For me, this was the best lookout in Clare. The road runs off the Main North road, just south of the Clare Caravan Park. A dirt road, in good condition takes you to the lookout, then it's just a short walk up a hill to see the beautiful 360° views over Polish Hill River Valley, Pikes vineyard estate, Paulette wines, and Wilson vineyards.
I could see the working Quarry and the outer homes in Clare. It was great!
If you had to choose a lookout, it would be this one.
Watch for the Brown Tourist Sign on the left when leaving Clare
The tourist information centre is located on the corner of the Spring Gully Tourist Road, a tourist drive that took us past some nice scenery and to the Spring Gully lookout.
The lookout has a picnic area and great views over the Blyth Plains, just a pity it wasn't the best of days for viewing, a little hazy.
On the way here, we passed by a vineyard which had Highland Cattle grazing. They should do well in the cold climate of Clare. We passed a few Wineries along the way too!
The backroads around Clare are very scenic. They are dirt, they are not that wide, they carry hardly any traffic, so don't be frightened about driving along them, they come out somewhere!
I love travelling these roads, I feel a bit like an explorer! I never know what I might find and see!
We came across many Wineries and of course acres and acres of vineyards. It was Autumn, and some of the leaves were golden, others had no leaves, and some vines were still quite green.
On one of these roads, I came across one of the original big Farms in the area. The homestead was huge, as were the buildings, all made out of local stone. I loved the Kangaroo sign on the entrance.
Across the road, were the ruins of a farm, most propably belonging to the same property. Perhaps it was the grand-parents home?
Sheep were in the paddocks, and then we saw the Farmer in his Tractor, busy getting the ground ready for the next season's crop.
Later, we saw more ruins, a cemetry in the middle of nowhere and much more, it really was a very interesting drive!
I really enjoy walking towns when I have a "historic walk" brochure to follow.
Luckily, our accommodation was next to the Information centre which is located on the Adelaide side of Clare. We were free to browse the centre which was chocked full of FREE brochures and booklets. The kind lady behind the desk gave me the Clare historic walk brochure, which had a detailed map and information about every sight on the walk.
Now we have the brochure, how about joining me as we discover some of Clare's historic buildings.
Allow anything between 1.5 - 2 hours to complete the walk. This doesn't include the Clare cemetery which we drove to later.
The Clare Information centre is located at 229 Main North Road Clare.
FREECALL: 1800 242 131
OPEN....9-5PM Monday - Saturday
10 - 4pm Sunday & Public Holidays.
A day at the races in a country town is always an enjoyable days outing!
The history of racing in the Clare area goes back to the early 1880s, and involved an annual New Year's Day race meeting on a number of local properties.
Then, in 1889, Clare's Racecourse was established and has been here ever since.
This "once-a-year" event continued, broken only by racing bans during the World Wars.
Now, the Club holds 4 meetings a year, so if you want to come, make your holiday around these dates.
The meetings are the Clare Cup in November, the Farmer's Cup in March, and the Easter Races carnival held at Easter each year. The website gives the exact dates for the year.
The Clare cemetery is a large cemetery located outside of Clare on Benny Hill's Road. As Clare is quite old and I like exploring old cemeteries, for me it was a must see. The Cemetery was opened in 1872, and the oldest graves are on the left as you walk through the gates.
An extra bonus was the autumn leaves.
Flowering Gums are a variety of Gum Tree you will come across in the northern towns of Australia. They grow well here, so it was no surprise that I came across the one in my photo. It was April, and they were in flower.
This was a gum blossom I hadn't seen before, different and pretty! When you look at the blossom, you will see it isn't petals, but actually hundreds of stamens which attract pollinators such as insects or nectar-feeding birds. You will always find Honeyeaters getting nectar, a tip for Bird watcher's!
Gum blossoms are mainly white, but they do come in bright yellow, orange, vermilion, red, pink, lime and purple and maybe more colours, they are a real picture when in full bloom.
There are a few nice historic Churches in Clare.
The ones I saw, and both were in Victoria Street, were the original Wesleyan Chapel, built in 1857 and now used as a B&B. I thought it was lovely from the outside, I wondered what the inside looked like.
Next door is the Uniting church, opened in 1867, and the lecture hall and Sunday School rooms were opened in 1888.
St. Michael's Catholic Church, was opened in 1849, and was the first substansial building in Clare. It was the 3rd Catholic Church built in the colony. The last Church, with a large dome, was completed in 1883 and is part of St. Joseph's School.
Located in the School grounds off Victoria road, Clare
Historic Banks in Australia are nearly always a beautiful building. Here, in Clare, the tradition carries on.
I loved the ANZ Bank Building. This building was designed by an Adelaide architect, and built by local tradesmen in 1877, at a cost of 4,000 Pounds.
It is said to be one of the finest pieces of 19th century architecture in the lower North of South Australia. It has been refurbished, still in keeping with the 19th century, and now the Stables are a commercial outlet.
The National Bank, built in 1881, is another building with fine architecture.
Knappstein Winery/Brewery is located in the original 19th century Enterprise Brewery, a National Trust building and the landmark of the Clare township. It's a gorgeous sandstone building, which originally was a Brewery, only this ceased operating in 1916. In the 1970's, it was used as a Winery, then later, they started brewing Beer again.
A copper brewhouse was installed in a former wine storeroom, while the various fermenters, conditioning tanks and bottling line have replaced the winemaking equipment. Knappstein is famous for its Riesling.
The cellar door is open seven days a week and there is also a micro brewery where Knappstein brew their own beer.
They produce a full-flavoured lager. Their Signature Beer is Knappstein Reserve Lager.
Clare was established in 1840 so you would expect to find plenty of old homes.
I found plenty, from little Cottages, to beautiful homes with lace-work. There is quite a variety of old homes in Clare, and a lot are built out of bluestone found in the area.
The Old Police Station Museum was built in 1850 as Clare's first Courthouse and Police Station.
If you want to visit inside, and see the large collection of furniture and clothing from the Victorian era, early records of the Clare area, photographs of early Clare and displays of agricultural machinery and early horse-drawn vehicles, then you had better take note of the opening times!
ADMISSION IN 2012....Adults $2.00 .....Children .50cents
OPEN ONLY ON WEEKENDS...10 -12 AND 2 -4PM
Located just around the corner from Mill Street Cottage, are the other two historic buildings. One is the Institute, which is now the Library, and the other is the Old Court House.
The Courthouse has been used since 1880 and up till today. Next door, is the Police Sergeant's house and cells.
The Old Institute was built in Italianate architecture in 1872. Now, the Public Library, it was here where I went to use the FREE INTERNET SERVICE. You just need some ID with you, and then to join the Library. A card was given to me incase I wanted to use a computer anywhere else in South Australia.
We are now going to walk to the Old North Road which runs parellel to the Main North Road [main street]
We walked through the park next to the new Town Hall, and came out where three historic buildings are located in a row.
The first one is known as "Mill Street Cottage," a gorgeous sandstone double story cottage, built with stone from a local quarry in 1871. The heritage sign located by the cottage, told me this is the last remaining two story 19th century cottage in Clare. The Cottage is built in English style, has 6 rooms, it did have a slate verandah roof but it is now iron, and it has slate on the kitchen floor.
Located on the opposite side of the roundabout, is this ornate former AMP building. An impressive building, it now is an employment agency, and would you believe, one of a few buildings in Clare with an Elevator!
Still keeping to the same side of the road, I come across the Old Town Hall.
Can you work out how to tell it is the Old Town Hall?
Take a good look at the building, and you will notice a Tower with an empty circle, this is where the Clock should be! The Old Town Hall wasn't built until 1866, although the Council had formed in 1853.
The New Town Hall is a massive sandstone building in Main street. Not real new [ opened in 1926], there are some historic plaques, and the Clare Regional History collection is located upstairs. This is open to the public on Thursdays.