Learn more about our towns, and all the great things
While it may not be as well known as some of its neighbours, Booleroo Centre is worth a visit when meandering through the Southern Flinders Ranges.
Booleroo Centre grew to service the needs of farming families and it is this agricultural history that has shaped the township. It earned its name as the centre of the survey, ‘Hundred of Booleroo’, derived from an Aboriginal word roughly translated to ‘place ofmud’. Today, Booleroo Centre is still a service centre for the grain and livestock producers of the surrounding areas.
Enjoy a place that on first appearances is simply a link between Southern Flinders Ranges’ better known towns but upon closer inspection is definitely worth a break in the journey to explore.
Caltowie was originally used as a camping ground for teamsters hauling timber in the mid 1800s. At this time, it was a bustling hive of activity, with a coach builder, flourmill, chaffmill, machinery manufacturer, three general stores and two hotels. The hotels in particular were very popular with people travelling north to the forests or south to the Burra copper mines. They would stop to water the animals and enjoy a cool drink themselves – something all travellers are encouraged to do today.
The charming town of Crystal Brook effortlessly merges active businesses and community groups with a peaceful, natural setting to create a mustsee destination. Base yourself in Crystal Brook and take day trips into the neighbouring Clare wine region, the mining history of Burra, the waterfront activities of Port Broughton and the arid landscapes of the northern Flinders Ranges.
Just two hours’ drive from Adelaide, Crystal Brook is easily accessible for city commuters to escape the hustle and bustle for the weekend.
This peaceful rural setting was established in 1869 to be the hub of the Mid North and thrived when the railway industry emerged in 1894. The town went on to boom with two banks, three retail stores, two hotels, three churches, a large implement works, chaff mill, quarry and other businesses. The general store was built on its current site in 1912 and still retains its original cellar and authentic old counter. The mural on the wall depicts the proud history of Georgetown’s pioneering days and you can still visit the general store and hotel and relive the glory days of times past.
Today, Georgetown is a prosperous agricultural area producing grain, legumes, sheep and cattle. It is one of several towns throughout the Southern Flinders Ranges where you can access the famous Heysen Trail, one of South Australia’s most renowned walks which meanders through Bundaleer and down onto the plain and into Georgetown before heading west to Crystal Brook.
Hikers needing shelter for the night can rest themselves in Hiskey’s Hut, which has been renovated especially for Heysen Trail walkers. Another famous trail is the Mawson Trail, catering for the desires of cyclists everywhere. This trail is situated just east of Georgetown.
The legend of the Koolunga bunyip still brings many visitors to the town, all vying to see if they too can sight this mythical creature! The legend of the bunyip dates back to 1883 when a group of shearers were having a picnic at White Cliffs Reserve, next to the stunning Broughton River. The group was in shock when a fearsome creature rose from the waters. Local Ngadjari Aboriginals called the creature a Bunyip, regarded as a powerful spirit from their Dreamtime, introducing the white folk to something they had never heard before. Some of the braver members of the group returned with guns and dynamite but the creature could not be moved. This bunyip apparently stayed for six weeks avoiding kill or capture, before leaving the area.
Nestled in the Rocky River Valley at the southern end of the beautiful Flinders Ranges, Gladstone offers a former gaol and soft drinks manufacturer as major attractions.
Gladstone Gaol is renowned far and wide as a former prison turned tourist complex. Stay overnight, take a ghost tour or simply enjoy some Devonshire tea in a unique setting. It also showcases the region’s finest local produce.
Jamestown is the birthplace of R.M. Williams, a bush legend who is immortalised at an interpretative display opposite Memorial Park. The town was also home to Sir John Cockburn, the mayor and doctor who went on to become a South Australian Premier.
Today, Jamestown is a major rural centre with a surprising number of services, facilities and community organisations. This community minded spirit can be seen in the magnificent stone homes and manicured gardens as well as the active events program.
This town will inspire creative souls, with many a balladeer and artist spending time in this idyllic location. Many have followed in the footsteps of Laura’s most famous resident, legendary storyteller CJ Dennis.
Local characters in Laura often have stories to tell, from the artists to the local farmers and factory workers.
Spend some time here and learn more about what makes country South Australia so great.
This is a great place to stretch the legs, let the kids burn some energy on the playground and even throw a few snags on the barbecue. The local campground means you can rest your head for a night before continuing your travels, it is uniquely horse friendly.
Enjoy long, lazy days at the foot of Mount Remarkable or feel the wind whip through your hair as you soar down exhilarating cycle trails. Melrose offers whatever pace of holiday you are looking for.
First impressions of Melrose are of a tranquil, historic town – and it certainly is. Melrose is the oldest town in the Flinders Ranges, officially proclaimed in 1853. Its history includes copper mining origins and becoming a police outpost with officers patrolling up to the Northern Territory border.
But there is more to Melrose than meets the eye. Cycling enthusiasts from around Australia continually return to experience the range of trails while visitors descend on the town during school holidays to escape from the hustle and bustle.
NAPPERBY / NELSHABY
Get back to nature at the peaceful townships of Napperby and Nelshaby.
Walk, cycle or drive through these townships, an easy 10 minutes’ drive from Port Pirie.
ORROROO / CARRIETON
These townships offer quirky attractions in a warm, friendly community and provide some great stories to tell when you return home.
Peterborough was a hero of the 20th century – a hissing, steaming hub of mighty locomotives sitting at the crossroads of a growing nation.
Today, the spring skies are china blue, the kids no longer have to wipe the clothes-lines clean of soot and the only whistles are from birds among the wildflowers. But Peterborough is still the geographic heart of Australia and visitors still arrive from four corners – although they’re usually hauling caravans rather than freight!
You’ll be surprised by the beauty of the district, the plains of rolled gold running to ancient ranges. And you’ll love the wide Main Street with its grand architecture, four pubs and shouts of ‘G’day!’ from the locals.
Matching a passion for the past with a zest for today, the people of Peterborough welcome you with one of the nation’s finest heritage experiences, Steamtown, as well as historic collections, artistic creativity, superb locally-sourced food, love of country and fondness for a good yarn.
The local Aboriginal Nukunu tribe discovered seafood aplenty at Port Germein and by the mid 1800s, Europeans started farming the area of the Southern Flinders Ranges.
It was determined that a port would be needed to transport wool and wheat but this was made difficult by the long shallow tidal flats. To overcome this, the wooden jetty being constructed needed to be the longest in the Southern Hemisphere to reach water deep enough for boats to load their cargo – a decision that has put Port Germein on the map.
While there is debate about whether the jetty is still the longest Original Wooden Jetty in the Southern Hemisphere, it stands proud today, more than 130 years after its completion.
Redhill is easily recognisable from the highway thanks to the magnificent pioneer farmers’ monument, featuring a Clydesdale horse and ploughman. The monument pays tribute to the town’s history of farming wheat, barley, peas, beans and lentils. This town was originally surveyed for 35,000 people and while it never grew to such length, it is still a busy and vibrant community.
Explore Redhill in more detail and chat to the friendly locals to discover that agriculture is still thriving here.
From wheat used in San Remo pasta to hay exported overseas, this tranquil community is a lifeline to industries around the world.
This peaceful town is nestled between the Clare Valley and Southern Flinders Ranges, a secluded spot to spend a few hours or even a night.
This quaint town more than holds its own when it comes to fresh, locally produced food and wine. Enjoy tempting treats while gazing out over unparalleled Flinders Ranges views and wash it down with a perfect drop of Southern Flinders wine. Don’t feel guilty about indulging in the fine cuisine – cycling trails offer the perfect way to burn off any extra kilojoules!
This relaxed seaside community is a mix of residents and holiday houses and is spectacularly located on the Spencer Gulf while looking eastwards out to the Flinders Ranges.
Surrounded by beautiful landscapes, including the stunning Mount Remarkable National Park, Wilmington is a place where historic buildings and natural beauty can be appreciated.
Sit down at the table of local operators and enjoy a meal made of delicious fresh produce or buy your own at the markets to take home and whip up a gourmet creation.
Looking for a break that is a bit different? One where you can chat with the locals and see the beauty of their work at every turn? If the answer is yes, point the car in the direction of Yacka.
This peaceful township is nestled in the foothills and is a gateway to the Riverland and Clare Valley. Such a unique location makes Yacka an ideal stopover.