The historic Ozone Hotel first built in 1907, on the Kingscote Foreshore
The fascinating history of the original Ozone Hotel goes back to the early 1900’s. It was designed by Mr C. E. W. Parsons and was built in 1907 by Messrs Nelson and Winch. It was generally recognised as one of the finest residential hotels in the state. Overlooking Nepean Bay, it had a frontage to the Esplanade of 150 ft., and to Commercial Street of 65 ft. Spacious balconies, overlooking the beach and the mainland to the north-east, extended for the whole length of the building. Constructed of local limestone and including 57 rooms, the hotel also featured extensive dining and bar facilities.
Mr James Carr, of Glenelg, purchased a half interest in the hotel in February 1918, and was partner with Mr F. H. Winch. The partners had contemplated to make additions to the hotel to cater for the following summer’s trade.
Disastrous Fire at the Ozone Hotel
“Shortly after midnight on 28th August 1918 the Ozone Hotel at Kingscote was completely gutted by fire and its destruction resulted in a serious loss to the island. The fire is believed to have originated from the kitchen chimney which had caught on fire the previous day. Practically everything in the building was destroyed and all staff and guests escaped with nothing more than the clothing they wore. Fortunately, the wind was from the south-west, and so the store and the surrounding structures were spared. Two shops adjoining the hotel had also been saved, and in one of these a temporary bar was opened.”
*Excerpt from The Kangaroo Island Courier, Saturday, August 31st, 1918.
Today the Ozone Hotel stands proud on Kangaroo Island
The Ozone Hotel, as it stands today, was rebuilt in 1920 and continued to be a central focal point for the local community and the many visitors to Kangaroo Island.
Several features of the original building have been preserved and can be seen in the Zone Restaurant and Bar together with several original photos, giving a glimpse of history and bygone times.
Over the years, the hotel has seen several extensions, renovations, and additions with the most recent one being the Flinders building and the Pier Apartments which were built in 2006.
The current owners, a consortium of three Australian families, purchased the property in 2008, rebranded the hotel as Aurora Ozone Hotel and recently commenced an extensive refurbishment and rejuvenation program.
It continues to be a central part of the local community and is the social hub of the Kangaroo Island Cup in February and the Kangaroo Island Oats Running Festival in May, the two largest events on the island