Nature-based Tourism:
New Business Opportunities

Stage Two: Request for Proposal

Eighteen nature-based tourism new business opportunities were released by the Department for Environment and Water in October 2017. Expressions of Interest for these opportunities closed on 31 January 2018 and the process has moved to Stage two.

If you are interested in keeping informed about future opportunities, please register your interest.

Kangaroo Island lighthouse

Cape Willoughby Conservation Park

Ideally located close to the ferry terminal – here is the opportunity to showcase South Australia’s first lighthouse by offering a range of accommodation options and tourism activities.


  • Develop unique accommodation experiences based on the existing, heritage-listed lighthouse keepers' cottages.
  • Make modifications to the existing heritage buildings (subject to development approvals).
  • Develop new accommodation in keeping with the heritage features of the site.
  • Conduct tours of the lighthouse precinct and the park.

Site objectives

  • Protect and conserve the heritage features of the site and surrounding landscape.
  • Enable the continued use, enjoyment and appreciation of the park.
  • Conserve the natural and cultural values of the park.
  • Provide jobs and opportunities for local businesses.

Site description

Regional attractions

Kangaroo Island is one South Australia’s premier nature-based tourism destinations. It is situated 15 km from the mainland and is accessible by ferry or air, with 30 minute flights between Adelaide and Kingscote, and a 45 minute ferry from Cape Jervis to Penneshaw. To December 2016 the tourism industry contributed $134 million to the Kangaroo Island regional economy and directly provided employment for 500 people.

The island is brimming with native animals and plant species as more than one third of the island is protected by national parks.

Seal Bay Conservation Park on Kangaroo Island’s south coast is the only place in the world where you can walk among Australian sea lions. Remarkable Rocks on the western side of Kangaroo Island in Flinders Chase National Park is another major attraction. Kangaroo Island is a gourmet destination for food lovers and is particularly well known for its cheeses, wines and freshly caught seafood.

Local highlights

Cape Willoughby Conservation Park is home to South Australia's first lighthouse and is rich in maritime history. Cape Willoughby is 74 km from Kingscote or 28 km from the ferry terminal at Penneshaw.

The Cape Willoughby heritage precinct includes the lighthouse and three cottages, currently managed by the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR).

Seymour Cottage and Thomas Cottages are both heritagelisted. They have identical floorplans that offer spacious selfcontained accommodation for up to nine guests. Both are fully furnished with five bedrooms. The master bedroom has a queen sized bed, with the other bedrooms providing a double bed, two single beds and a single bed in each of the other two rooms. A trundle bed is available for the ninth guest. The cottages provide comfortable living and dining rooms, fully equipped kitchens and beautifully refurbished bathrooms. There are spacious verandahs offering scenic views of the coastal landscape.

Cawthorn Cottage is currently set up with an office, retail area, museum and meeting area with a small kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. External buildings include public toilets, weather room, lens room and additional storage rooms.

Future potential

Cape Willoughby Lighthouse is perfectly located to offer visitors a unique range of accommodation experiences.

We welcome expressions of interest that seek to develop accommodation within the heritage-listed lighthouse keepers’ cottages, make approved modifications to the existing heritage buildings, develop new accommodation within the precinct or establish tours of the lighthouse and park.

Any proposals to alter the site should be compatible with the site's heritage values and will be subject to assessment and approvals.

Cape Willoughby Conservation Park is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset (except for Christmas Day).

Cape Willoughby Conservation Park Visitor Centre is currently open from 9 am to 3.30 pm Thursday to Monday.

Lighthouse tours are currently conducted by DEWNR on Thursday to Monday at 11.30 am, 12.30 pm and 2 pm and daily during school holidays at 11.30 am, 12.30 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm and 4 pm.