a new way to tour kangaroo island in a heritage truck

In the footsteps of the “Governor”

If only this truck could speak, it could tell us so much about the history of farming on Kangaroo Island.

Well now it can… almost!

The truck’s restorer – Peter Davis of Island Beehive – has joined forces with tour operator Luca Lovison from KI Hire a Guide, to offer a unique tour of Kingscote and the Cygnet River in the lovingly refurbished 1948 Austin truck.

Kangaroo Island Heritage Tours will tell the story of the Island’s first farmer and self-styled “Governor” Henry Wallen.  Henry farmed at Cygnet River in the early 1800s before the first settlers, and was there to greet the first official settlers from the South Australian Company when their ships landed at Reeves Point in 1836. Wallen was a mysterious character with a colourful past.

So how does the truck come into the story? In 1904, William August “Augie” Boettcher moved to Kangaroo Island with his family and took up farming at Cygnet River, on the site of Wallen’s first farm. The truck was well known in Kingscote and surrounds as Mr Boettcher made weekly trips to deliver fruit and vegetables from his farm, which supplied most of the fresh produce needs of the island.

Mr Davis rescued the abandoned Austin and has spent several years restoring it to its former glory.

The new tours aboard the restored Austin will start with history and honey-tasting at Island Beehive daily at 10.00am and 2.00 pm. Passengers will then board the truck for a 3 hour tour of Kingscote, including Reeves Point, Bay of Shoals, and Cygnet River, including local wine and gin.  What a unique way to explore the region!

Kangaroo Island Heritage Tours promoter Mr Lovison said the tour would fill a unique market niche for visitors interested in some of the Islands history and wine lovers! “This beautiful truck is the key to the tour. It’s the real thing and it makes this tour a most authentic experience for visitors.”

You can book a tour HERE


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