Discover everything the Copper Coast has to offer

Key attraction: You will be sure to see maypole dancing at the Kernewek Lowender Cornish Festival, which is held every second year in the Copper Triangle.
Key attraction: You will be sure to see maypole dancing at the Kernewek Lowender Cornish Festival, which is held every second year in the Copper Triangle.

The Copper Coast towns of Kadina, Moonta and Wallaroo are collectively known as Australia's Little Cornwall.

This is because a large settlement of Cornish copper miners lived in the region after copper was discovered near Kadina in 1859.

The Cornish heritage became an integral part of local culture, and is still celebrated every second year during the Kernewek Lowender (Cornish Festival).

Copper Coast Tourism Centre coordinator Lynn Spurling said the festival not only celebrates the unique culture and heritage of the region, but also brings great economic benefits to the community.

“The festival really is a unique way to celebrate the diverse group of pioneers who came to these areas.”

Kadina

As the largest town on the Yorke Peninsula Kadina has plenty of attractions on offer.

Head to the Farm Shed Museum & Tourism Centre to see a fascinating display of everything to do with Kadina's first 150 years.

It includes Matta House, the old mine managers residence and now the centrepiece of the museum complex, which also houses historic farm machinery, the blacksmith shop, mine site, the Kadina Story, and much more.

Discover historic limestone buildings including the Kadina Town Hall, local banks, churches and more.

The Ascot Theatre building has been developed to incorporate a cultural centre and gallery which houses the Kernewek Lowender Art Collection, a second venue for rotating art and craft displays and exhibitions.

Upstairs during the school holidays and over the weekends, Statewide Cinema show the latest release movies.

The Wallaroo Mines (where copper was first discovered) is a 'suburb' of Kadina, along with Jerusalem, Jericho and Newtown.

A few relics of the copper mining industry remain and the dominant feature of the mines is Harvey's Pump House, a towering three storey building.

Bed and breakfast mining cottages provide tourists with a unique cultural experience.

A feature of the town is Victoria Square, which is also the location of the monthly Rotary Markets.

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RECOGNISED: The Moonta Mine was added to the National Heritage List, nearly 100 years after it closed. This picture, from 1900, is of the former mine office and stables at Moonta. Photo: STATE LIBRARY OF SA (file B 33882).

RECOGNISED: The Moonta Mine was added to the National Heritage List, nearly 100 years after it closed. This picture, from 1900, is of the former mine office and stables at Moonta. Photo: STATE LIBRARY OF SA (file B 33882).

Moonta

Moonta, the historic Moonta Mines and Moonta Bay are well known today as a tourist destination, whether it be to discover the fascinating heritage of the town or appreciate the lifestyle of the beach and fishing scene.

The Moonta Mines have recently been listed national heritage site and the National Trust Museum is located in the former Moonta Mines Model School, and portrays the early life of this Cornish mining community.

Across the road is the Sweet Shop, offering all sorts of goodies, from old-fashioned favourites, to modern day lines.

The Moonta Mines Methodist Church is filled to capacity during the heritage service each Kernewek Lowender.

A little tourist train runs regular services from the Moonta Mines Museum, around the old mine sites.

Wallaroo

The first European man to sight Wallaroo was Captain Matthew Flinders when surveying Spencer Gulf in HM Sloop "Investigator" in 1802.

It was another 50 years before the first Europeans settled in the area.

Mr Robert Miller took up the lease on a 104 square mile section of land for sheep grazing in 1851.

When he surrendered the lease in 1857, Walter Watson Hughes became the new lessee, and called the property "Walla-waroo".

This was eventually shortened to Wallaroo as it was too long to stamp on wool bales.

Further discoveries of copper at nearby locations led to a decision to build a smelting works in the town, and because Wallaroo was a natural deep harbour, a site was chosen near the seafront for the smelting works.

The Wallaroo Heritage and Nautical Museum located in the old Wallaroo Post Office is home to a fascinating collection of all things nautical, including the aged "George the Giant Squid".

  • coppercoast.sa.gov.au