Excursion destination „Australia’s Little Cornwall“
Moonta inspires Bushwalker to „educational walks“

Adelaide—Bushwalkers are ra­pidly ap­proa­ching the South Australian German Association (SAGA) on their 800th walk — not coun­ting the nu­me­rous group ou­tings and mul­ti-day camps. The 1200-ki­lo­me­ter Heysen Trail has be­en prac­ti­ced by the hi­king group for­med in 1991 bet­ween 1999 and 2010. After their in-depth week-long April trip to Moonta, Bushwalkers are cer­tain that in fu­ture they will be in­cre­a­singly or­ga­ni­zing „edu­ca­tio­nal hi­kes“ in South Australia.

Moonta forms on the Yorke Peninsula tog­e­ther with Kadina and Wallaroo the trio „Little Cornwall“. The tou­ris­ti­cal­ly in­te­res­ting Moonta 163 ki­lo­me­ters nor­thwest of Adelaide is a po­pu­lar sea­si­de re­sort with be­au­ti­ful beaches and good fi­shing. With the dis­co­very of rich co­p­per ore de­po­sits in 1861, thousands of mi­ners ar­ri­ved in the area, ma­ny of them from Cornwall. For 5 shil­lings they worked dai­ly for up to ten hours. Only in the 1920s, the mi­nes we­re aban­do­ned be­cau­se of the col­lap­se of co­p­per pri­ces and ri­sing la­bor cos­ts. From its heyday as a mi­ning town, Moonta has pre­ser­ved ma­ny so­lid stone buil­dings, the All Saints Church, the char­ming town squa­re, a pic­tures­que town hall, the his­to­ric train sta­ti­on, the pump house, va­rious man­ho­les and mi­ning offices.

Since 2017, the Moonta Mines be­long to the National Heritage and are thus of out­stan­ding im­por­t­ance for the na­tio­nal he­ri­ta­ge of Australia — and on the „Walk the York Trail“ ac­cord­ing to hi­king gui­de Hermann Schmidt „an ex­cel­lent hi­king de­sti­na­ti­on“. With la­te sum­mer tem­pe­ra­tures and clear ski­es, the Bushwalkers of the SAGA ma­de ex­ten­si­ve hi­kes bet­ween Moonta and Wallaroo in the area and on the be­ach for three days.

The in­st­ruc­ti­ve tours plan­ned by Dietmar Henning we­re par­ti­cu­lar­ly well re­cei­ved — in the cen­ter: the ap­pro­xi­mate­ly one-hour dri­ve of the Moonta Mines Tourist Railway through the his­to­ric Moonta Mines. The ap­pro­xi­mate­ly 16-ki­lo­me­ter track be­gins and ends at the Town Hall, built in 1885, and pas­ses ma­ny his­to­ric sites, in­clu­ding several church­es: the Methodist Church, the Bible Christian Church and the All Saints Anglican Church (all built in 1873), the St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church (1869), the Moonta Mines Methodist Church, the Site of Primitive Methodist Church and the Site of Bible Christian Church (all 1865) as well as the East Moonta Methodist Church (1872), the Cross Roads Methodist Church and the Cross Roads Primitive Methodist Church (bo­th 1873). „Australia’s Little Cornwall“ al­so en­chan­ted the Bushwalkers through the Moonta Mines Museum, Blacksmith’s Shop, Miner’s Cottage and Garden, Sweet Shop and the Family Resource Center. With this fa­sci­na­ting „Cornish co­p­per mi­ning histo­ry and he­ri­ta­ge“ the Bushwalkers want to or­ga­ni­ze their camps in the fu­ture usual­ly as edu­ca­tio­nal mi­gra­ti­ons, says Schmidt.

Moonta’s „his­to­ric tour“ saw them em­bark on a land­s­cape con­ser­va­ti­on pro­gram known to the Bushwalkers for main­tai­ning their Heysen Trail sec­tions in Myponga and Inman Valley: Ruth Hamann and Doris Muench collec­ted around 50 ki­lo­grams of for­eign plastic was­te and wa­ter from the Moonta be­ach dis­po­sed of it pro­fes­sio­nal­ly. „Plastic harms the en­vi­ron­ment,“ ex­p­lains Schmidt, and na­tu­re is not a gar­ba­ge dump. 


Print: Trailwalker Magazine, Issue 149, Spring 2018, p. 30 [85/3/2/ – ].
On-li­ne: ⭱ E‑Paper Trailwalker Magazine, Mon­day, 10 Sep­tem­ber 2018. Retrieved New Year’s Day, 1 Janu­ary 2021.

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