Moonta Things to Do

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    Miner's cottage garden
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    Outside Toilet
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Most Recent Things to Do in Moonta

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    INTERPRETIVE SIGNAGE

    by balhannah Updated Jun 26, 2012

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    Moonta
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    This idea I really like, especially in a historic town like Moonta.
    As I walked along George street, which happens to be full of historic buildings, I found interpretive signs about each important building.
    Just watch out, as often I found the building was on the opposite side of the road. Photo's are included, so they really do give you an idea of how Moonta looked back in the 1800's, and it helps me when sorting through photo's, trying to put name to building!

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    MOONTA BAY JETTY

    by balhannah Written Jun 26, 2012

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    Moonta Bay jetty
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    The Moonta Bay jetty extends out into Spencer Gulf. The jetty was built in 1872 to encourage people to settle and purchase building blocks where the township had been surveyed.

    I could see this area would be great for families, as when the tide when out, shallow pools of seawater were left behind. This area is also popular with people in retirement and holidaymakers.
    The jetty provides beautiful views of the coast and beaches when looking back to the mainland and the sun sets are worth waiting for.

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    MOONTA'S HISTORIC HOMES

    by balhannah Updated Jun 26, 2012

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    Moonta
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    Moonta is a wonderful town to wander around and view the original 1800's cottages. Luckily, nearly all are well preserved and still lived in today. People have taken pride in them. Lots were made from Wattle and Daub, you can't tell this from the outside.

    When we followed the 16km driving tourist trail, it took us around a few streets which are full of the orignal cottages. Some still had shingle roof's, many had lovely lace work, and nearly all had been added too! There were a few that were bigger Cottages, which would have meant, wealthier people lived here. I just love these Cottages!

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    MOONTA HISTORIC CEMETERY

    by balhannah Written Jun 26, 2012

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    Moonta cemetery
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    This historical cemetery is different to many, because of the large number of unmarked childrens graves (just beyond the main gates).

    A plaque records that these simple mounds hide the bodies of 300 children killed by disease which raged through the town due to the unsanitary conditions around the mines. It really was quite sad when I saw just how many of these mounds there were. During the years of 1861 to 1923, mining accidents killed 156 men & boys, and 76 of these are buried in the Moonta Cemetery. These men and boys, and some were only boys, died leaving their families unprepared financially to put a headstone or marker on the grave.

    I wasn't able to take the guided tour, I would have liked to, as on the walk, the guide tells stories of many of the people buried here, how epidemics were responsible for the deaths of over three hundred children, the mining fatalities, the first triplets born on the Yorke Peninsula and many more interesting stories.

    Tours depart from the Moonta Tourist Office located at the Old Railway Station.
    The duration is 1 hour and the cost is $5 per person.
    Bookings are required. For further information and bookings please contact Moonta Tourist Office on (08) 8825 1891

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    DISCOVER MOONTA'S HERITAGE TRAIL

    by balhannah Updated Jun 26, 2012

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    Moonta, and I knew there was plenty to see here, but how to go about it.

    We decided to call into the Tourist Information centre first.
    This was located in the beautiful old Railway station which was opened in 1909. It replaced an old timber and iron station, built in 1878.

    Stepping inside, I was told about the Heritage trail, a drive of about 16kms.
    In the city centre, I would be able to walk the streets, so was given a map to follow, and out on the road, all we had to do was follow the Brown Arrow tourist trail sign.

    There are four different trails.....
    Trail 1 - Museum/Railway Station/Museum - Approximate length 5kms. Allow 2 hours
    Trail 2 - Museum/Truers Area/Museum - Approximate length 2.5kms. Allow 1.5 hours
    Trail 3 - Museum/Richmans Area/Museum - Approximate length 2kms. Allow 1.5hrs
    Trail 4 - Hancocks Precinct Walk Trail - Starting at the Miner's Cottage, or start at the Sweet Shop, follow signs - allow 1 hour, can be walked in either direction.

    The Moonta Tourist Office had the usual FREE brochures, a large range of souvenirs and gifts, and an extensive display of old photographs depicting life in Moonta in the 1800's.
    The souvenirs and gifts done by local people were very reasonably priced, so I bought a few items from here for gifts, and some wooden puzzles for grand-children.

    Out in the yard was the German WW1 trophy gun presented to the people of Moonta.

    The was plenty of room to park our car

    OPEN ...9-5PM DAILY

    Just follow the blue with a big golden "i" tourist sign through Moonta

    Now we have the map, come with me as we tour around Moonta.

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    HISTORICAL PHOTO'S @ DRAKE'S FOODLAND

    by balhannah Written Jun 26, 2012

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    Walking along George Street, I came across a wall of historic photo's on Drake's Foodland store wall. The bigger than life photos's were courtesy of the State Library of S.A., and were on the wall to celebrate Moonta's heritage. The photo's showed mine workers and others, and the life and times in the early 1900's.

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    RM WILLIAMS - BUSH OUTFITTER

    by balhannah Written Jun 26, 2012

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    Most Australian people either know or have heard of RM WILLIAMS.

    He was an Australian bushman born into a pioneering settler family working and training horses. He became an entrepreneur who rose from a swagman to a millionaire.

    He is well know for his Australian style of bushwear. Williams learned his leatherworking skills from a horseman called Dollar Mick, making bridles, pack saddles and riding boots. He sold his saddles to Sir Sidney Kidman (a wealthy pastoralist), and soon had a small factory running in his father's back shed in Adelaide. People wanted his products, so his business grew quickly.

    If you want top quality Australian made products, including stockman style clothing, then buy RM Williams. It isn't cheap, but it is smart, and it will last for a long, long time!
    Here in Moonta is a RM Williams shop, where his handcrafted (mostly elastic side) riding boots are for sale. The R. M. Williams Company still makes their boots with 70 hand processes and a single piece of leather.

    It is a shame that some R. M. Williams products are now made outside of Australia, this includes t-shirts, caps, seasonal shirts/shorts, polo shirts and some leather wallets.

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    MORE HISTORIC BUILDINGS

    by balhannah Written Jun 26, 2012

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    All Saints Anglican Church
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    Some other historic buildings I found, were All Saints Anglican Church, dated 1873, and its Church bell which was cast in Moonta Mines foundry. Next to the church is the Hall.

    The Cornwall Hotel, located in Ryan Street, Moonta and built in 1862, is on the National Trust listings. The building was damaged by fire in 1885. In 1910, the original narrow balcony was removed and replaced with the present balcony which is footpath width.

    The Druids Hall, in George Street, was built in 1866. It happened to be for sale if you are interersted!

    Another building was built in 1872, but I don't know what it originally was.

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    OLD STYLE SHOPS

    by balhannah Updated Jun 25, 2012

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    Walking along George street and the other surrounding streets was a little like stepping back into the past.
    Luckily, the shops are still in their original stonework, just as they were in the 1860's - 1870's. People have taken pride in them. Lots of the shop windows are just as they were too, surrounded by wooden arches and sometimes are have detailed woodwork.
    I love these old stone buildings, they are small, they are unique, and I think you would love them too!
    You never know who you may run into, it may just be a statue of a Miner!
    Moonta is a special heritage town.

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    HISTORIC BANKS

    by balhannah Written Jun 25, 2012

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    Moonta State Bank
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    George street was to me, the main street of Moonta. On the heritage walk brochure, I saw there were quite a few buildings in this street to see. I found many attractive buildings, almost all in local rough stone, from those early, heady days of the rich copper mine. For half-a-century, this was a booming centre with its own horse-tram system.....until the mine closed. Luckily, these heritage buildings have been spared.

    My walk began at the Town Hall. It wasn't long before I found my first Bank on the other side of the street, it was the State Bank, formerly the Savings Bank of South Australia, built in 1917. To me, it is a building that really doesn't look like a Bank!

    My next Bank I come to was the National Bank, established as a branch in Moonta in 1866. This imposing bank building was completed in 1867.

    My last Bank, was a short walk around the corner and into Ellen Street. Here, was the very imposing double story Union Bank, no longer a Bank, but a private residence.
    The opulent design was very unusual for this area. Moulded surrounds to doors and openings, and an ornate parapet made this Bank "different!'
    The building was erected in 1873 for the Bank of South Australia, which opened their first branch in George Street c1864-1865. In 1892, the Union Bank took it over as part of the rationalisation of Australian banking. Its doors closed in 1943.

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    MOONTA ANTIQUES SHOP

    by balhannah Written Jun 25, 2012

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    Antiques shop

    As a lover of antiques, I was very happy to find the Moonta Anitques shop, once the Prince of Wales Hotel! The Hotel was built in 1863 and de-licensed in 1911. Many prominent Moonta organisations held their first meetings in this hotel, early Cornish miners often held illegal cock fights in the yard at the rear of the building. It was even used as a billiard hall until late 1930's.

    Moonta holds a Collectables fair. Dealers from South Australia and interstate exhibit, and a large range of antiques and collectables are available for sale. If you have anything that may be valuable, a qualified evaluator will appraise your treasure!

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    MOONTA POST OFFICE

    by balhannah Written Jun 25, 2012

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    Moonta Post Office

    The Post Office is another historic building. This lovely old building was constructed in 1866, and opened as Moonta's Telegraph Office. In 1909 a verandah was added. Apart from a new verandah in the 1960's the external appearance is unchanged.

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    MOONTA TOWN HALL

    by balhannah Written Jun 25, 2012

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    Town Hall

    The Moonta Town Hall is a very attractive building located across the road from Queen Square. Built in 1885, it is Moonta's fourth institute. The clock tower and clock were added in 1907 with funds raised by the Institute and donation.
    The Moonta Town Hall has a cinema where you can see all the current release movies.

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    BIBLE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

    by balhannah Updated Jun 25, 2012

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    Just a very short walk from the Uniting Church, I came across another. This was known as the Bilble Christian church and dated back to 1873.
    The building was sold to the Church of Christ in 1913 and closed in 1976 and currently remains vacant. Even though it looks a good size in the photo, it could only fit 400 parishioners.

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    MOONTA UNITING CHURCH

    by balhannah Written Jun 25, 2012

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    When I was having a look at Queen Square, I noticed a big Church on the other side. It turned out to be the Moonta Uniting Church which was built in gothic style in 1873. It was once a Methodist Church, one of sixteen in Moonta at one time.
    The lecture hall alongside was the original church erected in 1866 and enlarged in 1870.

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