Thursday, May 15, 2008

Kingston S.E, South Australia.

Kingston S.E is a lovely seaside town located 297 km south east of Adelaide. It is known as a substantial port which is famous for its lobsters. It also happens to be the home of the Big Lobster, one of those wonderfully quirky 'bigs' which Australians seem to love to build.

Before the arrival of Europeans this whole area was settled by the Ngarranjeri Aborigines who lived along the Coorong and extended across the Murray River to the present day site of Goolwa.

The first European to make contact with this stretch of coastline (except for the itinerant sealers who drifted along the coast from earliest times) was the French explorer Nicolas Baudin (pictured above) who discovered Lacepede Bay in 1802.
The district was the subject of a much publicised tragedy in 1840 when the Maria was wrecked off the coast. The Maria left Adelaide bound for Hobart on 7 June, 1840. About 28 June it was wrecked off the coast near Lacepede Bay but the crew and passengers managed to get to shore. It appears that the sailors began trying to take advantage of the local Aboriginal women. As a form of reprisal 25 of the 26 survivors were killed. One young girl survived and was looked after by the Ngarranjeri people until eventually handed over to Europeans.

The town of Kingston (it only became Kingston South East to distinguish it from Kingston-on-Murray) was established Archibald and James Cooke took up land near Maria Creek in 1856. The town was named after the government surveyor, George Strickland Kingston, (pictured below) by the Governor of South Australia, Governor McDonnell, in 1858.

The Cooke brothers saw the potential of the area and duly sublet some of their land and built the first jetty. They were largely responsible for the wool stores which were built in the town. It was formally proclaimed a port in 1866 and it was in that year that the town got both a police station and a post office.
Today Kingston South East is a charming coastal town which is an ideal holiday destination for people seeking somewhere which is quiet and peaceful.
The Cape Jaffa lighthouse(pictured above) was built in 1868-1872 on Margaret Brock Reef, 8 km from shore and 19 km south from here and rebuilt on this site 1975-76. It is open 2.00 p.m. - 4.30 p.m. on holidays. It is the first lighthouse on the Australian coast to be dismantled and brought to the mainland.

Below, a glorious image of the sunset from where we stayed at Kingston S.E. Quite amazing to see the sun go down into the water! It is such a lovely place,we shall return.