Troubridge Island, South Australia
Standing since 1856, the historic Troubridge light house stands atop a unique sand island. Here the sand is reshaped by the power of the tide, rotating it around the lighthouse structure over time. The structure was built in response to numerous incidences of ships running aground on the nearby shoals. The historic lighthouse still stands today despite enduring an earthquake, a fire and the erosion of the ever-moving sand island. Notably, the island was home to Czech born surrealist artist, Voitre Marek, who after relocating to Adelaide in 1949, acted as lighthouse keeper from 1957 until 1960. Discover more about the history of the intriguing structure, and meet the caretakers, Mark and Lois to explore the island further with their guidance and insight.
Troubridge Island Conservation Park is a treat for bird enthusiasts. Due to the nesting seabirds protected on the island, it is only accessible with a permit or guided tour. Nominated as an Important Bird Area for seabird island species, the island is home to a large colony of penguins and is an important breeding ground for native birds including black-faced cormorants and crested terns. As the tide lowers, walk the expanded perimeter of the sand island and gaze at the birdlife swirling the skies looking for a tasty treat on the exposed sand flats.
You may be able to wave hello to a certain island resident – Sammy the Australian Sea Lion, who is often seen basking in the sun on the beach.
Soak up the coastal scenery relaxing on the white-sand beaches and cruise past Cape Jervis on departure, as the sunset glows against the rocky coast.
“The huge sand flats which are revealed at low tide provide a food source for hundreds of tiny waders, including Sand Pipers, Sanderlings and Red-capped Dotterels, which we could see scurrying along in the shallows, dodging the waves… [We had the] opportunity to meet Chris Johnson, the now retired caretaker who had been associated with Troubridge Island for over 40 years. Chris is an original and regaled us with many stories, both serious and hilarious.”
– Guest Lecturers Quentin Chester and Dale Arnott, 11 Feb 2021