Redcliffe Pier

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TEROWIE AND BURRA (South Australia Part 12)

After our walk into Wilpena Pound, we returned to the resort and booked a scenic flight over the pound for the next morning before we were to leave for Adelaide.
Our accommodation, which was very comfortable.
However, when we awoke the next day, there were clouds hanging in the trees and hiding the mountains. It wasn't long before the pilots arrived to tell us that the flights had been cancelled as we wouldn't see anything but cloud. We were refunded the money. Instead we went for a walk to the Visitor Centre and saw colourful birds and flowers on the way.(a future post) It was a lovely place to stay and I would have liked a few more days there.

Soon we were back on the coach heading south. The Flinders Ranges disappeared behind us and the landscape filled with endless grain fields. Due to the higher than usual rainfall this year the crops were better than ever. (notice the clouds had disappeared a bit further south)

We pulled into another historic ghost town, Terowie. It was established in the late 19th century as a railway junction for NSW and SA lines. There were large rail workshops and a population of 2000. The tracks of the two different states were different gauges and people had to change trains at Terowie.

In 1969 the gauge became standard and the trains no longer needed to stop here. The farmers in the area were hit by continual drought and a rabbit plague and so the town started to die.

In 1980 the railway was moved away altogether and took away what the town lived for. However, it has one of the best collections of untouched 19th century buildings. Its big claim to fame is that during the war there was an army camp there.  When General Douglas MacArthur was changing trains from Darwin on his way south, he gave his first Australian press conference on the station uttering the famous words,"I came out of Bataan and I shall return."

Then we drove on further south and stopped at a historic mining town, Burra, which is still thriving today on tourism. It so happens that I have an old friend living in this far away place. We used to room together when we were at teachers' college. Her home is the oldest hotel building in Australia that has not had the original floor plan altered. It was fun to catch up with her even if it was for only half an hour.

Burra is a fascinating historical copper mining town with many wonderful buildings to see. Unfortunately, we were not there long enough.

We were soon whizzing along past many more farms on our way to Adelaide, the capital of South Australia.

11 comments:

  1. That was great to catch up with your friend. xxxxx

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  2. I noticed the lack of clouds and wondered... Sorry you couldn't have a flight over the pound. I love Terowie's old buildings and railroads. Has it been declared a National Heritage Site? I've also always heard about Burra now I've seen it, LOL! Super to catch up with an old friend. Thanks for the trip. Greetings, Jo

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  3. I thought both of those towns were real gems. We almost missed Trewoie. Only went there because I was looking for a toilet.

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  4. Hi Diane, Sorry you couldn't get that airplane ride in... But I'm also glad that the skies cleared and become so blue on your trip to Terowie and Burra. Glad you caught up with a friend in Burra.. That had to have been special.

    Burra looks like a neat place. Too bad you couldn't have stayed there longer. Looks like a nice ride to Adelaide though...

    Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs
    Betsy

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  5. Burra - such a pity that your stop was short. It is quite a fascinating town - especially the tunnel homes in the river bank. These homes in the very early days were where the very poor miners lived. The history of the town is mind boggling.
    Great reporting.
    Colin (HB)

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  6. You're certainly packing in the sights. Shame the flights were cancelled - the aerial view looks fantastic in that first photo yesterday

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  7. It is a shame the weather ruined your plane ride. At least you were able to meet up with your old school friend. Your photos are great. I would like to see the colorful birds.

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  8. Amazing and incredibly intteresting for me. Great post!

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  9. Thanks for taking us along with you on your trip south. I enjoyed seeing and learning about these old towns.

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  10. How a city can depend on a railway station ! I saw some ghost towns in the States, it's so interesting to imagine that once people lived there and wanted to build up a better future.

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  11. This part of your journey reminds me somewhat of driving through parts of Texas and the Southwest. So interesting how the countryside changes as you go.

    We think a good roadtrip is when you find someplace different from home that you love and -- whwen you leave -- you want to come back. Sounds like this area qualifies for you.

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