You’d think Troubridge Island and lighthouse would already be several years into a conservation program to preserve this unique South Australian heritage icon, but the SA State Government has different priorities. The costly shrines to its self indulgence are in urban areas where the votes are, meaning this unique spot is at risk of being lost forever.
Think I’m being a little melodramatic?
The fine historical museum at Edithburgh, closest mainland town to the island, shows the lighthouse surrounded by land. As you can see from this photo at low tide in 2009, it’s now right on the edge with sandbagging to prevent further erosion from tidal action and winter storms.
SO … my tip for the day is do yourself a favour and book a visit to Troubridge Island while you still can! Yes, accomodation for up to 10 people is available in one of the lighthouse keepers cottages. You’ll have the whole island to yourselves – apart from the resident little penguins, black faced cormorants and crested terns. The island is actually a conservation park so boats (apart from your transport) are not allowed to land.
With water as clear as the tropics, and transport to the island via tractor and trailer, you immediately enter a parallel universe. No corner stores here – everything required for your stay must be brought with you.
So what do you do on a deserted island?
Snorkelling, fishing, beach footy, BBQs, walks around the island, penguin spotting, birdwatching, table tennis and general relaxation for starters. And the fence thoughtfully built around the lighthouse lower deck is designed to stop those who’ve had a few from accidentally falling into the sea, which, judging from the comments (some with elaborate illustrations) in the visitors books from years past is a real threat! If you play your cards right and ask nicely, you may be lucky enough to get an escorted tour to the top of the lighthouse!
All too soon, it was back on the boat and back to the reality of the mainland for us, with vows to return before this fabulous experience is no longer available.
Many before us have had multiple repeat visits (as is evidenced in the visitors books – what they all did there makes VERY interesting reading), such is the spell of this magical place.
But don’t take my word for it – check it out for yourself!