Population: 3500 Kadina is the largest town on Yorke Peninsula. Its name stems from the Aboriginal 'kadiyinya, meaning lizard plain. Rich deposits of copper were discovered here in 1859 and a thriving mining industry soon developed around the town. While its importance waned after 1923 when its mines closed, it has since become an important agricultural centre. Fine examples of the Cornish miners' architecture can be seen throughout the town. The oldest cottage in the town is thought to be at 63 Taylor Street and is the only survivor of its type, with a Parapet built to prevent snow from building up on the skillion roof. Other good examples include the Wombat Hotel, the Royal Exchange Hotel and the Catholic Church.
Melrose is the oldest town in the finders Ranges and has been used as a movie set on several occasions. The discovery of copper gave birth to it while today it services a large and prosperous grain growing industry. It is also one of the most beautiful towns of the Flinders Ranges, nestled at the foot of Mount Remarkable and next to the Mount Remarkable National Park. Climb to the War Memorial for a panoramic view over the Willochra Plain, or to Lookout Hill near the water tanks. Cathedral Rock is a spectacular formation along the edge of Mount Remarkable Creek west of the town. Day trips in and around the area lead to some of many scenic areas of the finders Ranges via the National Park and gorges.
Population: 3250 Nuriootpa means 'meeting place,' which stems from its use as a place of barter by Aboriginal tribes before white settlement. Today it is the commercial centre of the Barossa Valley. Founder William Coulthard's name is commemorated in several spots - his house today is the Barossa Information Centre, Coulthard Reserve is a beautiful place for a picnic. The North Para River meanders through the town, and offers several pretty spots for recreation or a picnic - stock up on traditional German fare at the town's butcher and baker.
Population: 2500 Wallaroo's copper mines were already yielding when a shepherd discovered copper around a wombat burrow twenty kilometres away. The mines proved rich beyond the dreams of most, and the town of Moonta quickly grew around the site. During its 63 years of operation, it is estimated to have yielded 6,250,000 tonnes of ore. Today Moonta is a monument to the mining age. Its streets look just like they did one hundred years ago (with the odd concession to modern living). The splendid gothic influenced Uniting Church is a fine example of colonial architecture. And the restored miners' cottages at the Moonta Mines Museum take you right into the world of the Comish miner. George Street, Moonta's main street is named after George Goyder, surveyor -general of South Australia 1861 to 1866. Copper mining was re-commenced at the Poona Mine sixty years after the close of the mines in the area.
Population: l5.000 Gawler is South Australia's oldest country town, and boasts more grand colonial buildings than most. It was laid out in 1839 and is one of the many places in the state to bear the second South Australian governor's name. In the I9th century it was known as the 'Modern Athens' a reference to the literary nature of its early residents. The 'Song of Australia' was written here by Carl Linger. The town's importance can be seen in its many old classic colonial buildings. Of special note is the entire Church Hill district, one of the few declared heritage areas in the state.
Kangaroo Island, small island, South Australia, S Australia, at the entrance to Gulf St. Vincent. It is 90 mi (145 km) long and 34 mi (55 km) wide. The chief products are barley, sheep, salt, gypsum, and eucalyptus oil. At its west end is Flinders Chase, a large reservation for native flora and fauna. There are many summer resorts. Kingscote (1991 pop. 1,443) is the principal settlement.
Population: 2103 Opal was discovered at Coober Pedy in 1315, today it is Australia's largest and oldest opal mining town, known the world over for the unusual underground lifestyle its inhabitants have been forced to adopt to escape the fierce summer heat. Coober Pedy is on the main Stuart Highway. Its most notable feature is the moon-like landscape of opal mines, holes in the ground dug by several generations of miners and simply left there untended after being discarded. Care should be taken when walking around the area. The mines area is made up of around thirty working fields stretching outwards in a radius of up to fifty kilometres from the town. There are certain rules of behaviour visitors should observe - including avoiding fossicking for opal in and around miner's claims. Ask permission before searching for opal in tailings heaps ('mullock' heaps). Visitors can stay in a choice of underground accommodation.
Population: 5,318 This is the South Coast's Premier holiday resort, and has been since last century. It is also the largest town. The area was first settled in 1837 to service the whaling industry. For a few years, Victor Harbor was a major South Australian port of export for the River Murray trade. A railway linked Goolwa and Victor Harbor but when the trade died tourism became an important part of the Victor Harbor economy. The historic railway track is still in use, this time to carry the popular Cockle Train between the two towns.
Population: 2.360 This is an historic river Port on the lower reaches of the River Murray, the last before it empties into the Southern Ocean. It was once a thriving port, built to funnel the trade in wool, grain and merchandise from up-river to Port Adelaide and interstate. A busy shipbuilding industry provided and repaired paddlesteamers, whilst the first public railway in the country was built to carry the goods cross country to Port Elliot and later, Victor Harbor. However, by the turn of the century Goolwa had lost its importance - railways built from Adelaide to the River Murray and from Melbourne to Echuca quickly siphoned its trade from the 1880s.
AREA: 978,810 sq. km., POPULATION: 1,500,000
CAPITAL: Adelaide (1,000,000)
South Australia is known as the driest state in the driest continent on earth. but that doesn't mean it doesn't have some of the most beautiful coastline and lakes you will see. For example, the Blue Lake at Mount Gambier is renowned for its deep rich azure colour, while the mighty Murray River wends its serene way for 400km. right through its southern portions...... Read On: South Australia: Description
Population: 1103 Another town laid out like Adelaide, with streets at right angles and the whole town surrounded by parklands, Maitland services an agricultural community rich in history and has some wonderful examples of colonial architecture.
A hanging on display in the Town Hall was embroidered by the local community and depicts the history of the district from Aboriginal times through to agricultural settlement
This is the valley's oldest German settlement, founded in 1842 by a group of Lutheran families - the settlements biblical name an indication of their devotion. They mapped out their village along prussian lines. The cottages facing the road replicate those the settlers lived in before coming to Australia. Several have been restored and are open to the public in the form of craft shops and art galleries. The village reserve is a great spot for a picnic, even down to the idyllic creek flowing through it. It has a strong resemblance to villages in northern Germany and Poland.
Population: 1,924 Strathalbyn is one of South Australia's most beautiful towns and has some fine colonial buildings. Many of its founders were Scottish, and the town's architecture reflects this influence - not to be missed are the Old Courthouse Museum, the Old Police Station and Saint Andrews Church which overlooks the tree-lined River Angas. The town's old-world charm is best experienced on a walk through its wide streets guided by a walking tour booklet available at the Tourist Office and other retail outlets. Strathalbyn is also renowned for its Craft and antique shops.
Population: 7,810 Renmark is the oldest settlement along the Murray, It was founded in 1887 with an agreement between the government and two Canadian irrigation experts, the Chaffey brothers, who pioneered the concept of irrigating land from the river. Today Renmark is a proud river town, with wide streets, gracious buildings, excellent facilities and a busy economy based on wheat, wool, fruit growing and wine production. The co-operative spirit has always been high at Renmark, and is best seen in the Renmark Hotel, the first community-owned hotel established in Australia.
Population: 1,189 Keith is on the main Melbourne- Adelaide road. Much of the farmland around it was once a part of the ninety mile desert, but thanks to the discovery that it lacked trace elements, it is now highly productive land.
Keith was proclaimed in 1883, and has some good examples of rural town architecture. A nearby park, the Mt Monster Conservation Park, has some spectacular granite outcrops, presumed to have once been islands when the south east was covered by water forty million years ago. A sign-posted walk takes visitors to the Mt Monster lookout for marvellous views of the area.
Population: 1 600 One of the most famous railway towns takes its name from an Aboriginal word describing the spot where the broad river waters take a sharp turn towards Lake Alexandrina. Watersports and fishing have long been popular with locals and visitors. Many make use of the barbecue grounds and adventure park in the Rotary Park where an old railway engine sits.
Population 430 Port Vincent is a picturesque little town situated on the east coast of Yorke Peninsula adjacent to a quiet, calm bay with safe swimming ,clean beaches and an all weather concrete boat ramp. Considered by many to be the premier holiday resort of the peninsula.
Population: 900 At first this area was called Gum Flat, because it was one of the few areas on Yorke Peninsula where gum trees grew. The name Minlaton was coined from a combination of the Aboriginal 'Minlacowie' meaning sweet water and the Anglo Saxon for town. Today it is the centre of a thriving agricultural district.
State-owned pine forests surround Wirrabara, first settled in 1844. There is a timber mill near the town, and a steam engine which once used to cut timber can be seen in the main street.
Population: 2300 In Aboriginal dialect, its name stemmed from Wadlu Waru, meaning wallaby's urine. The squatters shortened that to Wall Waroo. The practicalities of stencilling names on wool bales meant it was shortened to Wallaroo. Copper was discovered here in 1859 by a shepherd and the mines, near the present site of Kadina, proved immensely rich. A smelter was built and during the peak of the mine's production life in the 1880s the ore extracted yielded an incredible 30% copper. When the mines stopped production in the 1920s, the main industry of the town became the Wallaroo - Mount Lyell Fertilizer Company's operations.
Between Tanunda and Seppeltsfield, this tiny hamlet received its current name in 1918, when a wave of anti-German hysteria washed over South Australia. Before that, it was called Gnadenfrei (meaning 'freed by the grace of god') by its founding German settlers. Progress hasn't been allowed to change the character of the village. Recent developments deliberately reflect the district's past. Several wineries, one with a restaurant, a motel, a metal art forge and an old wares shop add to the character of the old settlement.
Population: 13,000 Since the 1830s, Murray Bridge has been the major thoroughfare for travellers and trade between Melbourne and Adelaide. Explorer Charles Sturt in 1830 rightly grasped the area's ideal position and encouraged early settlement for farming. The bridge itself wasn't built until 1879 and before that, passengers or livestock had to make use of ferries - or swim across! The town was known for many years as Edwards Crossing and really grew with the arrival of the railway from Adelaide.
Population: 1,635 Leigh Creek's enormous brown deposits of brown coal were first mined in 1943. The Electricity Trust of South Australia operates the mine and currently extracts 2.3 million tonnes every year. Once reduced to small pieces, the coal is loaded onto special trains which take it to a power generating plant at Port Augusta at the head of Spencer's Gulf, a distance of two hundred and fifty kilometres. Book a tour of the coalfields, visiting the mine site viewing area and Aroona Dam.
Morgan was settled in the late 1870s, when Sir William Morgan MP was chief secretary. It quickly became an important port for the river traffic upstream. At one point, when the railway line from Adelaide to Morgan was completed, it was one of the busiest river ports along the entire Murray-Darling river system. The river trade may have died out, but Morgan keeps it alive today with a full working paddlesteamer - the PS Mayflower, built in 1884. Railway services to the town closed in 1969 but the original station has been put to good use as a museum of river and rail history.
When expansion on the land gathered pace in South Australia in the mid to late I9th century, scores of ambitious farmers followed the trail northwards. The area around Jamestown was opened up in the 1870s, and it soon became an important grain district. It remains so today. There are also extensive forests nearby at Bundaleer.
Barossa Valley SOUTH AUSTRALIA
The Barossa Valley is one of Australia's major destinations, being known all over the world for its quality wines. A home to many major wine producers this area produces over half of the countries wine.
To the east flows the Murray River which is one of the largest river systems in the world. Irrigation introduced in 1887 transformed the northern section into lush paradise with a wide variety of attractions, from watersports to wildlife and of course delicious fruits and wine.
The locals call this the hub of the Flinders, with some justification - it is the junction of roads from Port Augusta, Orroroo, Marree and Wilpena Pound. It was once a thriving railway town, a typical outback town, but when the line was re-located. Hawker's pace slowed somewhat. It is, however, an important tourist town servicing the traffic into the central and northern Flinders Ranges and has all necessary facilities.
Population:706 Lyndoch dates back to 1838 when the colony's surveyor-general colonel William Light named it after Lord Lynedoch, with whom he'd fought at the Battle of Barossa in 1811. A draftsman's slip misplaced the "e". Vines and winemaking have played an important role in the local economy since the early days. The first winery appeared in 1836; today, there are many winemaking operations, small. and large.
These days it's famous for being the beginning of the Strzelecki Track, but last century Lyndhurst was an important outback railhead. The large area of ochre cliffs ranging from reds, browns, yellows and whites on the outskirts of the town on the Marree road are a colourful attraction.
Murraylands and the Southeast National Parks
Coorong National Park and Game Reserve
Brookfield Conservation Park
Naracoorte Caves Conservation Park
Dingly Dell Conservation Park
Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park
Read all about them here: Murraylands and the Southeast National Parks
Population: 226 A favourite stopping point en route to Adelaide, this scenic spot has a ferry which transports visitors right into the heart of the Murraylands. Swan Reach offers excellent water sports and holiday facilities. Geraldton wax trees, garlic and avocado farms are also open for inspection. Nearby, Punyelroo is well-known to waterskiers and holidaymakers.
Indomitable explorer Edward John Eyre named the creek which runs into the River Broughton the 'Chrystal Brook'- the spelling is his. The name stuck and a town grew near the spot where his party camped in 1839. Before the town grew, however the site was swallowed up by the huge pastoral landholding belonging to William Younghusband and Peter Ferguson. Crystal Brook today is a nature lover's mecca. The Heysen Trail runs past the town and Bowman Park.