Clare Valley Heritage
One of the great features of the Clare Valley is the large number of intact heritage buildings.
Since European settlers arrived in the 1840s to share the land with the Ngadjuri people, a big effort has gone into preserving the region’s history.
Heritage trails guide you from town to town. The Clareville Museum and Old Police Station Museum capture the history of a region named after County Clare in Ireland. Historic buildings are scattered around the Clare Valley.
A colourful history
The Clare Valley is also known for its copper and farming history. Copper deposits were found in Burra in 1845, and the world's largest mine evolved. Migrants came in their thousands, from Wales, Scotland, central England and Cornwall.
Jesuit priests fleeing religious persecution in Silesia (now part of Poland) found refuge in the Clare Valley and planted the first grape vines in 1851. There’s now a full range of wines to taste and the church, hand excavated cellar and atmospheric crypt are open for tours.
Visit Martindale Hall and you might feel like you've been there before. That's because the Georgian-style mansion featured in the well-known Australian movie, Picnic at Hanging Rock.
Unlock Burra's mining past
Burra was once Australia’s seventh largest city and had the world’s biggest copper mine. Buy the Burra Heritage Passport Key from the Burra Visitor Centre. It gives you access to eight historic sites, including the Monster Mine, Redruth Gaol, Unicorn Brewery Cellars and the Dugouts.
You will also receive a guidebook detailing 49 historic sites over an 11 kilometre driving trail.
Bungaree Station was one of Clare Valley’s first pastoral stations and is still in use today. Its historic cottages form a secluded village and make an ideal place to stay.
Martindale Hall is Georgian architecture at its best and dates back to 1879. Stay overnight in this living museum, surrounded by nineteenth century art, furniture and hunting relics. There is also a 400-year-old ceremonial Samurai suit on display.
Time stands still in Mintaro. Drystone walls and Moreton Bay fig trees line the main street of this intimate 160-year-old village. You’ll find boutique accommodation, wineries and restaurants inside its historic buildings.
See the region’s oldest history in the gorges of the Red Banks Conservation Park. Take a walk through time and see why palaeontologists described Red Banks as one of richest mega fauna sites in
In 2001, one of the nation's most important Diprotodon (giant wombat) discoveries was made, dating back 50,000 years. Fossilised remains of a Marsupial Lion have also been found there.
The Clare Valley - history you can see, feel and breathe.
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Things to do
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