Captain Charles SturtPrint Page Print this page

The Cape Willoughby Lighthouse which was erected in 1852 and originally known as the Sturt Light in honour of Captain Charles Sturt for his services to exploration.  The lighthouse is the oldest in South Australia and is set on the eastern extremity of Kangaroo Island.

The lighthouse was originally known as the Sturt Light after the explorer Captain Charles Sturt. The tower took over two years to construct and the workers lived in tents during this time. South Australia's first lighthouse was officially opened in January 1852, and manned 24 hours a day by 3 lightkeepers who lived here with their families.

The lightstation became fully automated in 1974-75 when 240 volts main power was connected. A standby diesel generator and battery bank provided backup during power failure. The lantern house was also removed and was replaced with new fibreglass lantern housing. The original housing was later installed atop a stub tower in the Kingscote Museum, where it remains to this day. The original wooden jarrah spiral staircase was also replaced with a steel structure due to wet rot and continual use.

Cape Willoughby Lightstation was one of the last manned lighthouses in Australia. It was officially automated (unmanned) in 1992.

The then Lieutenant-Governor (Sir H. E. F. Young) reported in his address to the Legislative Council on August 20, 1851, that the lighthouse at Cape Wllloughby was completed but waited the daily expected arrival of the lantern. He said, 'This lighthouse, the first erected in the province, guiding wayfarers by sea from the neighbouring colonies to South Australia, may serve also as a memorial of the services of him, who as the discoverer of the River Murray opened up a great inland water communication between them and I have therefore named it "The Sturt Light."
Excerpt from the Register (Adelaide), 22 September 1916.


Address:Cape Willoughby Road, Cape Willoughby, Kangaroo Island, Willoughby, 5222
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.842927
Long: 138.132717
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:January -1852
Source: SAM, MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design