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Burra - Cities, Towns and Localities

Located on the edge of nowhere, this wonderfully preserved copper mining town is a must see for those interested in the early days of South Australia’s heritage. Located in the Bald Hills Ranges, 156 north east of Adelaide, Burra is listed on the National Estate Register and also the South Australian State Heritage Area in 1993.

Copper was first discovered here in 1846 by two shepherds Thomas Pickett and William Streair. Several villages soon sprung up with different flavours of settlers. For instance Hampton (English), Aberdeen (Scottish), Redruth (Cornish), and Llywchwr (Welsh). The towns merged and became what is now known as Burra. Nobody seems to know how the town got its name it just came about.

However the mine didn’t last forever at this time Burra was second in size to Adelaide. In 1877 the mine closed and the town became a regional centre for the vast agricultural holdings in the area. The township today provides a wonderful insight into the ways in which early colonist lived and worked.

Make Burra your base to visit nearby Robertstown, Eudunda, Marrabel, Saddleworth and the Clare Valley Region.

Check out our listing of Burra accommodation and Clare Valley accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre icon

Burra Tourist Information Centre
2 Market Square
Ph: 08 8892 2154
Open 7 days a week 9 am - 5 pm
1 pm - 4 pm
Closed Christmas Day
Hours may vary, contact visitor centre

Located in the middle of Market Square, opposite the Rotunda. Simply follow the blue and yellow "I" signs from the entrances to town.

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Burra Attractions

Bon Accord Mine Complex
The Bon Accord Mine Complex is owned and administered by the National Trust, Burra branch and is concerned with preserving, studying and exhibiting real things which help in illustrating and explaining the story of the Burra area.
Burra Heritage Passport
The Burra Heritage Passport allows visitors to the region to fully enjoy the museums and tours available in the historic township of Burra. Discovering Historic Burra is provided with both Burra Heritage Passport options, which allows visitors to discover the heritage trail at their own leisure. The 11 kilometre heritage trail has been clearly marked out around the town. There are 49 sites along the trail.
Burra Mine Site
Copper ore was discovered at Burra in 1845 and by 1850 Burra was the largest metal mine in Australia, employing 1,000 men and boys. The surface and underground mining operations were typically Cornish. Beam pumping and winding engines were imported from Cornwall and housed in traditional Cornish engine houses. The mine closed in 1877 after producing ore containing about 50,000 tonnes of copper (today’s value about AUD200 million). Between 1971 and 1981 open cutting, producing an additional 24,000 tonnes of copper, reworked the mine.
Enginehouse Museum
Morphett’s Engine house once housed a Cornish Bean engine used for pumping and winding when the Burra copper mine was being worked. The Engine house has been faithfully restored to original condition. Consisting of three floors, each floor has comprehensive displays on Beam Engines, Engine Houses and Morphett’s Engine house itself.
This was an English style township, a private township named after an Assayer at the Smelting Works Edward Hampton. It contained thirty simple miners cottages and a Bible Christian Chapel. Much of the stone quarried there was used in many of Burra’s fine old buildings. The township was abandoned finally in 1960.
Market Square Museum
If you want to have a look at Burra’s Heritage you should include a visit to the Market Square Museum, Burra’s first museum opened by the National Trust in 1966.
Miner’s Dugouts
In 1851 up to 2000 miners and their families lived in these dugouts along the riverbed. Floods drove many people out into the homes built by the mining companies. Wages were low, but some miners continued to live in poor conditions with the constant threat of floods and disease, rather than pay rent. By 1860 the dugouts were virtually deserted.
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Burra Distance

Distance to Burra
• Following are some approximate distances by road to Burra:
Adelaide 154
• Clare 41
Gawler 113
Morgan 87
Peterborough 87
Waikerie 129
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate maps.
The Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.
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• Burra Maps
Bing Maps - Burra, SA
Google Maps - Burra SA 5417
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Burra Other Links

• Burra Community/Local Government Links
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