Kingston SE Things To Do | Travel Guide

Last updated on 6 May, 2023

Home to the famous Big Lobster “Larry the Lobster”, Kingston SE things to do are plenty, varied and many are free. Any traveller, on budget will find something to love about Kingston SE, South Australia.

The town settled in the early 1800s and named after Sir George Strickland Kingston a politician, surveyor and architect. Initially the name was Kingston and the South East abbreviated to SE added in 1940 to distinguish the town from others with the same name. 

Daryl, Chika and I enjoyed two nights staying in Kingston SE. The highlight for Daryl was his successful catch of a squid off the jetty. It has all the shops you’d need as well as great pubs and places to eat. 

Driving Distances to Kingston SE

  • Robe to Kingston SE: 42km or 30 minutes
  • Adelaide to Kingston SE: 295km or 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Mount Gambier to Kingston SE: 155km or 1 hour 40 minutes
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The Big Lobster “Larry the Lobster”

Things To Do In Kingston SE

Kingston Jetty ๐Ÿพ

Kingston Jetty first built in 1865 was originally 155 metres in length and extend in 1876 to 1.2 kilometres. Storms over the years caused irreparable damage and in 1958 shortened to its current length of 300 metres. Today is popular landmark and fishing spot.

Opening Hours: 24/7

Admission: Free

Address: Marine Parade, Kingston SE

Cape Jaffa Lighthouse and Museum

Cape Jaffa Lighthouse opened in 1872. It was originally located on the Margaret Brock Reef 8 kilometres out to sea. At the time the lighthouse stood 41 metres above the reef and the lantern could be seen up to 40 kilometres away.

The lighthouse also had dwellings to house two lighthouse keepers, their families and provisions. The keepers rotated spending 3 weeks out on the lighthouse and 4 weeks on land.

In 1973 after 101 years in operation the Cape Jaffa Lighthouse was decommissioned. Later in 1976 the lighthouse moved to where it now sits on Kingston SE foreshore and placed in the care of the National Trust of South Australia.

Today the lighthouse can be viewed external outside a fence for free and there are paid tours that allows entry to a museum inside the structure.

Opening Hours: Tours are booked online here.

Admission: For tours – Adult $11,
Child (aged 5-17) $3, Under 4 Free,
Family (2+2) $21, addition children $3. National Trust Members Free.

Address: 32 Marine Parade, Kingston SE

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Cape Jaffa Lighthouse

The Big Lobster ๐Ÿพ

The Big Lobster affectionately known locally as Larry the Lobster is a famous landmark in Kingston SE built in 1979. Designer Paul Kelly created the Big Lobster as a way to attract tourists. Constructed using fibre glass and steel, Larry measures 17 metres tall, 15.2 metres long and 13.7 metres wide. He weighs near to 4 tonnes.

Today Larry the Lobster sits outside Big Lobster a local restaurant and visitor centre, on the way into Kingston SE. Travellers stop everyday to take his photo.

Opening Hours: 24/7

Admission: Free

Address: Princes Highway, Kingston SE

Kingston Analemmatic Sundial and Sculpture Park ๐Ÿพ

An Analemmatic Sundial it uses a person standing in the correct spot to show the time on granite hour markers. Instructions are given on a plaque at the site.

In addition to the interactive sundial are a number of stone sculptures by South Australian artist Silvio Apponyi. The main piece is an elephant seal and cub.

Opening Hours: 24/7

Admission: Free

Address: Watson St, Rosetown

Kingston National Trust Museum

The National Trust Museum has many local aboriginal, pioneer and shipwreck artefacts including household items, agricultural equipment and an anchor from the Margaret Brock wrecked in 1852. It is worth a visit for those interested in the local history of Kingston SE and the surrounding areas. 

Opening Hours: Tuesdays 10am – 12pm and school holidays see here for times.

Admission: Adults $5, Child $2

Address: 23 Cooke St, Kingston SE

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Kingston SE Analemmatic Sundial

Kingston SE Self Guided Heritage Walk ๐Ÿพ

The self guided walk takes you past 25 Kingstonโ€™s oldest buildings. At each there is a plaque with information on the building’s history and significance to the local area. Allow 90 minutes to complete the trail which starts at the Cape Jaffa Lighthouse site.

Opening Hours: 24/7

Admission: Free

Address: Starts at Cape Jaffa Lighthouse, 32 Marine Parade, Kingston SE

Kingston SE Beaches ๐Ÿพ

Considered safe Lacapede Bay beaches in Kingston SE have low waves of 0.5 metres or les. Dolphins and seals are often spotted in the water with the occasional seal seen on the beach. The sunsets over the beaches are gorgeous. 

Unfortunately weed is problematic from time to time on Kingston SE beaches. There are grass reserves with picnic tables along the foreshore which are great for a picnic and a stroll.

Opening Hours: 24/7

Admission: Free

Address: Along Kingston SE foreshore, Marine Parade, Kingston SE

Beach Driving ๐Ÿพ

Beach driving is permitted on local beaches. General rules and recommendations are – in a fit for purpose vehicle – be respectful of the environment, follow directions on any signs, deflate tyres to 105k? (15psi) and drive at low tide.

Dog friendly outside of national parks.

Opening Hours: 24/7

Admission: Free

Address: Beach entry points –

  • Pinks Beach, Pink Beach Road, Kingston SE
  • Toop Road, Kingston SE
  • Long Beach Road, West Range

Fishing ๐Ÿพ

Kingston SE renowned for its fishing during the warmer months October to May. Anglers fish for mullaway, squid, flathead, mullet, King George whiting, Tommy rough and rock lobster. 

Throw a line in off one of the beaches, from the jetty, at Maria Creek or from a boat on the Lacepede Bay. Depending from where you fish will decide what you could catch. 

Every year the Kingston SE Fishing Competition is held on the third weekend in January. There are prizes including for junior anglers totally $25000.

Opening Hours: 24/7

Admission: Free

Address: Varies

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Chika at the Sculpture Park

Things To Do Nearby

Butchers Gap Conservation Park

Butcher Gap Conservation Park is a wetland coastal area and includes Salt and Butcher Lakes. Butcher Gap is the preserved habitat for the Orange Bellied Parrot and other birds such as swans and herons are frequently spotted.

The conservation park has an interpretive walking trail which is a bit over 4.5 kilometres long. Green posts along the track show points of interest. There is parking at the northern end of the park along Pinks Beach Road.

Camping and dogs are not permitted.

Address: Mount Scott Road, Blackford

Admission: Free

Opening Hours: 24/7

Distance From Kingston SE: 6 kilometres or 7 minute drive

Mount Scott Conservation Park

Mount Scott Conservation Park is located on relict beach dunes running parallel to the coastline.

Mount Scott is a summit in the park named after South Australian settlers John and Charles Scott. The silky mouse, the common wombat, the western grey kangaroo and the red-necked wallaby as well as the rare Mallee Fowl are found in the park.

A picnic and free camping area is located in the north east area of the park. Dogs are not permitted

Opening Hours: 24/7

Admission: Free

Address: Pinks Beach Road, Kingston SE

Distance From Kingston SE: 25 kilometres or 25 minute drive

Pinks Beach ๐Ÿพ

Pinks Beach is a small coastal town of about 200 residents. Long stretches of beach and on the door step to the Butchers Gap Conservation Park why not make it part of day out.

Free camping is available at Pinks Beach. More information further below.

Opening Hours: 24/7

Admission: Free

Address: Pinks Beach Road, Pinks Beach

Distance From Kingston SE: 5.5 kilometres or 8 minutes drive

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Kingston SE Historic Jetty

The Granites ๐Ÿพ

A natural feature of three large granite rocks protruding on the beach protruding out of sand. There is a viewing platform at the car park or ventured to the beach for a look. The beach in both directions appears endless and the sunsets are superb.

Four wheel driving is permitted and there is vehicle access. Driving along the beach is a great way to see the spectacular scenery. 

There is free camping here. See more information further below. 

Opening Hours: 24/7

Admission: Free

Address: Granites Road, Coorong

Distance From Kingston SE: 22 kilometres or 20 minute drive

Cape Jaffa ๐Ÿพ

Another small seaside village, a sleepy alternative to Kingston SE. Cape Jaffa’s locals and visitors enjoy a variety of water activities such as swimming at the beaches, fishing from the historic jetty and  Cape Jaffa Anchorage (the marina) as well as snorkeling and diving the Margaret Brock Reef. Cape Jaffa Lighthouse Cottage ruins and the Bernouilli Conservation Reserve a coastal dune area are also popular attractions. 

Also keep a look out for seals, dolphins and penguins that are regularly in the bay and on the beach from time to time.

Opening Hours: 24/7

Admission: Free

Address: Cape Jaffa township

Distance From Kingston SE: 22 kilometres or 20 minute drive

Low Cost or Free Camping

Pinks Beach RV Park ๐Ÿพ

A gravel area next to Pinks Beach. It can get very busy so it is recommended that you arrive early during the peak summer season. There is a five day limit, it is dog friendly and there are toilets. Note tents and sleeping in passenger vehicles are not permitted.

Amenities: Toilets, mobile phone reception and non drinking water

Camping Fees: Free

Address: Pinks Beach Road, Pinks Beach

Kingston SE RV Park ๐Ÿพ

This is where we chose to stay for our time in Kingston SE. 

The campground is a large grass area with plenty of room for all rigs (tents are not permitted). Across from the foreshore and local jetty and close to Maria Creek and an easy walk to the shops the location cannot be faulted.

There is a camp fee of $10 for a stay of up to 48 hours payable at ticket machine. Display the ticket issued  on your car dashboard.

Amenities: Toilets, portable water, mobile phone reception, playground, BBQs and dump point

Camping Fees: $10 for 48 hours

Address: Marine Parade, Kingston SE

The Granite Carpark Camp๐Ÿพ

The Granites Campground is a large bitumen parking area overlooking with ocean views and exposed to the wind. 

It is remote with no amenities so being self contained is necessary and to take your rubbish. The beach is lovely and dog friendly. Be aware that 1080 baiting is sometimes done in the area.

Amenities: Mobile phone reception

Camping Fees: Free

Address: Granites Road, Coorong

Local Recommendations

Our recommendations are based on businesses or services we have personally used in Kingston SE during our stay.

Hot Chips

Lacepede Seafood a fish and chip shop on the Kingston SE foreshore at the historical jetty. Neither of us eat seafood (vegetarian and allergies) but we had chips and potato cakes (aka potato scallops) for a total spend of $10. We ate them at picnic tables on foreshore near the jetty and enjoyed them very much. Others told us the seafood is good.

Gas Refill

Caltex Service Station has gas refills 9kg for $30 the cheapest we found in Kingston SE and surrounding areas we travelled through. Also staff are extremely friendly and helpful.

Reusable Veggie Bags

Foodland Supermarket gets a special mention because instead of plastic produce bags they give cloth bags free of charge. The bags made by local volunteers.

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