If you want to see well preserved early Australian cottages, then come to Wallaroo. There are plenty here in all different styles, all still being lived in today. It just shows how well they built these cottages out of the local stone. Drive or walk around Wallaroo, and enjoy these historic buildings.
Located in Investigator Park, is the historic Tipara reef Lighthouse, a good example of early lighthouses. It is a pity that it isn't intact, as it was an unusual type of lighthouse. As it was dismantled and removed by Helicopter in 1995, only the central cylinder, gallery, and lantern were saved.
Wallaroo's Port has been here since the 1800's, when it was used to ship Wool.
It was 1861, when the first jetty was much needed and built, so copper could be shipped to Newcastle in New South Wales, and the return cargo was coal for the Wallaroo smelters. The Port was so busy, that in 1864, the Jetty was lengthened.
Wallaroo is a deep water port, one where all types of cargo were loaded and unloaded, often receiving explosives for the mines, timber for jetties and the mines, coal, potatoes and later superphosphate for the farms. Outwards goods included flour, wool, hides, as well as copper.
In 1880 another jetty was built, and extended again in 1902 so the large sailing ships could load between 29,000 - 30,000 bags at a time.
In the 1920s, the copper mines closed as the ore ran out, so Wallaroo fell back onto its other great export, wheat and fertilizer.
Another jetty was built in 1926, then in 1958, the conveyor belt for bulk handling was added and the first block of grain silos was built on the shore.
As we drove along the esplanade road, we actually drove under the big conveyor belt. We pulled up on the edge of the road for some good views and photo's of this very busy Port.
Some more buildings I saw were....
1...SEAMAN'S RECREATION CENTRE..Circa 1880. A lovely sprawling old building with a nice bright garden, originally erected for use as administrative offices for the Smelters by the Wallaroo Mining Company. It was once used for a recreation centre for visiting sailors, but now is a private residence.
2...WALLAROO PRIMARY SCHOOL..An architecturally attractive building built in 1877, including a Headmaster's residence. A deliberately lit fire in the early hours of January 26 2006 gutted most of the interior of the building. Luckily, it has been returned to it's former glory.
3...CORNUCOPIA HOTEL..Built in 1862, this Hotel was used for public meetings until the Institute was built in 1873. It has 52 rooms and is the only hotel in Wallaroo which has retained its original name and exterior facade. Take a look at the wobbly verandah, well, it is original!
On our drive around the town, some more historic buildings we saw were.....
1..SONBERN LODGE...A double story Hotel/Motel that was once built as a Coffee Palace and Guest Hotel in 1914 to coincide with the opening of the Railway Station. It is just across the road from the railway station, and would be a picture when the vine is in Autumn colours. It has been restored to early 1900's style.
2..CUSTOMS HOUSE..Painted a nice cream, this building was set off lovely with the red Bouganvillea flowers. It was built in 1862 and was the original Harbour Master's Custom house. It is now on the Heritage List and a private residence.
3..DAVIES SQUARE - ROTUNDA..The Rotunda was the scene of Carol Concerts every Christmas night during the mining era. Carols, known locally as "curls", were one of the favourite forms of music. The Rotunda was moved from its original location to Davies Square in 1927.
4..HUGHES CHIMNEY STACK..There used to be many chimneys and furnaces in Wallaroo, now all that is left, is this one. The inscription 'W.W.H. 1861' on the land side commemorates the founder of the company, Sir Walter Watson Hughes. This stack which was the largest of what were 12 chimneys, stands 130 ft. high and contains over 300,000 bricks. It has been restored.
As is the case in most towns and cities, the Town Hall is usually a very nice building, well here in Wallaroo was no exception. The building of this lovely town hall began in 1901 and it was completed in 1902. Bad luck hit in 1917, when fire destroyed all of the Town Hall but the outer walls. It was rebuilt and now is know for its ornate ceiling and theatre.
I thought it was one of the most beautiful buildings in Wallaroo.
Located on the corner of Jones and Owen Terrace, is quite a big mural of the sailing ships that used to frequent this port. As I wandered around town, I found more Murals, these were on the opposite side to the main street.
Located in the main street, is quite a big double storey building with lacework verandahs that was built in 1864.
At that time, it was known as "W.C. Eland's Wallaroo Bonded Stores," trading in Wine, Tea, Soap and General Commodities. In 1883 the building was converted for use as Salvation Army Hall which continued until closure in 1971. Since then it's changed hands a few times, nobody stays for long, perhaps the "haunted " basement is the reason!
I thought I was seeing things when I saw this Railway station! We had just arrived from Moonta, and to my surprise, here was a Railway station built in the same style as the one in Moonta!
This Station was built in 1914 to replace 2 outdated stations, and was in use as a passenger station until 1969. It was an Art and Craft Centre from 1970-1985, then used as a restaurant and now is the Branch office for the District Council of the Copper Coast and Branch Library of Kadina Community Library.
The Wallaroo Marina was something you would expect to see on the Gold Coast in Queensland, not here in South Australia, but here it was, one third the size of Wallaroo.
A large proportion of the residential blocks have direct water access with their own pontoons, and already there were quite a few big homes built.
If you haven't a home here, but have a Boat, no worries, as there are berths in the main marina basin which can be bought outright, or rented by the day, week or month.
There is a modern hotel which has a dining room overlooking the Marina and North Beach, plus, Marina Apartments for that longer stay.
To promote the Marina, there is live music, entertainment, seafood, and boat displays fairly often.
The Heritage and Nautical Museum was originally the Post Office between the years 1865-1910.
Now this historic building houses extensive displays of the copper smelting era which lasted from 1861 - 1923, postal & telephone history, religious & civic affairs, industry, sport, entertainment, extensive nautical, and general local history displays.
One of the displays entitled "Wallaroo - through the years" features Sir Walter Watson Hughes, founder of copper mining & smelting in the Copper Triangle.
Also featured is Caroline Carlton, author of "The Song of Australia" who died in Wallaroo in 1874 and is buried in the local cemetery.
Quite a large area of the museum is devoted to maritime history, including maps, old photo's, ship models and more, over 1,500 exhibits, including a large display "Shipwrecks of Yorke Peninsula" which tells the Story of the 46 shipwrecks scattered along the coastline.
If you have never seen a Squid, let alone a Giant Squid, well here is your chance to view one, for on display is "GEORGE" the giant squid which was recovered from the stomach of a whale some 30 years ago. He measures 8.5 metres long with its tentacles outstretched and the body.
There are also exhibits on display outside of the building.
THE MUSEUM IS OPEN DAILY ....10AM - 4PM OR BY APPOINTMENT
Tourist information available.
ADMISSION IN 2012....Adults $5.00 Children $2.00