With banks, shops, internet access, a hospital, library and the only high school, Kingscote is the island's main town. The coast here has been the scene of several shipwrecks – interpretive boards on the foreshore provide details. For more history, you can walk north along the Esplanade to the Reeves Point Historic Site, where boards commemorate the South Australia Company's first landing of settlers in July 1836, before they headed off to establish nearby Adelaide. There's also pelican feeding around the Fisherman's Jetty, with a small talk about their habits and habitat (daily 5pm; $2).
Upmarket motel accommodation with sea views is found at Wisteria Lodge, Cygnet Road (Tel:08/8553 2707, Web: www.wisterialodgeki.com ; Price: $131-160). For the budget-conscious there's the Kingscote Nepean Bay Tourist Park (Tel:&f08/8553 2394, Web: www.kingscotetouristpark.com.au ; un/powered sites $27/33, cabins Price: $61–100) at Brownlow Beach, 3km away. Established in 1907, the waterfront Ozone Hotel (Tel:08/8553 2011 or 1800 083 133, Web: www.ozonehotel.com ; Price: $131–250) is a local institution with comfortable rooms and a lively dining area. The best restaurant in town is Bella at 54 Dauncey St (Tel:08/8553 0400), a cozy space where the specialities are pizza and pasta using local ingredients; licensed and delivery service available. Also on Dauncey Street is the Queenscliffe Family Hotel (Tel:08/8553 2254, email@example.com; Price: $61–100), an old pub offering simple rooms and meals.
The beaches on the north coast are more sheltered than those on the south. Emu Bay, 21km along a sealed road from Kingscote, is one of the most popular beaches on the island with a clean stretch of sand and a small penguin colony. Emu Bay Holidays (Tel:08/8553 5163, Web: www.emubayholidays.com.au ) manages a variety of self-contained beach houses and cottages (Price: $131) along the bay.