Penneshaw, South Australia

Coordinates: 35°43′06″S 137°56′25″E / 35.71833°S 137.94028°E / -35.71833; 137.94028
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South Australia
Penneshaw harbour
Penneshaw is located in South Australia
Coordinates35°43′06″S 137°56′25″E / 35.71833°S 137.94028°E / -35.71833; 137.94028
Population276 (2011 census)[1]
Time zoneACST (UTC+9:30)
 • Summer (DST)ACDT (UTC+10:30)
Location107 km (66 mi) south of Adelaide
LGA(s)Kangaroo Island Council
RegionFleurieu and Kangaroo Island[3]
State electorate(s)Mawson[5]
Federal division(s)Mayo[6]
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
18.1 °C
65 °F
12.8 °C
55 °F
538.4 mm
21.2 in
Localities around Penneshaw:
Backstairs Passage Backstairs Passage Backstairs Passage
Kangaroo Head Penneshaw Ironstone
Kangaroo Head Dudley East Ironstone
Adjoining localities[4]

Penneshaw is a township in the Australian state of South Australia located on the northeast coast of the Dudley Peninsula on Kangaroo Island about 107 kilometres (66 mi) south of the state capital of Adelaide.[4][2] It is the island's main ferry port with regular services from Cape Jervis. Penneshaw features a Maritime and Folk Museum, and evening tours to a colony of little penguin, the only species of penguin to breed in Australian waters. At the 2011 census, Penneshaw had a population of 276.[1]

Originally known as Hog Bay due to the pigs released by French Commander Nicholas Baudin, Penneshaw was named after a combination of the names of Dr. F.W.Pennefather,[8] private secretary to Governor Jervois, and Flora Louisa Shaw, The Times colonial editor, a visitor to Government House.[9]

South Australia's first modern seawater desalination plant was established at Penneshaw in the 1990s, to supplement the town's limited dam water supply.

Penneshaw jetty

Penneshaw jetty[edit]

In 1901, the Government authorised a budget of £1,800 for the construction of a jetty at Penneshaw (then known as Hog Bay).[10] Appeals for the extension and improvement of the jetty followed in 1905 and 1906.[11][12] Jetty extension works were undertaken by brothers J. and W. Tait of Port Adelaide[13] in late 1908, using methods similar to those used at Glenelg and Edithburgh.[14] At that time the outer part of the jetty was only 9 feet wide.[15]

A breakwater was later constructed to provide shelter from rough seas for visiting ships.

In 2012, the Penneshaw jetty was extended to provide a cruise ship tender vessel landing facility to accommodate growing numbers of short-term visitors arriving by cruise ship.[16][17] In the 2014–15 season, seven cruise ships landed passengers at Pennseshaw with eight or nine ships expected the following season.[18] The jetty can also be enjoyed by snorkelers and scuba divers, and is known for supporting Gorgonian corals.[19]

Today, the timber jetty and breakwater provide a sheltered landing for the ferry that travels to and from Cape Jervis daily and for tenders landing passengers from visiting cruise ships.


  • Anglican Parish of Kangaroo Island Church of St Columba[citation needed]
  • Christmas Cove[citation needed]
  • Frenchman's Rock – In 1803 the French explorer Nicolas Baudin anchored in Hog Bay and one of his crew noted the arrival of the expedition by carving on a rock. The rock was later removed and is now located in the Gateway Information Centre. A replica now occupies the rock's original location on Penneshaw Beach.[citation needed]
  • Hog Bay[citation needed]
  • Maritime and Folk Museum[20]
  • Penneshaw Penguin Centre[21] – Nocturnal tours of the local little penguin colony with experienced guides are offered.
  • The Uniting Church (formerly Methodist) built c. 1883, the first church established on Kangaroo Island.[22]

Heritage places[edit]

Frenchman's Rock, Penneshaw 1803
Frenchman's Rock, Penneshaw 1803

Penneshaw includes the following places that are listed on the South Australian Heritage Register – Christmas Cove,[23] Frenchman's Rock Monument[24] and Penneshaw Cemetery.[25]

Little penguin colony[edit]

An account of penguins observed by Matthew Flinders' expedition of 1802 in the vicinity of Kangaroo Head (immediately west of Penneshaw) describes "thousands" of little penguins landing in the area.[26] Other published accounts of little penguins at Penneshaw exist from 1948,[27] 1951,[28] 1982,[29] 1988[30] 1989[31] and 1998.[32]

In July 1984, two dogs killed 80 penguins at the Penneshaw foreshore in a single night. The mortality event reduced the population there by almost half.[33] Another dog attack at Penneshaw in March 2003 resulted in over 30 penguins being killed.[34]

As of June 2011, the number of little penguins in the section of the colony which is monitored by the Penneshaw Penguin Centre appears to have declined over the prior 10 years.[34]

Penneshaw Little Penguin Colony (Breeding Individuals)
Year Population (low) Population (high) Reference
1984 200 200 [35]
2008 216 356 [34][36]
2011 304 304 [36]
2012 148 148 [36]
2013 112 112 [36]

Restoration work to provide improve habitat for little penguins near Penneshaw is ongoing. As of 2013, an 800m coastal strip between Frenchman's Rock and Baudin Conservation Park is the focus site. Works include the removal of weeds, planting of native plants and installation of nesting boxes.[37]


Penneshaw is located within the federal division of Mayo, the state electoral district of Mawson and the local government area of the Kangaroo Island Council.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Penneshaw (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 15 November 2015. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b c "Postcode for Penneshaw, South Australia". Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island SA Government region" (PDF). The Government of South Australia. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Search result for "Penneshaw (LOCB)" (Record no SA0002275) with the following layers selected – "Suburbs and Localities"". Property Location Browser. Government of South Australia. Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  5. ^ a b Mawson (Map). Electoral District Boundaries Commission. 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Federal electoral division of Mayo, boundary gazetted 16 December 2011" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Monthly climate statistics: Summary statistics CAPE WILLOUGHBY (nearest station)". Commonwealth of Australia , Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  8. ^ Adelaide University Prof Frederick William Pennefather LLM
  9. ^ Rodney Cockburn (1908) What's in a name? Nomenclature of South Australia: Fergusson Publications ISBN 0-9592519-1-X
  10. ^ "HOG BAY JETTY". Advertiser. 24 October 1901. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  11. ^ "HOG BAY JETTY". Observer. 30 September 1905. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  12. ^ "HOG BAY JETTY". Chronicle. 5 May 1906. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  13. ^ "THE HOG BAY JETTY". Express and Telegraph. 29 April 1908. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  14. ^ "HOG BAY JETTY". Chronicle. 21 November 1908. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  15. ^ "HOG BAY JETTY". Chronicle. 21 August 1909. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  16. ^ SATC Annual Report 2010-11 (PDF). 2011. p. 17.
  17. ^ SATC Annual Report 2011-12 (PDF). South Australian Tourism Commission. 2012. p. 5.
  18. ^ "Kangaroo Island welcomes cruise ships". The Times. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  19. ^ Hutchison, Stuart (1 December 2001). "Travellin' South". Australasia Scuba Diver: 18–30.
  20. ^ "Penneshaw Maritime and Folk Museum". Archived from the original on 15 July 2006.
  21. ^ Penneshaw Penguin Retrieved 2014-01-07.
  22. ^ "Penneshaw Methodist Church" – via National Library of Australia.
  23. ^ "Christmas Cove (designated place of geological significance)". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  24. ^ "Frenchman's Rock Monument, Well & Pine Trees". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  25. ^ "Penneshaw Cemetery". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  26. ^ "KANGAROO ISLAND (S.A.)". Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1881 – 1894). 22 February 1888. p. 5. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  27. ^ "OUT AMONG THE PEOPLE". Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 – 1954). 7 September 1948. p. 3. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  28. ^ "KANGAROO IS". Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 – 1954). 10 March 1951. p. 12. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  29. ^ "TIMESPAN". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995). 11 August 1982. p. 34. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  30. ^ "Island was dealt a good hand by nature (Kangaroo Island, South Australia 1988)". The Age. 9 January 1988. p. 119. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  31. ^ "Where blubber abounds". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995). 30 April 1989. p. 20. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  32. ^ "South Australia's delectable dining (1998)". The San Francisco Examiner. 25 October 1998. p. 73. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  33. ^ "Dogs kill penguins" The Canberra Times, ACT, Australia (10 July 1984). Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  34. ^ a b c Wiebken, A. "Conservation Priorities for Little Penguin Populations in Gulf St Vincent" Archived 22 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine SARDI, South Australia (2011-06). Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  35. ^ "Dogs kill nesting penguins, Penneshaw (1984)". The Sydney Morning Herald. 10 July 1984. p. 14. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  36. ^ a b c d Copley, Peter (2016). Conservation risk assessment report for little penguins in South Australia – DEWNR Technical Report 2016/33. South Australia: Government of South Australia. p. 53.
  37. ^ "Penguin habitat restored at Penneshaw" The Islander, Kangaroo Island, South Australia (18 July 2013). Retrieved 2014-02-25.

External links[edit]