Skip to main content

Two Afternoons in Burra, South Australia

9th and 11th May 2009

This is my third trip to the town centre of Burra, South Australia, approximately 90 minutes drive north(ish) from Gawler. Fourth, if you include the second trip two days later on the 11th of May.

The first time Rose and I were here, during our 2007 Road Trip, I briefly wrote about our visit in two posts titled Miranda's Bedroom and Searching for C. J. Dennis and Gunning for Broken Hill.

At the time I was disappointed that the towns Community Art Gallery had an exhibition of quilts (not really my thing but I do appreciate the work involved). On the first day of this trip to Burra we visited the same gallery and... an exhibition of quilts (sigh). Must be an annual exhibition that occurs during the month of May?

The town of Burra is actually famous in these parts for its copper mining history and in particular the open cut 'Monster Mine' which is now used as a venue for Jazz concerts and can be seen in the background of this photo of Rose (above) taken on the balcony of Morphett's Engine House Museum.

Just to give you an idea of where Rose is standing in the first photo here is a photo of the Engine House Museum from ground level. See that balcony at the top? She was standing on the balcony, in the corner closest to the camera.

The engine house is one of three local history museums you can visit in Burra for a reasonable cost - though you have to time things just right if you want to catch all three on the same day. They have limited opening hours but are worth the visit because each one is staffed by a guide who will provide you with additional information on Burra's history as well as answer any questions.

In case you were wondering the Engine house used to contain a massive Cornish beam engine that would pump water out of the mine. The gap between the two balconies used to support the massive pumping arm (known as 'Bob') that was pushed and pulled by a giant piston up and down 24/7 during the mine's working days.

All three museums are part of a historic, 11km Heritage driving trail that you can follow as an essential part of the Burra experience. The trail is free to follow and takes in 49 different historical sites of interest. For an extra fee you can purchase a pass key from the Burra Visitor Information Centre which will give you additional access to eight of the 49 sites.

To do the tour properly and at a leisurely pace I'd recommend three days in Burra. You could do it in two but you'd have to skip a lot of information. Rose and I tried to do all three museums and the Heritage Trail in two afternoons and failed. Though we did manage to see all the various key access sites - albeit the Old Police Station we saw after sunset and virtually in the dark with only natural light.

One highlight of the tour for movie buffs is the old gaol which was used in the Australian, Bruce Beresford film, Breaker Morant (1980). (Note that the historic railway station in my home town of Gawler also appeared in this film). The gaol is a key access site if you want to look around inside.

One thing that I have learned about heritage trails in general is that the phrase interpretive walking trail translates to everything has been reduced to its foundations or rubble and you have to imagine what buildings looked like based on the detailed information boards along the way.

One or two of the key entry sites on Burra's trail are interpretive walking trails (much like Kapunda's mine site). Whilst the sites are probably very interesting to walk around, when you're in a hurry to see as much as you can, spending time imagining how things looked isn't something you really want to do. Especially if you're running out of daylight and are in danger of missing seeing other sites that are still standing.

After two afternoons in Burra we finally had to give up and be glad we saw as much as we did. There is a lot here that I haven't written about, such as the Town Hall museum (which is free) and the very interesting display and guided tour of the Bon Accord Mine Museum (which includes a detailed model of the Burra mine before it was converted to an open cut mine).

If you have an interest in Australia's mining history or you have Cornish, Welsh or Irish descendants who emigrated to Australia to seek their fortune in the mines then Burra, South Australia, may be of interest to you. It's recognized as one of the most complete historical mining townships in Australia and a nice town to visit too.

Comments

  1. You deserved to have yourself pampered at the beautiful Burra Motels after spending the whole day sight-seeing.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Comments not directly related to the post will be deleted. This includes spammy generic comments with links to websites not related to the post.

Popular posts from this blog

BEILEXING Autocycle Style ABS Cartoon Building Brick - 378pcs - COLORMIX - Motorcycle kit Product Review

The first time I saw the Beilexing Brick Motorcycle Kit I thought it was nothing short of stunning. I'm not even a fan of motorcycles in general but the detail of this set and how much it captured the spirit of a real world motorcycle really impressed me.

Then I saw the set cost considerably less than a similar sized kit from the Lego Technic range I just couldn't pass it up.

When the kit arrived it did not disappoint. Made from ABS plastic the bricks are fully compatible with, and are of comparable quality to, official Lego bricks. I did notice that the tires and chain links seemed a little less sturdy than their Lego equivalents but beyond that you'd be hard pressed to say the quality of the parts wasn't almost as good.

The model is 35.00 x 10.00 x 6.00 cm / 13.78 x 3.94 x 2.36 inches in size and should be no trouble for intermediate to advanced builders to construct with a clear, and easy to follow instruction manual.

A sheet of decals is included for you to stick …

Yukino Yukinoshita Figurine Cartoon Figure Doll Model Desk Ornament Toy Gift - MULTI-A - Product Review

I must admit I was not familiar with the Anime character Yukino Yukinoshita, from the Japanese book and TV series My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU. I bought this figure because I was browsing for one that looked similar to an Anime avatar my partner used for a time on social media.


What actually sealed the deal for me to purchase, aside from how similar the character looked, was the little panda (Pan-san) with the black star eye, which I felt gave the whole figurine set a bit of an edgy look.

When my purchase arrived I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and detail. Having since discovered the Anime TV series the figure is based upon I can say it's a fairly faithful depiction of Yukino.

Standing (or is that sitting?) at 14.00 x 15.00 x 14.00 cm / 5.51 x 5.91 x 5.51 inches the figure is an ideal size for displaying on a desk or bookshelf without taking up too much room. The 1/8 scale allows for a good level of detail, particularly in the characters clothing which, despite being P…

Virtual Reality Addiction Meets Online Shopping and Death!

I'm certainly not the first person to predict the idea of immersive virtual worlds. Movies like Tron (1982) and The Lawnmower Man (1992) are two of the earliest popular culture references to the concept I can think of, off the top of my head. Then of course there is The Matrix (1999) where the VR world idea really hit the mainstream big time.

However, back in early 2005, the practice of online shopping, with real money, for digital products in virtual worlds like Second Life (which was more cutting edge back then) began to meld in my mind with the idea of corporations controlling that experience through marketing and advertising.

Robot Uprising: Patrolling Your Home, Garden and Now The Streets!

Many people think of the inevitable Robot Uprising as a humanoid, Terminator like, robot army, wielding laser guns, hunting us down in some kind of distant future, human Armageddon. What they don't realize is that the robot armies are already taking shape, albeit in a much more passive aggressive form.

I've previously documented the Roomba as the first wave of mass produced robots surveilling your home under the guise of being a floor vacuum.

These irritating devices are supposed to quietly work away in the background while you perform Yoga poses in peaceful bliss but are actually noisy enough to attract your attention and... why does the thing keep missing that one spot in the middle of the floor but has cleaned the same corner four times already!

Halloween - The Door-to-Door Salesperson of Holidays

Halloween isn't really a thing in Australia but over the years it's been gaining momentum thanks to variety and party hire stores that stock up on all things spooky for the occasion.

I dread Halloween every year because I never know if this is going to be the year some wide eyed group of costumed up kids is going to knock on the door and yell 'Trick or Treat' at me. A truly scary thought.

Halloween is a fantastic idea for a holiday, completely ruined by the tradition of going door to door for treats. If you or your family does this, I sincerely hope you never knock on the door of houses that a) You've never met the owner in any capacity and, b) are clearly not participating in the festivities demonstrated by their lack of any Halloween decorations at all.

If you're like me you probably hate door-to-door salespeople, a practice that has thankfully decreased but is still employed by phone and power companies from time to time. There's nothing worse than peop…

Super Sonico Cartoon Sitting Girl with Swimsuit Model Toy - RED - Product Review

I was not familiar with the Anime character Super Sonico created by Tsuji Santa of the Japanese computer and video game software company, Nitroplus, as the mascot for Nitroplus' annual live music festival event "Nitro Super Sonico".

I was actually looking through the GearBest website for another Anime character and liked the look of this particular display figure enough to add it to my cart. (It also helped that the figure was on sale at a significant email only discount at the time).

This particular version of the character features Sonico dressed in her Santa Cape and Swim Suit  complete with holiday trimmings. The hood/cape can also be removed and replaced with Sonico's headphone wire and trademark, long pink hair.

When my purchase arrived I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and detail. Having since discovered the Anime character (and also TV series) the figure is based upon I can say it's a fairly faithful depiction of Super Sonico.

Standing (or is tha…

Kevin Smith's Tusk (2014) and Yoga Hosers (2016) - Movie Review *Very Minor Spoilers*

It may seem somewhat redundant to be talking about Tusk and Yoga Hosers four and two years after their respective release dates but there is still one more movie to come (Moose Jaws) in Kevin Smith's True North trilogy so you're going to want to revisit or view them for the first time at some stage before that film (if you have any interest in it of course).

Both films are not highly regarded by critics and probably polarize even Kevin Smith fans since they're not exactly along the lines of Clerks but you can see some pretty broad hints of Smith's leanings toward weird comedy horror in Red State.

Even Kevin uses these two films as self deprecating punching bags for his film career. It's not that he thinks they're bad films, he just recognizes the silly weirdness doesn't give them broad appeal and therefore they often get poor reviews.

Full disclosure, I'm a Kevin Smith fan but, whilst I've been wanting to see both of these movies for a while, Kevin…