Auburn is a small picturesque town, known as the Gateway to the Clare Valley, in the Mid North of South Australia. The town is on the Horrocks Highway (former Main North Road), 111 kms from Adelaide and 25 kms south of Clare. The Wakefield River runs through the town as it makes its way to the sea at Port Wakefield.
Auburn has many charming historical buildings and is a popular tourist destination. There are a number of local winery cellar doors and B&Bs, cafes and dining experiences.
Auburn is one of the oldest settlements in the Clare Valley, so it's a great place to explore. ??The National Trust cares for a number of beautiful buildings, including the old Police Station (1859), the Mechanics Institute (1859), St John’s Anglican Church (1862), Post Office (1862) and the Council Chambers (1879), and all are located in St Vincent Street, the picturesque street recognised as an historic precinct.
The town has a romantic background, being named from a line in a poem "Sweet Auburn, loveliest village on the plain" by Oliver Goldsmith, an Irish poet and author.
One of Australia’s greatest poets, CJ Dennis, was born in Auburn in 1876. He lived in the Auburn Hotel, where his father was the publican. It has since been demolished. He is best known for his popular "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke", published in 1915. An annual festival is held in Auburn to celebrate his life and work.
Auburn had its beginnings when William Tateham squatted on the Wakefield River, living in a riverbank dugout from where he provided hospitality to travellers. The spot later became the site of Auburn and was for a time named Tateham's Waterhole.
In October 1849, Thomas Henry Williams, a copper-smelting superintendent at the Burra mines, received a land grant. During the next few years Williams sold off allotments to bullock teamsters and others. The first building, a substantial hotel called the Rising Sun Inn, was built in 1850 and so the town of Auburn began.
Auburn prospered, being on the route used by bullock teamsters carting copper ore from Burra to Port Wakefield.
Today you can explore Auburn's historic streets, via the heritage walk, or take the Riesling Trail or Rattler Trail to enjoy the exercise or travel a bit further afield.