Sth Australia road trip – Clare Valley and then the historic copper mining town of Burra – a must see if you like photography and history

Written by Gary on April 9th, 2015

My rental car road trip exploring South Australia now leaves the lovely beaches of Port Noarlunga and heads north, through the Clare Valley vineyard region, stopping for a lovely gourmet lunch at the Skillogallee Winery.

Cafe in Auburn, Clare Valley:

Auburn cafe

 

The following photographs were nearly all taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Micro Four Thirds camera with the Olympus mZD 12-40mm f/2.8 lens:

Ruins of stone cottage in a vineyard, Clare Valley:

clare valley winery

 

 

I then headed east to explore the very interesting and photogenic historic copper mining town of Burra which at one stage apparently helped save the Sth Aust. government from bankrupcy in the late 19th century when the copper was discovered and created a mini boom.

From Burra, I then headed back west through some lovely rolling hill sides dotted with abandoned stone cottages as I made my way to cottages in tiny town of Stone Hut where I planned to stay as a base for a couple of nights to allow me to spend a whole day exploring both ends of the Mt Remarkable NP in the Southern Flinders Ranges.

Burra:

When you arrive in Burra, head to the tourist information centre – not only can they book accommodation for you which does not show up on wotif.com or stayz.com (if you wish to book accommodation online, do so at the local booking service) but they have a wonderful self-guided tour of the heritage sites  and a museum which will cost you $20 plus a refundable $20 for a key which will allow to let yourself into a number of heritage sites and you will probably end up exploring them without anyone else around to annoy you or get in your photos – just awesome – but the tourist information centre does close around 4pm so if you arrive after that you are out of luck, and the museum closes around 3pm.

 

Wooden cart wheel at Bon Accord Mining Museum (open noon-3pm):

Burra

Burra railway station:

Burra

Old Burra police cells and stables:

Burra

Burra

Burra antique store:

Burra

Recreation of vintage dining room at Paxton Square Cottages via the self-guided key passport:

Burra

Old copper miners’ underground dug-out sleeping quarters via the self-guided key passport:

Burra

Part of the old Burra copper mine via the self-guided key passport:

Burra

Redruth Gaol via the self-guided key passport:

Redruth Gaol was built in 1856 and was the first gaol built outside of Adelaide metropolitan area at a time when Burra was the largest country town in South Australia. It housed up to 30 prisoners until it closed in 1894, and, after renovations, from 1897-1922, it served as the Redruth Girls Reformatory. Girls were sent there for a variety of reasons including breaches of the law, unfit guardianship, pregnancy, or for being “beyond parental control”. The girls had to dig large holes each morning to bury contents of the lavatories. The rest of the day was spent doing chores including raising chooks, shelling almonds, sewing, cooking, gardening, knitting for the Red Cross, cleaning and laundry. The girls had a habit of escaping but were generally caught and returned.

In 1979, it was used in the Australian film, Breaker Morant.

 

Burra

Burra

Burra

Burra

Burra

North-West of Burra:

Burra

Burra

Burra

I hope this has given you a taste of what you can see – from my point of view, photographically, the north of Adelaide does not get interesting until you hit the rolling hills around Burra and north of the Clare Valley although I did not get time to see the historic town of Mintaro east of Clare Valley. Between Adelaide and Auburn it is generally just open plains of wheat fields, then from Auburn on are the vineyards of Clare Valley. I really like the countryside north of Clare Valley up through to the Southern Flinders Ranges and across to Burra.

My next blog post will be on Mt Remarkable National Park and the gorge walks.

 

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