Steeped in history and just 165 kilometres from Adelaide, Moonta was South Australia’s second largest town in its heyday. Moonta’s origins in 1861 were very fortunate – a shepherd noticed traces of copper on a wombat burrow, which led to the establishment of the Moonta Mining Company that soon became one of the richest copper mines in Australia.
The ensuing flood of skilled miners from Cornwall changed South Australia’s cultural mix. Apart from contributing to an economic explosion, the immigrants brought us Cornish architecture and the delicious Cornish pasties. Today, one of the things Moonta is most famous for is its Cornish pasties which can be found at the local bakeries and cafes.
Moonta has many beautiful old buildings, churches and historical sites. The Moonta Mines Museum located in the former Moonta Mines Model School, circa 1878, contains works on the life on a miner, with a very hands-on approach for kids and is well worth a visit.
The main street has a variety of shops open seven days a week including antiques, gifts, cafes and hotels. The Moonta Gallery of the Arts in the Town Hall exhibits local artists with exhibitions changing every month.
Moonta Mines National Heritage Area.
Take to the Moonta Mines Walking Trails, or ride the 50-minute round trip on the Moonta Mines Tourist Railway. Both are a great way to take in some of the Moonta Mines National Heritage Area.
The Moonta Mines Tourist Office located in the former Railway Station can help with all the must see and do’s of the area.
Discover your family history at the Family History Research Centre.
Visit the Moonta Mines Sweets Shop for some old-style lollies.
A legacy of the areas amazing history is the Kernewek Lowender, the world’s biggest Cornish festival held every two years in odd numbered years. It’s a festival of all things Cornish from the Swanky (miner’s beer) and Cornish pasties to street processions, dance, music, theatre, a vintage car rally and more.
Port Hughes and Moonta Bay are close neighbours with the Port Hughes jetty offering excellent fishing opportunities.
Moonta is an Urban Location area within the local government area of Copper Coast in South Australia, it is located approximately 133kms from the capital Adelaide and extends over an area of 4.561 square kilometres. Moonta has a recorded population of 632 residents and is within the Australian Central Daylight Time zone Australia/Adelaide.
If you are planning a visit to Moonta we’ve put together some of the things you can see or do while you are here. These include, places to stay, tours and attractions, some upcoming events and places where you can grab a meal. Go ahead, try one of the buttons above. Every destination has something worth seeing so start exploring… If you know Moonta and think we’ve missed something, let us know and we’ll share it here.