Day 354-355 30/4/18 – 1/5/18 Burra/Auburn

We have just spent a wonderful couple of days wandering down the middle of SA. Lots of old buildings & history. We loved it.

First stop was Peterborough & the Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre. Peterborough was the main rail centre in the area up until the mid 70’s when they closed the rail lines down. The only train that comes through town now is the Indian Pacific. The workshops are basically as they were when they walked out. The local council took over running it about 12 years ago & are doing a great job.

It has a three gauge turntable, something that is very rare.

These are the gauges, QLD & parts of SA used narrow gauge, VIC & parts of SA used broad guage. NSW & WA used standard guage. It was a pigs breakfast & has cost the country untold millions of $ over the years.2018 30 Apr_6430

They have a great collection of loco’s on display. All with a history & all grand old ladies.

The carriages were also spectacular. Lots of timber & craftmanship. The one with the drop down sink in the sleeper reminded me of travelling with my Grandmother from Newcastle to Rockhampton.  I would have been about 5.

Some different ones as well.

On the way to Peterborough we found this at Orroroo. It is a Giant Red Gum (Eucalyptus Camaldulensis). It has a circumference of 10.9m & is over 500 years old.2018 30 Apr_6540.JPG

As we drove around what amazed us was the number of derelict stone houses sitting in the middle of paddocks. There were hundreds of them. You could tell where they were as there were always trees surrounding them.

We stayed at Burra which is a town that started in 1845 when copper was discovered. It was for a time the largest metal mine in Australia & was known as the “Monster Mine”. It was originally underground. It closed in 1877 when the ore ran out. It briefly reopened as an open cut mine from 1970 to 1981. The open cut is now used as a commercial diving school.

Because the underground mine was below the water table it required a pump to keep the mine dry. A 80″ Cornish beam pump was installed in 1860 inside of this restored pumphouse.

The mine site & museum is a great visit.

There are a number of other interesting things to see around Burra.

The miners’ first accommodation were holes dug in the side of a creek.

This was the next type of housing.2018 01 May_6323

Then they built something like this. The roof on the right is the original roofing.2018 01 May_6351

We stayed at the showgrounds & found an old pub to have a drink at.

We then moved down the road to Auburn in the Clare Valley to restock the cellar. Unfortunately we did not have enough time so we will be returning later.

Lots of old country churches around. The architecture on some are curvaceous, on others not so much.

Large number of wind farms along the Mt Lofty Ranges. We had to stop a number of times as oversize loads of windmill components went past us.

We are now heading down to Yorke Peninsula for a week.

Quote of the Day

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”

Winston Churchill


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