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Yorke Peninsula SA The best travel deals are in the bag


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Yorke Peninsula Holiday Destinations Towns
South Australia


Population 963
This is a thriving deep sea port, shipping bulk grain grown on the peninsula to all points of the globe. Proclaimed in 1873, its first settlers initially Iived in dugouts. The land around the settlement was riddled with broom bush and mallee and at first was cleared by hand, a terrible job.
Then, in the early 1870s, a local farmer called Mullins developed a contraption called the 'mulleniser', a heavy roller drawn by a team of horses which flattened the scrub, which was later burned. In 1876, two brothers, Clarence and Richard Smith invented the stump jump plough, an ingenious device that saved South Australian farmers uncounted hours of effort - and in particular the farmers on Yorke Peninsula.

Another industry around Ardrossan is dolomite, mined from quarries south of the town.


Population: 400
Edithburgh's layout is similar to Adelaide, with parklands and gardens. It was named after the wife of the then governor of South Australia. Edith Fergusson. There are nearly 200 lakes in the Yorketon - Edithburgh district, most of them salt and from the 1880s until the 1950s, salt extraction/scraping was an important industry. Evaporation pans at Port Price on the northern end of the peninsula ended its viability.

The town is now a pleasant holiday destination, servicing the local farming community.

The ocean is an important part of the towns heritage - in 1909 the Clan Ranald sank nearby off Troubridge Hill, with the loss of 33 crew, who are buried in the town's cemetery.


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.


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.


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.


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: 250
This is the last of the windjammer ports. A jetty was built here in 1878 and with it came a thriving grain trade that kept the port busy until after World War II. Ketches and deep sea sailing ships called here during the harvest to take on the hundreds of thousands of bags of barley and wheat destined for European ports. The windjammers generally rode at anchor in the lee of Wardang Island and small coastal ketches ferried the grain out to them. Often it took four or five weeks, sometimes as long as eight weeks, to load the big ships for their long journey. The larger ones carried as many as 60,000 bags of grain.

The last square rigger to use the port was the Passat in 1949.

Port Vincent

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: 520
Near the ankle of the peninsula, Stansbury was proclaimed as a town in 1873. It was first known as Oyster Bay after the many oyster beds that were tended here.


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.

Today, Wallaroo is the economic epicentre of the copper triangle towns, and has many fine examples of colonial architecture. Guided tours through the town's streets are available, with guides from the Wallaroo Museum available on weekends, alternatively a copy of the guide sheet is available from the museum for visitors who prefer to see the town at their own pace. The Wallaroo Mines site is also open for a sign-posted walking tour.

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