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Cape Willoughby Lighthouse

Home > Adelaide > Outdoor | Family | Escape the City | Tours
by Vanessa M (subscribe)
I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published October 6th 2014
Cape Willoughby Lighthouse can be found on the eastern tip of Kangaroo Island, between Cape Willoughby and Windmill Bay. It's one of four lighthouses on the island, but one of only two you can get inside. Despite siting next to a conservation park at the end of a long unsealed road, it's probably the more accessible of the two as well, as Cape Borda Lightstation is located far from any towns, over on the.western side.

cape willoughby kangaroo island
The view of Cape Willoughby


Though isolated in location, the lighthouse complex does include a whole cluster of buildings. These include the lighthouse itself, a Visitors Centre and two cottages that are rented out for accommodation.

cape willoughby lighthouse, cape willoughby kangaroo island
The lighthouse standing behind the Visitors Centre and one of the cottages


The Visitors Centre is one place every visitor will explore and it offers a laugh before you even reach it; on the path out front there is a sign listing 'recent happenings' in the area. I found these quite amusing and they really highlight the isolation of a lighthouse when things like 'very windy', 'still windy' make the cut. Bird activity had also been noted on my trip, but there were truly exiting events like whales spotted out to sea as well (a chart inside marks the sightings in the area for the year).

You don't come all the way here for the weather and the wildlife though, and when you go inside the centre there's a gift shop and two rooms offering history and information on topics like shipwrecks around the island, flags used for communication at sea and other topics. There's also a toilet onsite and facilities to make yourself some coffee.

cape willoughby lighthouse, cape willoughby lightstation kangaroo island, cape willoughby visitor centre
Inside the Visitors Centre


cape willoughby lighthouse, cape willoughby lightstation kangaroo island, cape willoughby visitor centre
I'm guessing there's only one place a light bulb this big would get used


Cape Willoughby Lighthouse is the oldest in South Australia so it's worthwhile doing a tour to learn more about it. Guided tours run at 11.30am, 12.30pm and 2.00pm every day. During the school holidays there are extra tours at 3.00pm and 4.00pm. These tours all cost $15.00 (for an adult) and last around 45 minutes, but there is also the option of dong a self-guided tour at any time the centre is open for $3.00.

If you'e the type of person who wants to do everything the island has to offer and are worried the cost is starting to add up, you might be interested in the $68.00 Kangaroo Island Tour Pass which gets you a year's access to Flinders Chase National Park (where you'll find the Admiral's Arch, Cape du Couedic (including its seals and lighthouse) and Remarkable Rocks) and Seal Bay, as well as a spot on the tours of Seal Bay, Kelly Hill Caves, Cape Willoughby Lighthouse and Cape Borda Lightstation.

If you're the kind of person who isn't trying to cut costs, on the other hand, you might want to stay here, at Cape Willoughby Lighthouse, while you're on this island. The cottages start at $170.00 per couple per night in off-peak season (pretty reasonable really), and go up to $219.00 in peak season, with extra guests costing $29.00. Families get special rates: $206.00 in off-peak season and $265.00 in peak season.
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Why? Get inside the oldest lighthouse in the state
When: 9.00am to 3.30pm every day (closed Christmas Day)
Phone: (08) 8553 4466
Where: Cape Willoughby Conservation Park, Kangaroo Island
Cost: Free to visit, $3.00 to go inside and do a self-guided tour, or $15.00 for a guided tours
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