day. The extreme iso­la­tion would have made life hard. These fam­i­lies need­ed to live off the land as a sup­ply ships would only stop by every three months and in an emer­gency they need­ed to flag down pass­ing ships to put out the call for help.

The high wind speeds on the Cape — of up to 140 kilo­me­tres per hour — would have also added to the chal­lenges of every­day liv­ing — and pos­si­bly of hang­ing out the washing!

Vis­i­tors to the site can enjoy the same amaz­ing views of those ear­ly inhab­i­tants which stretch across to Cape Jervis and Vic­tor Har­bor on the main­land — and even spot pass­ing whales or cir­cling eagles.

The ear­ly light con­sist­ed of oil lanterns and par­a­bol­ic reflec­tors. The lat­ter were mir­rors that would be posi­tioned behind the light­house lanterns to reflect the light out to sea. From 1925 the glow of Cape Willough­by light­house shone through a three tonne crys­tal lens which rotat­ed around kerosene-pow­ered lanterns. The light­house was auto­mat­ed in 1974 and is now pow­ered by an LED light but vis­i­tors can still see an iden­ti­cal ver­sion of the orig­i­nal lens at the site.

The light­house keep­ers have now been assigned to his­to­ry and the last one moved out in 1992. Cape Willough­by was one of the last manned light­hous­es in Australia.

Today’s vis­i­tors have the chance to rev­el in this his­to­ry and enjoy the sim­ple life in one of the two for­mer light­house keep­ers’ cot­tages on the site – Sey­mour Cot­tage and Thomas Cot­tage. The cot­tages are ful­ly fur­nished and heat­ed and tele­vi­sion has been replaced by plen­ty of board games and books. Those want­i­ng a break from cook­ing can vis­it the Zest and Thyme café locat­ed close by.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living