Burra is a heritage town well worth a visit, just 160 km north of Adealide and 46km from the Clare Valley Wine District. Copper was discovered in 1845, by shepherds Thomas Pickett and William Streair in two areas. Prominent Adelaide businessmen formed a syndicate to buy the land for £20,000 and drew straws for two mining leases. They became known as the Knobs and Snobs.
The Burra Burra Mine or Monster Mine was hugely successful, the biggest mine in Australia, whilst the other Princess Royal Mine had small deposits and closed in 1851.
The rich copper deposits brought miners flocking from all over the world, in particular from Cornwall. A number of township areas sprung up, collectively called “The Burra” with a population of more than 5,000, little more than ten years after the small colony of South Australia was established. Today Burra’s population is around 1200.
The Morphette Engine House was built in 1858 and a massive engine was hauled from Aelaide on a huge wooden jinker. It took 40 bullocks, four abreast and six bullock drivers and took 3 months. The great Burra Jinker holds pride of place in Market Square.
There is much to explore with minesites, gaol, and stately 19th century buildings, miners cottages, heritage hotels, cafes and shops.
The Bon Accord Mine was established by the Scottish Mining Company of Australia on land adjoining the Burra Mine. They hoped to find a rich ore body, but little copper was found and the mine closed in 1849. Operations recommenced in 1859 and extensive buildings were erected, only to close in 1862. The Bon Accord air shafts, full of water were used for the town’s water supply for a time. More History
In 1862 Explorer John McDouall Stuart sent a telegram from the Burra Telegraph Office advising of his party's successful trip across Australia and back.
The Burra region is also famous for its fine merino wool and salbush hogget. Burra is the central town for the surrounding wheat farming and pastural district.
Burra is a welcoming town with a variety of accommodation. You will find plenty of things to do for a day or two.