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Published April 10th 2022
Good things take time in Goolwa
Cittąslow (pronounced chitta-slow) is a philosophy, or mindset, shared by those who value quality of life. It's not about doing things at a snail's pace but doing things at the right pace. It encourages the rare pleasure of stopping to celebrate what is happening around us.
The movement began, in 1999, in Italy and there are now around 130 towns, around the globe, that are certified Cittąslow towns.
Each town focuses on honouring its history and heritage, preserving local traditions, respecting and protecting the environment, valuing local producers, artists and artisans and celebrating community identity. Goolwa became Australia's first accredited Cittąslow town in 2007.
Goolwa has a rich Indigenous history, and, from more modern times, a history of riverboats and trade. Paddle steamers and barges were built at this river port and used to transport wool, wheat and other necessities from further up the Murray River in bygone days. Horse-drawn trains and later steam trains transported this produce along South Australia's first railway line to inland towns. Goolwa still has paddle steamers and steam trains. They provide fun for tourists and a source of pride for locals.
Oscar W Paddle steamer, Goolwa
Goolwa presents an alluring environment due to its unique location, between the River and the Southern Ocean. Visitors flock during winter in the hope of spotting the Southern Right Whales that come to calf in waters off the coast. Goolwa Beach draws crowds during summer, not only for water sports but also to gather Goolwa Pipis.
Nearby The Coorong is a unique ecosystem featuring an expanse of saltwater lagoons and sand dunes that sweep along the coast. The Ngarrindjeri people are the traditional custodians of this special land where birdlife is prolific and the air is pristine.
Cittąslow Goolwa's 'headquarters' is a historic building on the main street. Local food and produce is sold here as well as products in keeping with Cittąslow's focus on sustainability and protection of the environment.
Present-day Goolwa is home to a bounty of artists and artisans who find inspiration in these surroundings and help to promote creativity and productivity, adding to the quality of life for residents and visitors.
Cittąslow Market is held twice each month on Sundays with stalls selling locally produced crafts and locally grown produce.
The Cittąslow Community Garden facilitates the growing and sharing of fresh, chemical-free produce.
Local artisans gather to engage in creative projects involving the community.