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Lighthouses of South Australia
|State Indexes > SA > Cape Borda Lighthouse|
The Cape Borda Lighthouse on Kangaroo IslandThe Cape Borda Lighthouse on Kangaroo Island was isolated and the scene of tragedy in its early years. It is the only square stone lighthouse in South Australia.
|LOCATION:||Latitude 35䵧 3" S, Longitude 136㵧 7" E (map)|
|OPERATOR:||Australian Maritime Safety Authority|
|CHARACTER:||Group Flash 4 Every 20 Seconds|
|LIGHT SOURCE:||120v 1000w Tungsten Halogen Lamp|
|POWER SOURCE:||Mains Electricity|
|RANGE:||21 Nautical Miles|
The Cape Borda Lighthouse and Cannon
Photograph: Chris Klep
The lighthouse was built in 1858, and is the third oldest remaining in South Australia. It is also the only square stone lighthouse in South Australia.
It was built to guide sailing ships arriving in to South Australia off the Roaring Forty trade-winds and into the Investigator Straits and on to Adelaide.
In the early days supplies had to landed by boat and hauled up long steel railway at nearby Harvey's Return.
The small cannon was put in place to be fired during fog to signal ships of danger before the introduction of radio. It was also believed that due to the Russian scare the placement of the cannon was symbolic of a small military presence, and therefore seen as a deterrence to invasion from possible enemy ships! Indeed one of the reasons for building the lightstation in that position was to be a lookout for Russian ships.
In late 1999, NPWSA restored the cannon and test-fired it at Midnight 2000 as part of a global exercise of time-signals at maritime locations around the world. The cannon was found to be Y2K compliant and has since fired every day at the traditional hour of 1pm
It is only one three lighthouses in Australia to retain a Deville lantern room.
The light was converted to automatic operation in 1989.
The Cape Borda Lightstation
Photograph: Winsome Bonham
Visiting the small cemetery, at Harvey's Return, where there are 16 headstones, is a solemn reminder of the hardship endured by early lighthouse keepers and their families. One keeper died a slow agonising death after having his eye pierced in a fall. Children died of diseases with no access to medical treatment. One child was found at the bottom of a steep cliff, killed in the fall. Other children simply disappeared in this rugged scrubby terrain.
|Family members buried at Cape Borda (Harveys Return)|
|WOODWARD||Capt. G||1858||1st Head keeper (infection of eye injury)|
|JOHNSON||Unknown||1862||Daughter of Lightkeeper Charles and Mary Johnson (aged 3 weeks)|
|WELLS||Unknown||1873||Son of Lightkeeper, Thomas Wells (stillborn)|
|MAIN||William||1875||Son of Headkeeper Capt. George Main (scarlet fever, aged 7 1/2 yrs)|
|MAIN||Arthur||1877||Son of Headkeeper Capt. George Main (fell off cliffs, aged 3 yrs 4 mths)|
|JENNESON||Lilly||1884||(aged 9 years)|
|WILLS||Augusta||1884||Wife of Lightkeeper Wills (childbirth)|
|KOPP||Irene||1895||Daughter of Jane Elizabeth Kopp|
|KOPP||Jane Elizabeth||1903||Wife of Lightkeeper|
|Source: Captain Dan Grieve, NPWS - SA|
We need your help in compiling a list of keepers for this lighthouse. If you have any information then send it to email@example.com.
Please include this lighthouse's name, the keepers full name and what years they were keepers. Also include the same information for any other lights they were on.
The Cape Borda Lighthouse at Dusk
Photograph: Brian Lord
|DISTANCE :||70 km (Kingscote)|
|192 km (Adelaide)|
|ACCESS:||Ferry/Air then road|
|TOURS:||Yes (lighthouse and museum)|
The Surrounding Area
Rob's Photo Gallery - Some photographs of Kangaroo Island
Touring Guide: Kangaroo Island by South Australian Tourist Commission
The Road to the Cape Borda Lighthouse
Photograph: Peter Coombs
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|Researching Hamilton family tree and Cape Borda Lighthouse||Bulletin Apr 03|
Other Cape Borda Sites
|Cape Borda - Kangaroo Island||Postcards|
|Cape Borda Lightstation, South Australia||TravelDownunder|
|Cape Borda Lightstation||Parks SA|
The Cape Borda Lighthouse In Operation
Photograph: Peter Coombs
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