Things to See & Do

Nestled on the picturesque waters of Lacepede Bay and home to the famous ‘Larry the Lobster’, Kingston is an ideal place for holidaymakers and families to relax and unwind. There is much to like about Kingston, the fishing, local shops and cafes, seafood, wine, local produce, safe beaches, fantastic local events and great parks. The community is supported by a diverse range of skilled and professional services but most of all this is the entirety of a great lifestyle that can be enjoyed and experienced every day.

Located approximately 300km south of Adelaide, lies the Limestone Coast’s hidden gem, Kingston. Experience some of the safest beaches in South Australia, RV parks, visitor facilities, parks and gardens, sporting and recreational facilities and excellent recreational fishing.

The small seaside town is the perfect destination to holiday, its central location is ideal to stay and explore the nearby towns such as Robe, Beachport, Naracoorte, Millicent, Penola and Mount Gambier.

BEACHES

Think beautiful, serene, pristine, safe sandy beaches and you have described Kingston SE.  Ideal for swimming, fishing, windsurfing, sailing and relaxing.  No shoulder to shoulder summer crowds, just meters and meters of beach to enjoy with the regular picturesque sunsets over the water.  You may even spot dolphins and seals frolicking in the shallow waters of the bay.  Weather, tides and vehicle type permitting the beaches North and South of the township can be driven on.  The 200km long stretch of beach between Kingston and the Murray Mouth is known as the Coorong.  Situated 20km north of Kingston is also the popular rock formation known as the Granites.

FISHING

The waters off Kingston and Cape Jaffa are a haven for recreational fishers.  Whether you are a pro or just enjoy the serenity of casting a rod you can try your luck from the shore, jetty or a boat, catching varieties such as Snapper, Whiting, Garfish, Squid, Salmon, Tommy Ruff and Mullet.  If you have no luck and the story at the end of the day is about the big one that got away, local fish and seafood can be purchased fresh and cooked from a number of outlets within the town.

LONG BEACH

Lying to the north of Kingston SE is Long Beach. It is approximately 100kms long which runs from Kingston SE to the Murray Mouth and is the southern end of The Coorong. It is known to fishermen as one of the best surf fishing destinations in Australia. In January each year the Kingston SE Lions Club host their annual Surf Fishing Competition. This surf beach provides wonderful fishing or is ideal for just lying on the sand and relaxing.

The Granites, 17kms north of Kingston, feature large rock formations on the beach. A 4WD is recommended north of the Granites.

BOAT RAMPS

The Kingston District Council offers two boat ramps, located at Kingston & Cape Jaffa. The Kingston boat ramp is currently CLOSED, however the Cape Jaffa Marina boat ramp remains OPEN.

Launch Permits are valid for both boat ramps.

* Daily Launch Permit Fee - $10.00 inc GST
* Annual Launch Permit Fee - $80.00 inc GST

Annual permits are available from the Council Office or the Kingston Foreshore Caravan Park.
Daily permits are available at the boat ramps via the onsite ticket machines (coin or card only).

Accessibility of these facilities is subject to weather and environmental conditions. Please phone the council office on 08 8767 2033 to check if the facilities are currently open.

THE BIG LOBSTER

The Big Lobster, affectionately known as ‘Larry’, was born in 1979 after being designed and built by Paul Kelly. The original idea came from a similar concept the Backler family discovered in the USA in the mid-1970s. Their plan for the project in Kingston featured the promotion of south eastern seafood, wine and cheese. Standing 17 metres tall, Larry is regarded as one of the most impressive of Australia’s Big Things, so make sure you tick it off your bucket list when visiting Kingston

THE SUNDIAL & SCULPTURE PARK

The Sundial is located on a small island in Maria Creek adjacent to the Apex Park. Correctly known as an Analemmatic Sundial, the work consist of a central analemma and a number of hour pieces in a half circle formation. Well known fine art sculptor Mr Silvio Apponyi produced the pieces which make up the Sundial and the numerous animal, fish and wave works which are featured on and around the Sundial pieces.

THE GRANITES

The Coorong stretches nearly 180 kilometres from the Murray Mouth all the way to Kingston. The Granites are located 17km north of the township towards Adelaide and are the only interruption along the whole beach.

BUTCHERS GAP CONSERVATION PARK

Butchers Gap Conservation Park was purchased by the National Parks and Wildlife Service in 1983 for the conservation of one of the last remaining significant stand of coastal scrub between the Coorong and Robe, as a wetland refuge for birds and especially to provide winter feeding grounds for the rare Orange Bellied Parrot. This small park covers a total of 178.3 hectares. Lacepede Bay forms the western boundary. The high ground consists of calcareous sand which supports dense low coastal scrub shaped by the persistent strong onshore winds. The remainder of the park is covered by seasonal lakes of varying salinity supporting a habitat consisting of samphire flats, areas of dense reed cover and melaleuca stands.

Part of the South Eastern Drainage Scheme, the Butchers Gap Drain, transects the park bringing a large influx of fresh water from the farmlands to the East each winter. The Water is drained out to sea via the tunnel through the dunes which once allowed access to incoming high tides. Why do you think the tunnel was necessary when most of the outlets for the scheme are simple cuttings through to the sea? Currently the outlet is controlled by wooden gates which are raised and lowered to open or close the drain.

As you walk about the park you will see small green marker posts, these indicate points of interest on the slashed walking trail. Allow 1 hour for the short loop and 2 hours for the full walk.

CAPE JAFFA LIGHTHOUSE MUSEUM

Originally built out to sea from Cape Jaffa on the Margaret Brock Reef and opened in 1872. The historic lighthouse was 41 m high and known as a Wells Screw Pile - designed to ideally suit the local conditions. The 8 roomed dwelling accommodated two lightkeepers and families with enough stores to last several weeks. The First Order Chance Brothers lantern could be seen for 40 kms. In 1973, the Federal Government de-commissioned the light station and gifted the lighthouse to the National Trust of South Australia. It opened in 1976 as a Museum, and is now managed by the Kingston National Trust branch.

From its commanding position on Kingston’s foreshore, check out the spectacular views from the top deck and get a glimpse into the incredible life of the lightkeeper in a very challenging workplace! Originally situated on the Margaret Brock Reef, 8kms out to sea from Cape Jaffa, this lighthouse became Australia’s first lighthouse to be dismantled and re-located onshore.

Tours available on the hour, 10am to 3pm daily, Dec 26th 2019 - Jan 27th 2020. Tour duration: 45mins.

Please arrive 15 mins prior to tour start time. Meet your guide at the base of the Lighthouse stairs.

BOOK ONLINE - bookings RECOMMENDED to secure place. Last tour at 3pm - https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=580880&

KINGSTON NATIONAL TRUST MUSEUM

Step back into history to view the museum’s extensive collection in the original 1876 J. J. Jarman building, 23 Cooke Street. See the amazing and intriguing items which give you a snapshot into Kingston’s coastal and farming past. For all ages - well worth a visit! Open from 10am – 12pm during school holidays, or by appointment, 0427172774.

HERITAGE TRAIL

First established as a private town in 1858 by statesman and benefactor George Strickland Kingston, it began as a lively settlement with first settlers Archibald and James Cooke, initiators of sea trade and instigators of a railway, further developing it. Declared a safe harbour by the government in 1865, Kingston became a busy and bustling seaport. Adjacent Rosetown continued as a private enterprise on the northern side of Maria Creek, but eventually the townships merged into one thriving town complete with banks, hotels, commercial centre and its own court house and post office. Kingston offers a self-guided walking tour to its history of which features 25 sites and has been designed to provide visitors with some background into the significant old buildings that give Kingston its unique yet relaxed character. Further information is available from the Visitor Information Outlet.

CAPE JAFFA LIGHTHOUSE MUSEUM

Originally built out to sea from Cape Jaffa on the Margaret Brock Reef and opened in 1872. The historic lighthouse was 41 m high and known as a Wells Screw Pile - designed to ideally suit the local conditions. The 8 roomed dwelling accommodated two lightkeepers and families with enough stores to last several weeks. The First Order Chance Brothers lantern could be seen for 40 kms.

In 1973, the Federal Government de-commissioned the light station and gifted the lighthouse to the National Trust of South Australia. It opened in 1976 as a Museum, and is now managed by the Kingston National Trust branch.

From its commanding position on Kingston’s foreshore, check out the spectacular views from the top deck and get a glimpse into the incredible life of the lightkeeper in a very challenging workplace! Originally situated on the Margaret Brock Reef, 8kms out to sea from Cape Jaffa, this lighthouse became Australia’s first lighthouse to be dismantled and re-located onshore.

Tours available on the hour, 10am to 3pm daily, Dec 26th 2019 - Jan 27th 2020. Tour duration: 45mins.

Please arrive 15 mins prior to tour start time. Meet your guide at the base of the Lighthouse stairs.

BOOK ONLINE - bookings RECOMMENDED to secure place. Last tour at 3pm - https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=580880&

No refunds.

At other times, by appointment, phone 0427854175

Cost:
Adult: $11
Child (aged 5-17): $3
Under 4: Free
Family (2+2): $21, addition children $3
National Trust Members: Free, please show card upon entry
*All children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information about Group Tours, contact Kingston National Trust, Phone 0427854175

See the lighthouse’s First Order Holophotal Dioptric lens shining brightly through the summer holidays from sunset, for 60 mins, on: New Years Eve, Kingston Foreshore Festival, January 15th (the lighthouse's birthday) and Australia Day.

KINGSTON NATIONAL TRUST MUSEUM

Step back into history to view the museum’s extensive collection in the original 1876 J. J. Jarman building, 23 Cooke Street. See the amazing and intriguing items which give you a snapshot into Kingston’s coastal and farming past. For all ages - well worth a visit! Open from 10am – 12pm during school holidays, or by appointment, 0427172774.

KEV'S KOLLECTION - TRACTOR MUSEUM

Kev's Kollection of tractors is situated on Princes Highway, Adelaide side of Kingston. With a wide range of operational and restored vintage tractors and stationary engines ranging from 1918 to 1960. Open during school holidays or by appointment on 0408 398 061. $10.00 Admission.

Looking to relax and unwind whilst the children play, Kingston has plenty of places and spaces to play.  The Kingston foreshore offers a large grassed area, perfect for a game of cricket, kite flying or a kick of the football overlooking the stunning Lacepede Bay including toilet and electric BBQ facilities.

The two main parks located in the township both offer a secure children’s playground, large grassed areas, toilet facilities, electric BBQ’s, outdoor seating and their own unique part of the town’s history.  Located at the entrance to town, the Apex Park’s unique features include a skate park a 6ft tall blue-grey Keratophyre quartz rock.  Weighing approximately 5 tonnes the quartz rock was quarried from natural outcrops on the Keilira property of the late Mr Peter Vanderpeer. It serves as a memorial to the ill-fated passengers and crew of the Brigantine ‘Maria’ which was wrecked off of Cape Jaffa in 1840.  The Maria Creek which runs adjacent to the park takes its name from this tragedy.  A short walk across Maria Creek is the Sundial of Human Involvement.

The Lions Park, located at Hanson Street is home to the Power House Engine Cottage which houses a 50 year old power engine.  Logging over 100,000 hours whilst in service the power engine provided electricity to Kingston until 1974.  The engine was originally shipped from England to ‘Port Jackson’ in 1946. Demonstrations are still carried out to this day.

Kingston also offers a wide range of sporting and recreational activities such as tennis, golf, sailing, lawn bowls or go for a walk along the extensive network of cycle and walking tracks.  The tracks link the township’s recreational areas together, running through the Maria Creek Reserve and along the entire length of the foreshore which provides a safe environment for pedestrians, cyclists and exercise enthusiasts. Sections of the track are lit after dark with motion detected led lights.

If you are up for an adventure, take a detour from life and explore the many national parks the district has to offer such as Butchers Gap Conservation Park, Mount Scott Conservation Park, Jip Jip Conservation Park and the internationally renowned Coorong National Park.

WANGOLINA

Wangolina 'Where the Wattlebird nests' is situated between the coastal towns of Kingston SE & Robe in the Mt Benson region,which is a part of the broader Limestone Coast wine region, South Australia. Renowned for limestone and terra rossa soils that combine with a maritime, cool climate our little region produces wines of exceptional quality, interest and character. Established in 1999 Wangolina has become the home and the heart of Mt Benson.Wine tastings available daily. Large group bookings appreciated.

For cellar door opening hours and more information please visit the Wangolina website or phone 8768 6187.

CAPE JAFFA WINES

Cape Jaffa winery and vineyard sits atop cave pocketed limestone on the very edge of the South Australian coastline - formed from the remains of coral and long forgotten ocean creatures as the sea made it’s retreat as recently as two million years ago. A unique and isolated post, approximately 30kms North of Robe, Cape Jaffa wines are made with heart, earth and salt air. Collaborating with erratic weather conditions and taking the path less travelled forced the hands of the Hooper family to cut traditional ties and be free with their craft. This craft is their passion, a passion which ebbs and flows, between the seasons culminating in wines of balance and harmony but, more importantly, that are very, very drinkable.

Far removed from famous wine regions and manipulative viticulture this biodynamic winery is unique and led by an unpretentious team. A heralding of all that is right with the modern breed of winemaker…conservation, sustainability and a love of place.So, if you're lucky enough to be passing through the Limestone Coast enjoying the pristine coastline, ancient megafauna or delectable local produce, take a moment and drop into Cape Jaffa Wines - there's wine trapped in bottles that you can set free!

For cellar door opening hours and more information please visit the Cape Jaffa Wines website or phone 8768 5053.

RALPH FOWLER

Ralph Fowler Wines is an Australian company owned and operated by the Fowler Family. Ralph & Deborah Fowler manage the Mount Benson 7 ha vineyard, winery and cellar door, and Richelle Fowler looks after our Wine Club customers. The terrior of terra rossa soil and cool maritime climate is unique to the coastal Mount Benson wine region, providing perfect conditions for crafting premium wines. The Lyre Trellis with environmentally sustainable PRD (Partial Root-zone Drying) irrigation was chosen to grow superior grapes.

Knowledge and experience gained over more than 49 years, passion and dedication by Ralph along with hand picking, small batch and basket pressing create our unique style.

For cellar door opening hours and more information please visit the Ralph Fowler website or phone 8768 5000.