Hope Cottage Museum offers a fascinating insight into the unique history and heritage of Kangaroo Island.

Hope Cottage (originally built in 1859) is the restored home of Charles and Michael Calnan. The brothers, aided by a ship’s carpenter, built three small cottages from local stone. They were called Faith, Hope, and Charity. Unfortunately Faith has long since gone, but The National Trust have restored and maintained Hope Cottage with the surrounding museum, along with the re-created Cape Willoughby Lighthouse. Charity Cottage, now a private residence, remains alongside.

Hope Cottage represents life from the 1860’s onwards. Period furniture, china, clothing and artefacts are on display, along with the first piano brought to the Island by Michael Calnan, and a cellar containing kitchen items that were used for butter making, old mincers, and bottles etc. The cottage also contains another treasure, The “Beare Collection”. Thomas Hudson Beare was the second in command of The South Australian Company. His two year old daughter was the first to set foot ashore on July 27th, 1836, after a 152 day voyage from England.

There is an excellent historical photographic display room, and a reading room displaying many documents, books, and more photographs.

A wonderful display of tractors and machinery used on farms, as well as machinery used for dam construction and road works.

An extensive history of the sea and air travel to the island, including a large pictorial history, various models, artefacts from The Karatta (a long serving passenger and freight vessel), and many pieces from the numerous coastal shipwrecks.

The Communication Room has a display of early telephone hand sets, switchboards, radios, typewriters and other communications equipment.

See how the laundry operated in the past, old irons, wringers, hand operated machines, and a 1913 electric washing machine.

A blacksmith shop complete with a forge, and a wheel-rim making machine.

A shearing shed display, complete with an engine driven shearing plant, wool presses, and wool tables.

The Masonic Lodge Room of The Island Lodge No 54 which closed in 2002 after serving the community for 94 years is also on display.

A 1950s’ style Garage display, set up in a shed donated by the Shell Company. Vehicles from the 1920’s onwards are also housed in the shed.

As you enter the Museum grounds you are greeted by the wonderfully re-created Cape Willoughby Light. This magnificent example of engineering was initially manufactured in 1872 by Chance Brothers of Birmingham, England.
Kangaroo Island's Unique Heritage