Cape Borda Lightstation


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 self guided 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: May 2022 to see what’s open in other parks across Kangaroo Island now.

More information on bushfire recovery

Contact details

Visitor information, bookings and park management:

National Parks Wildlife Service South Australia Kangaroo Island office
Phone: (+61 8) 8553 4444

Emergency contacts:

Medical, fire (including bushfire) and police emergency situations
Phone: Triple Zero - 000

Police Assistance
Phone: 131 444 for non-urgent police assistance

National Parks and Wildlife Service SA – After-hours duty officer
Phone: 0477 334 898

Injured wildlife:

Within the park
Please contact

National Parks Wildlife Service South Australia Kangaroo Island office on (08) 8553 4444 or the after-hours duty officer on 0477 334 898.

Outside of the park
Please contact a local wildlife rescue group

Marine mammals
If you find a sick or stranded marine mammal (including whales, seals, sea lions and dolphins), please contact

National Parks Wildlife Service South Australia Kangaroo Island office on (08) 8553 4444 or the after-hours duty officer on 0477 334 898.

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.

Kangaroo Island Tour Pass

Visiting Kangaroo Island? Purchase a Kangaroo Island Tour Pass for 12 months access to:

  • Seal Bay guided tour, boardwalk and lookout
  • Flinders Chase National Park entry
  • Cape Borda Lightstaion self-guided tour
  • Cape Willoughby Lightstation tour









Stay five nights in one of National Parks South Australia heritage accommodation places on Kangaroo Island and receive a free Kangaroo Island Tour Pass for all guests for the duration of your stay!

For more information about passes, read the FAQs or contact our National Parks and Wildlife Service Visitor Service Centre on (+61 8) 8207 7700.