Area History

Kadina, Moonta and Wallaroo were founded upon the discovery of rich copper lodes in the 1860's.

The towns flourished, Kadina and Moonta with mining the copper and Wallaroo processing the ore in the largest smelters in the southern hemisphere at the time, plus shipping the final products to markets world wide.

The people that came to work the mines at Kadina and Moonta came from Cornwall and the Welsh people came to Wallaroo to work the smelters. These towns grew and prospered to become the largest towns outside Adelaide.

The mines survived many ups and downs but the depression forced the closure of the mines in 1923.

The Cornish heritage that is still evident in the three towns gave them the title of Australia's Little Cornwall. The Cornish brought with them their religion, architecture and their own customs. The chimney stacks and pumphouses are what you would find in Cornwall today.

The churches and miners cottages, especially in Moonta, are well preserved and in fact the museum at

Moonta Mines has received several national awards for displaying, in an interpretive museum, the wonders of the bygone era.

Recently an underground mine tour is an added attraction simulating the conditions of mining underground 100 years ago.

Moonta's satellite towns of Moonta Bay and Port Hughes have become a firm favourite with holiday makers, with their jetties, fishing and wonderful safe beaches.

Wallaroo has become the industrial town from it's smelting days and port facilities. Today, grain is exported world wide from it's huge silos and wharf complex and fertiliser is imported from overseas and distributed to farmers throughout the Yorke Peninsula. Wallaroo also has marvellous beaches and fishing.

Moonta Bay is an easy one and three quarter hours drive from Adelaide. Come and enjoy the fabulous beaches, fishing, sailing and local fishing charters. Explore the bygone mining era at the award winning museum or just soak up the tranquility of the country atmosphere.



Moonta Mines church

Pt Hughes boat ramp