Burra is one of the most beautifully preserved towns in South Australia.
This former copper mining town is listed on the National Estate Register and also declared a State Heritage Area.
Today you can explore the town using Burra’s Heritage Passport Trail. Armed with a charming little guidebook and your own key which you collect from the Burra Visitor Information Centre, you’ll drive past 49 fascinating sites and learn why Burra was once South Australia’s copper central. The 11 kilometre route includes Redruth Gaol, the Monster Mine and “Creek Street”, where 1600 people lived in dugouts along the riverbank. The Heritage Passport Trail also provides access to three museums throughout the town, all with fantastic interpretation.
Burra is also a great place to look for art and antiques. Don’t miss Thorogoods of Burra, a boutique cider brewery. You’ll also find walking trails, a golf club, bike hire, accommodation and more.
The great Burra Jinker holds pride of place in Market Square. It was once pulled by some 40 bullocks, four abreast. Straining to the vivid exhortations of six bullock drivers under the leadership of William Woollacott, they hauled the massive jinker for three months, on a 100 mile journey from Adelaide. In April 2001 the Jinker was included in the BankSA Heritage Icons List.
Burra began with the discovery of copper in 1845, by shepherds Thomas Pickett and William Streair. A number of townships soon developed – the South Australian Mining Association town of Kooringa, plus Redruth (Cornish) Aberdeen (Scottish) Llywchwr (Welsh) and Hampton (English).
By 1851, the settlement now collectively known as Burra had a population of 5,000, second only to Adelaide with a population of 18,000. After the closure of the Monster Mine in 1877, the town became a service centre for an extensive agricultural and pastoral area.
Less than half an hour’s drive from Burra you can explore the Mongolata Goldfield, part of which is still operating. You can picnic at Burra Creek Gorge or discover the old copper refinery ruins at Apoinga.