Balaklava, S.A.

A picturesque wheatbelt town nestled on the banks of the River Wakefield on the northern edge of the Adelaide Plains. The main local produce is grain and dairy cattle.

Where is it?: 92 km north of Adelaide; 26 km from Port Wakefield

Although it only experiences 391 mm rainfall per year, Balaklava is a quietly attractive town with rows of pine trees and green ovals and playing fields. In summer, when the rainfall drops to nearly zero and the temperature rises, the town is surrounded the dry landscape of the Mid North.

Around town

Natural features: Devils Gardens Reserve (7km east); The Rocks Reserve (picnic area); River Wakefield.

Urlwin Park Agricultural Museum is one of two sites operated by Balaklava Museum Incorporated. Opened in 1986, Urlwin Park houses a collection of vintage farm tractors, tillage and harvesting implements, and stationary engines. There is a replica of Anders Blacksmith Shop, an Anders working windmill, an early rural bank building, a telephone exchange and working telephones. The Zacher Pavilion showcases the district's early manufacturing industries with a collection of 'Balaklava made' horse drawn vehicles and farm machinery (for example Walter Blake, Brebner and Keefe, Ahrns Bros, Illman and Sons), plus tributes to the wool industry and to Dean Zacher, after whom the pavilion was named.

Enjoy a trip through history on the Heartlands heritage trail. Brochures are available for a self drive history tour of Balaklava and town heritage walks. Also features Corduroy Road - historic link to Gulf Road Copper route. 34A Short Terrace, Balaklava'

Centenary Hall is one of two sites operated by Balaklava Museum Incorporated. It was built in 1878 and has a colourful history, having been occupied by the Church of Christ, Druids and Rechabite Lodges, schools, a kindergarten and the Lutheran church. As a folk museum, it features the newly completed fashion gallery and music room, as well as household items, books and photographs, war memorabilia, the Alf Traeger Memorial Radio Room, and old shop fronts from the district's early days. Another significant display features a comprehensive collection of local medical, hospital and dental equipment including Australia's first use of penicillin at Balaklava Hospital. Corner May Terrace and Verco Street, Balaklava SA

The historic old courthouse at Balaklava, built in 1913 and converted into an art gallery and separate gift shop, is managed entirely by community volunteers. Varied exhibitions lasting six weeks range from paintings and sculptures to quilting and craftwork. Exhibition space is free to artists. A popular attraction is the Balco Art Price held in July/August each year with associated prizes up to the value of $3,000.00. The shop is stocked with locally hand-crafted gifts. 6 Edith Terrace, Balaklava SA. Ph: (08) 88 622 342

Bowmans Bowmans is located 12 km west of Balaklava on the Port Wakefield-Auburn Road (route B84), one of the early country roads in South Australia for delivering copper from the mines at Burra to the port at Port Wakefield. It was used for this purpose from 1848 until 1857 when a railway from Gawler to Port Adelaide provided a more attractive transport option. From 1870, Bowmans was a station on the Port Wakefield-Hoyles Plains tramway which ran inland from the port along a similar alignment to the road, initially used horses instead of steam locomotives.

In 1923, the railway from Adelaide north towards Port Pirie was built as broad gauge and crossed the Port Wakefield line at Bowmans. Both lines passed through the station but there was little infrastructure provided for transhipping goods or passengers. The break of gauge was solved in 1927 when the Western System, including the Port Wakefield railway, was converted to broad gauge as well. The Port Wakefield railway has been closed and removed. The Adelaide-Port Augusta railway line has been converted to standard gauge and rerouted to bypass the station and township.

Brief History

The settlement here that grew into the town came into existence in 1849 as one of the many staging places on the route to the Burra copper fields. The town was established by Adelaide grain merchant, Charles Fisher, in 1870. Sheep and wheat farmers moved into the area soon after. Low grade coal deposits have been discovered in the district but have never been mined. Origin of name: recalls a famous battle of the Crimean War. It was named in 1877.

Australia For Everyone | Email us | Ph 0412 879 698

Content © 2017 Australia For Everyone