This is another northern South Australian area where you will find many ruins. These are homesteads and shed, built by the first settlers who came here and tried to make a living.
First they had to clear the land by hand, and then they had to try and make a living, a hard thing to do back then on the land. Eventually the land and lack of good productive rains beat them, and they were forced off the land, leaving behind the ruins we see today.
I find them quite fascinating, but remember, they are on PRIVATE PROPERTY, and can only be viewed from a distance. Seeing the ruins makes me think, What were the people like who lived here, and wonder about their lives, if only the walls could talk!
How many places in this modern world do you find a shop that will make shoes especially to fit your foot? Not many, but here in Laura is just the Shop, and do shoe repairs too!
Since 1989 they have been making custom made shoes, your style and choice of leather for your shoes.
They make leather shoes, sandals and boots in leather with synthetic soles in a range of coloured and patterned leathers for customers. They also make individually crafted bags, belts and leather vests to order.
You can order online, check the website for Flinders Shoes.
You need to keep your eyes peeled when walking Herbert street, because there still are signs of old.
In the tree trunks are the steel rings put there years ago when Horses were the main mode of transport.
Then I liked their electricity poles. These are made of steel and concrete and are an eyesore anywhere, but here they have painted murals around the base to make them look better.
What a find was this shop!
I happened to come across it as I walked the main street, and being a lover of old time sweets that I can't buy anymore, I headed inside. Well, there were the shelves, lined with jars and jars full of old time lollies and newer varieties too!~
Best of all, they had my favorite that I can't buy in Queensland, Australia, another South Australian Icon, the Menz Fruchoc. These are a chocolate ball with fruit in the centre, they are yummy!
I ordered my 100gm and walked out of the shop a very happy person!
They also have home-made cakes, fresh coffee, fresh lunches are made for you, and fish & chips.
A must do when in Laura is to have a Golden North Icecream.
Laura is the home of this iconic South Australian Icecream company which has been producing high quality icecream since 1923.
Golden North is a favorite of mine, especially their honey icecream and the chocolate coated giant twin bars, yummy!
These days, they make a lot of flavours to have in an icecream cone, so go on, try one, I bet you will be back for more!
Located at one end of the main street is a statue of the famous Australian Poet C.J. Dennis.
His family came to Laura in 1890, where his father was publican of the Beetaloo Reservoir Hotel.
He was known as an Australian poet who wrote humorous poems, especially "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke", published in the early 20th century. His 1916 publication of The Sentimental Bloke sold 65,000 copies in its first year, and by 1917 he was the most prosperous poet in Australian history.
From the end of 1907 he worked as a freelance journalist at Toolangi, where he remained until his death in Melbourne in 1938.
The Poem of his I remember the best through studying it at school, was "Doreen."
I had quite a surprise when I walked over to the Rotunda to take a photo, for there inside was the history of the town.
On information boards in the Rotunda were photos and description of events that have taken place in Laura. I found out Laura was flooded in 1914, something I found hard to imagine, but there before me were the photos of proof. Another board was about the Towns industry, Churches, Tree planting and another on Golden North icecream.
They really were very interesting and worth a read if you want to know more about Laura.
I loved walking Laura's main street! It is quite long, and it does have a lot of heritage buildings.
Some I found still had their original painting, others had been painted and looked a picture.
It is a bit like stepping back in time here. In the middle of the day, there was hardly a person in sight. The street was wide, made this way for the Bullock teams, and in the centre was a median strip with lawn and plants. Nice!
The Old Court House, built in 1877, is another heritage building I found on my walk. It's now part of the local Rocky River Historical & Art Society.
It operated as a Court House for 90 years and was only closed down in 1968. It has been painted beautifully and has some beautifully crafted chairs outside.
It is used for art exhibitions during the Laura Folk Fair.
Next door is another heritage building worth viewing.
As I walked around Laura, I could see this tall tower, what was it, I had to know, so I followed my nose until I found it.
It turned out to be the "Old brewery" B&B, and yes, it was a Brewery back in 1874 when it was built. It operated as a brewery for the next 20 years until it was closed in 1894. It became a private residence in 1907.
The town hosts the annual Laura Folk Fair, a two-day festival. During the Laura Folk Fair, the town centre becomes a large mall lined with art, craft, hobby and food stalls. The food stalls include baked potatoes, barbecue, hotdogs, strawberries and ice cream, home cooked biscuits, pizza and Devonshire Teas. There is non-stop entertainment from three stage areas. This entertainment is suitable for all the family. Join in one of the fun competitions, like the great Golden North Ice-Cream Eating Competition.
Ever eaten a litre of ice-cream in just over a minute? That's the record set in 2009 at the Golden North Ice-cream Eating Competition at the Annual Laura Folk Fair. Other competitions include the Digby Carter Whip cracking and the Laura Literary Awards.
There are also over 100 art, craft, hobby and refreshment stalls, selling a wide range of goods. These stalls line the closed street which becomes a mall for the visitor to wander.
Entertainment is nonstop during the festival and there is special entertainment for children of all ages. A twilight Bush Dance is held on the Saturday evening followed by a fireworks display.
The Showmen's Guild of South Australia supplies the entertainment in Side Show alley.
Entry is free, and all entertainment supplied by the organising committee is free. Come and have a great family weekend with us.
The picture here is of the arts centre, one of the key buildings during the festival.
Australian poet and writer CJ Dennis, of 'The Sentimental Bloke' fame, is a much respected early identity of Laura. His father was the licensee of the Beetaloo Reservoir Hotel from 1892 to 1910. Clarrie Dennis spent much of his youth in Laura.
Published in 1915 when the nation was grieving for the dead who fell at Gallipoli, The Sentimental Bloke sold more than 50,000 copies in the first nine months and was subsequently released in NZ, the UK, Canada and the US.
Laura remembers its favourite son with a sculpture outside goldsmith Richard Ivey’s store. After presiding over the administration of justice for 90 years, the local court house (pic 2) closed its doors to lawyers and malefactors in 1968. It is now headquarters for the Rocky River Historical and Art Society and is used as a gallery during the two-day Laura Folk Fair which attracts thousands into the small ranges town every April.
This building dates back to 1908, around the time they were in town.
I bought Rosemarie a bike for her birthday. Luckily she's loving it.
So, by the time we got to Laura she was prompting me to go for a ride. Our idea was to ride to the next village north (Stone Hut) because they've recently completed a bike path the entire 16km route.
Sadly, weather intervened and we called a halt after about 2 kms which was just as well because, by the time we got back to Laura, it was just started to rain.
One of the buildings we came across was this gorgeous ex-brewery that has now been renovated and made into a B&B.