Penneshaw & Dudley Peninsula
Looking across Backstairs Passage to the Fleurieu Peninsula, Penneshaw (population 300), on the north shore of the Dudley Peninsula, is the ferry arrival point. The passing tourist trade lends a certain transience to the businesses here, but the pub, hostel and general store remain authentically grounded. En route to American River, Pennington Bay has consistent surf.
Flinders Chase National Park
Occupying the western end of the island, Flinders Chase National Park is one of SA's top national parks. Much of the park is mallee scrub, and there are also some beautiful, tall sugar-gum forests, particularly around Rocky River and the Ravine des Casoars, 5km south of Cape Borda. Pay your park entry fees at the Flinders Chase Visitor Information Centre.
Between Penneshaw and Kingscote, on the way to nowhere in particular, American River squats redundantly by the glassy Pelican Lagoon. The town was named after a crew of American sealers who built a trading schooner here in 1804. There's no such industriousness here today, just a general store and a gaggle of pelicans.