Penneshaw, South Australia

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]

For Pennshaw in the UK, see Penshaw

South Australia
Penneshaw harbour
Coordinates35°43′06″S 137°56′25″E
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]

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.

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.[10][11] In the 2014-15 season, seven cruise ships landed passengers at Pennseshaw with eight or nine ships expected the following season.[12]


  • Anglican Parish of Kangaroo Island Church of St Columba
  • Christmas Cove
  • 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.
  • Gateway Information Centre
  • Hog Bay
  • Maritime and Folk Museum[13]
  • Penneshaw Penguin Centre[14] - 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.[15]

Heritage places

Penneshaw includes the following places that are listed on the South Australian Heritage Register - Christmas Cove,[16] Frenchman's Rock Monument[17] and Penneshaw Cemetery.[18]

Little penguin colony

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. In 2008, the population was 216 birds.[19]

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.[20]

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.[21] A dog attack at Penneshaw in March 2003 resulted in over 30 penguins being killed.[19]


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


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Penneshaw (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  2. "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. "Search result for "Penneshaw (LOCB)" (Record no SA0002275) with the following layers selected - "Suburbs and Localities"". Property Location Browser. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  5. Mawson (Map). Electoral District Boundaries Commission. 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  6. "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. SATC Annual Report 2010-11 (PDF). 2011. p. 17.
  11. SATC Annual Report 2011-12 (PDF). South Australian Tourism Commission. 2012. p. 5.
  12. "Kangaroo Island welcomes cruise ships". The Times. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  13. "Penneshaw Maritime and Folk Museum". Archived from the original on 15 July 2006.
  14. Penneshaw Penguin Centre - Retrieved 2014-01-07.
  15. "Penneshaw Methodist Church". National Library of Australia.
  16. "Christmas Cove (designated place of geological significance)". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  17. "Frenchman's Rock Monument, Well & Pine Trees". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  18. "Penneshaw Cemetery". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  19. 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.
  20. "Penguin habitat restored at Penneshaw" The Islander, Kangaroo Island, South Australia (2013-07-18). Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  21. "Dogs kill penguins" The Canberra Times, ACT, Australia (1984-07-10). Retrieved 2014-02-25.
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