FRIDAY FEB 7th - Kingscote
We woke late (okay... I woke late) to a respectably temperate morning and decided that the trip into town to look at the sites was definitely on. Into the backpack went water, fruit and nuts, the camera, sunscreen, bug spray, purse, phone, a letter to post and off we went. We dinghy hopped over to the barnacle encrusted jetty and tied up in bouncy seas. I shimmied ...uh clambered.... um... okay, more like inched my way up the 20', fully vertical metal ladder (still haven't quite found all of my bravado yet.... I think some of it's still somewhere in Adelaide, cowering under the bed or behind the sofa) and on to the jetty whilst Dave endeavoured to secure the boat in the heaving water without getting half his skin scraped off by the barnacles. He almost succeeded, with only a few bloody abrasions and a couple of swear words.
The first thing to greet us when we stepped ashore were trees filled with cockys. They were like huge white screechy blossoms fluttering in the pines. We didn't hang around under the trees for long though, as cockatoos tend to aim and poop just for the fun of it.
We made our way along the pristine esplanade, stopping occasionally to take a breather on one of the many seats that are placed along the foreshore, and just take in the view. It was spectacular.
Arriving at the historic site of Reeves Point, we spent a nice couple of hours just wandering about. I reckon we walked several kilometres but it was worth the exercise. I found the cemetery fascinating as I always do and this is where an unhurried lunch was had, in the company of several magpies who turned their beaks up at a pistachio nut and dried cranberries. Cretin birds.
The whole historic site is as beautifully maintained as the town itself, with a barbecue area, clean toilets (which are long drops but hey, can't have everything) and an absolutely unbeatable view. We had a lovely day.
Of course I did forget to post the letter. Oh well... there's always something and we also decided we weren't leaving for Robe. :)
A VERY brief Kingscote history for you:
Kingscote is South Australia's oldest European settlement and is the largest community on Kangaroo Island. The first settlers arrived at Kingscote at Reeves Point on 27 July 1836 on the 'Duke of York' where The South Australian Company established its colony. After much debate as to who was going to be first on the island, it was decided that 2 year old Elizabeth Beare, the daughter of Thomas Hudson Beare would be carried ashore by a sailor and be the first landed settler. She apparently took great delight in this and wandered the beach placing shells in her pinny.
The town was originally named 'Angas', after George Fife Angas, one of the colony's founders but an argument resulted in it being renamed 'Kingscote' after Henry Kingscote, another of the founders.
Initially it was suggested that this was where the capital of South Australia should be but it was soon realised that there was a lack of resources to sustain a large community. The South Australian Company moved almost six months later to find a better site, which eventually became Adelaide. The rest is history, so to speak.
A few points though:
* Kingscote had the first post office in South Australia, the site of which is now marked with a plaque.
* Reeves Point has the oldest cemetery in South Australia. Though small, with only a few of the original headstones remaining (and more recent memorial markers) it's still very interesting.
* 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.
* Kingscote has a colony of Fairy Penguins (Little Penguins) that come ashore each night. The colony has slowly been in decline but the town has tried to put in great efforts to protect the population.