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Published May 2nd 2014
Stretch your legs & enjoy some rural history
If you are heading south-east of Adelaide you'll find the farming town of Keith nestled into the junction of the Dukes and Riddoch Highways.
Known as the Lucerne Capital of Australia this is the Gateway to the Limestone coast. So, if you've been driving for a while it's a great place to stretch your legs and enjoy some South Australian rural history.
Keith Land Scheme Memorial
You would be forgiven for thinking the locals were having a joke by putting someone's old Landrover on a pole, but this memorial pays homage to an important part of Keith's history. This eye catching monument is the Keith Land Scheme Memorial.
During the 1940's the CSIRO discovered that trace elements were missing in the soil in this area of South Australia known at the time as the 90 Mile Desert. The Australian Mutual Provident Society (AMP) realised the potential of this discovery and negotiated with the state government to purchase land. They created a scheme to develop the area into grazing land which in turn created a growth spurt in the population and economy of the farming community.
You can also see a Wiles Hut as it would have been for the AMP settlers whilst working on the scheme. It is one of about 50 that existed, built by the Wiles Industrial Company of Mile end it was in fact two prefabricated steel motor garages joined by a covered walk way. Out the back you'll find a rain water tank and just next door if the kids are restless you'll find a skate park.
Formerly the Congregational Church and ending its days as the Uniting Church this magnificent building is now a museum of the National Trust. It is built in a Gothic style from limestone taken from the surrounding farms and today features beautiful leadlight windows depicting the history of Keith.
The original leadlight windows can be found in the foyer of new Uniting Church. They too are beautiful and a sight to behold.
Mount Monster Conservation Park
No, not another joke! This large granite outcrop gave the area its name until it was surveyed in 1884. Today it is a fabulous park for bushwalking, barbequing or picnicking.
This 93 hectare park is located just 10 kilometres down the Riddoch Highway towards Naracoorte. There are some lovely walks like the Gwen Ellis Walking Trail which winds around the summit and shows the magnificent views of the surrounding area. It is well worth making the 100 metre trek up to Trig Point to take in the three hundred and sixty degree view.
Mount Monster is popular with bird watchers and is part of the Gold Escort Route that bought gold from Melbourne to Adelaide. See if you can find Tolmer's marker.