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Kingscote, South Australia facts for kids

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Kingscote
South Australia
Dauncey St Kingscote.jpg
Dauncey Street
Population 1763 (including Brownlow KI) (2011 census)
Established 1836
Postcode(s) 5223
Location 119 km (74 mi) south-west of Adelaide
LGA(s) Kangaroo Island Council
Region Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island
County Carnarvon
State electorate(s) Finniss
Federal Division(s) Mayo
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
19.1 °C
66 °F
11.6 °C
53 °F
484 mm
19.1 in
Localities around Kingscote:
Wisanger Nepean Bay Nepean Bay
Wisanger Kingscote Nepean Bay
Menzies Cygnet River
Brownlow KI
Nepean Bay
Footnotes Location
Climate
Adjoining localities

Kingscote is a town in the Australian state of South Australia located on Kangaroo Island about 119 kilometres (74 mi) south-west of the state capital of Adelaide. It is South Australia's oldest European settlement and the island's largest town. At the 2011 census, Kingscote had a population of 1,763. It is a well-established tourist centre and the administrative and communications centre. It is home to a colony of the smallest penguins in the world, the little penguin.

History

The South Australia Company established its colony at Kingscote at Reeves Point on 27 July 1836, as South Australia's first official European settlement, the first settlers having arrived on the Duke of York. It was later suggested that Kingscote could serve as the capital of South Australia, but the island's resources were insufficient to support such a large community; the South Australia Company moved almost six months later to Adelaide after sending surveyors to find a better site.

The history of the area is displayed in the museum in Hope Cottage, to the north of the town. Hope Cottage was one of the three earliest houses built in Kingscote, circa 1850, with the adjoining cottages of Faith and Charity. (Faith has been subsequently demolished.)

The Old Mulberry Tree at Reeves Point was planted in 1836 and still bears fruit. Reeves Point has been placed on the Australian Heritage Places List.

The current town of Kingscote is now immediately to the south of the original Kingscote settlement at Reeves Point in the area originally known as Queenscliffe (the origin of the name of the Queenscliffe Hotel in Dauncey Street).

State heritage places

Kingscote contains the following places which are listed on the South Australian Heritage Register:

  • Hope Cottage
  • The Bluff Cottage
  • Barrett's Store
  • Reeves Point Settlement Site being the site of the first official settlement in the Colony of South Australia
  • Old Government Quarry

Facilities

Kingscote has a school offering years 1 to 12, a hospital, supermarket, post office and government offices. It is the administrative centre for the Kangaroo Island Council, whose offices have recently undergone a significant upgrade.

There is an extensive wharf and jetty, formerly used by the roll-on, roll-off vessels, Troubridge and Island Seaway.

Kingscote has a tidal swimming pool, plus a sports centre and adjoining oval and netball courts.

The Aurora Ozone Seafront Hotel, with its mermaid statue, is a well-known landmark on the Kingscote foreshore, having opened in 1907.

Little Penguin colony

In 2007, the Kingscote colony of Little penguins' population was 868 adults and fell to 706 in 2010. In 2011, it was believed to be either declining or stable. In 2012, the population fell to 300 adults according to DEWNR figures. In 2013, the Kingscote colony of little penguins had dropped to 20 birds, according to tour operator John Ayliffe. Official 2013 census figures were greater, estimating 154 breeding adults, down 48 per cent from the previous year and 82 per cent since the population peak in 2007.

Increasing populations of New Zealand fur seals are believed to be a factor in the decline. Other predators of penguins on Kangaroo Island include rats, dogs, cats, goannas and sea eagles. Since the 1990s, penguin tour operators have improved the nesting habitat in the visitation area at Kingscote, through vegetation, habitat protection and constructing boardwalks for tourists. Disease and declining fish stocks have also been blamed for declines in Little penguin numbers.

Other colonies in South Australia have experienced dramatic declines since the 1990s. The nearest examples of colonies in decline are found in Encounter Bay (Granite Island, Wright Island and West Island) and at Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island.

Accounts of little penguins at Kingcote exist from the 1930s.

The Spit

Historically, Little penguins have also been observed in burrows on The Spit which lays across the mouth of Bay of Shoals. Observations of penguins at this location were published in 1888, 1911, 1915, 1934 and 1938. A child visiting in 1947 found at least six penguin burrows. The species did not appear in the list of birds observed at Busby Islet Conservation Park (part of The Spit) which was published in 1987.

Climate

Kingscote has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb), where most of the rain falls in the winter months.

Climate data for Kingscote
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 40.6
(105.1)
41.0
(105.8)
35.8
(96.4)
31.0
(87.8)
24.7
(76.5)
22.4
(72.3)
22.0
(71.6)
23.0
(73.4)
27.5
(81.5)
37.3
(99.1)
39.4
(102.9)
38.8
(101.8)
41.0
(105.8)
Average high °C (°F) 23.7
(74.7)
23.5
(74.3)
22.2
(72)
19.8
(67.6)
17.5
(63.5)
15.4
(59.7)
14.6
(58.3)
15.0
(59)
16.5
(61.7)
18.5
(65.3)
20.5
(68.9)
22.3
(72.1)
19.1
(66.4)
Average low °C (°F) 14.9
(58.8)
15.4
(59.7)
14.3
(57.7)
12.5
(54.5)
10.8
(51.4)
9.3
(48.7)
8.4
(47.1)
8.3
(46.9)
9.1
(48.4)
10.3
(50.5)
12.0
(53.6)
13.6
(56.5)
11.6
(52.9)
Record low °C (°F) 8.3
(46.9)
8.9
(48)
6.1
(43)
5.6
(42.1)
2.8
(37)
-1.1
(30)
2.1
(35.8)
2.0
(35.6)
1.6
(34.9)
2.2
(36)
4.7
(40.5)
6.1
(43)
-1.1
(30)
Precipitation mm (inches) 14.7
(0.579)
17.0
(0.669)
18.4
(0.724)
35.1
(1.382)
58.6
(2.307)
72.5
(2.854)
77.7
(3.059)
65.2
(2.567)
47.4
(1.866)
37.1
(1.461)
23.0
(0.906)
19.2
(0.756)
483.6
(19.039)
Avg. precipitation days 3.6 3.5 5.0 8.7 12.8 15.7 18.1 16.8 12.9 10.0 6.7 5.3 119.1

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