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Published June 23rd 2016
Take this drive to the end of the world
During the mid 1860's many farmers and new immigrants to South Australia probably thought that the world had come to an end when an extended drought ruined their crops, and their hopes of financial freedom. In response to the calls for help, SA's Surveyor General, George Goyder undertook an extensive trip throughout South Australia in 1866 to understand the extent of the drought, and in the process to create Goyder's Line, a delineation between the arable and arid lands.
Goyder's Line extends throughout the State, and in an effort to highlight parts of it, Daytrippa in conjunction with the Regional Council of Goyder have created two self-driving apps to guide visitors on a tour through the region with the northern tour embracing Dares Hill and the southern tour covering World's End.
The World's End Circuit starts from Market Square in the centre of Burra and heads towards the northwest of the town, past the historic Burra Railway Station, and out past the golf course to an old ruins at Cobb and Co corner. Perhaps symbolic of life on the farm, these ruins, which were recently voted as 2nd best view in Australia by Australian Traveller magazine, were made famous by Midnight Oil in their 1987 Album Diesel and Dust.
The circuit then heads west past the Hallett Wind Farm towards Booborowie before heading south across the Mawson Trail and towards Farrell Flat. The green farmlands, abundance of sheep and active farmhouses give a clear indication that we are on the productive side of Goyder's Line.
Leaving Farrell Flat, the countryside begins to change as we head through some rolling hills before getting glimpses of Porter's Lagoon, and the Tothill Ranges. Porter's Lagoon was once the scene of many inland water events during the early 1900's including skiing, swimming and boating. Today it is a glimpse of its former self with it becoming a shallow pink lake during summer, and occasionally filling during winter.
Heading east and continuing with the theme of water and droughts, the trail follows the Morgan-Whyalla pipeline through a valley between the ranges before heading south, crossing the Heysen Trail, towards the once massive pastoral properties of Princess Royal and Anlaby.
The landscape changes again as the trail passes through Brady Creek and the beautiful green Brady Valley before taking visitors to the top of the range at Inspiration Point. From this point the eastern views are uninterrupted for miles, and include the townships of Point Pass and Robertstown, as well as numerous farming properties where the difference in land colours are significant.
Continuing south, the trail passes the small towns of Julia and Hampden, before entering Eudunda. All three of these towns are inextricably linked to Colin Thiele, who grew up in this region in the early 1900's. A statue of Thiele sits pride of place within Eudunda's Centenary Park.
Eudunda Centenary Gardens - Steve Hudson
Leaving Eudunda, the trail crosses Goyder's Line near Sutherlands, and the changed landscape is immediately visible. The green fields from the west are now replaced with combinations of bare soil and natives in an area where rainfall is infrequent.
The trip through Australia Plains sees scattering evidence of sheep farming as the trail now follows almost perfectly on Goyder's Line back towards Burra. The town of Point Pass with the giant golden spire atop the Lutheran Church is worthy of a short stop and some pondering about how this came to be.
A bit further north and just past Robertstown the Burra Creek Gorge appears on the left. Also known as World's End, the creek forms in the nearby hills and over time has managed to form into a series of small billabongs along the lower reaches thus creating an attractive site for weekend and holiday campers alike.
The final 16km of the trip follows the Heysen Trail along World's End Highway where Goyder's Line is easily visible. To the west are green fields and hills, while to the east the sun-drenched countryside shows little apart from acres of saltbush. The remains of old farm buildings as well as the odd church and school provide visible evidence of the harsh lives lived by our early pioneers.
World's End Circuit is relatively long at 237km with petrol stations limited along the route (especially on weekends). However it is possible to split the trip into several parts if travelling to/from the general area, which will allow more time to appreciate some of the smaller towns and attractions. Further details on the circuit are available from the Burra Visitor Information Centre website or facebook page, or from the Daytrippa webpage.
This drive Steve I have done and your coverage as usual is excellent.Possibly there are sections a 4wd would be necessary..I remember going through the Tothill Ranges after leaving Burra and on to Inspiration Point.This road/track was not clearly marked and it was rough in parts.The same could be said for the Dares Hill circuit..longer stretches of rough going.I wonder if there is any explanation why Porter's Lagoon has become dry most of the time?The drive you describe of this rarely traversed area is surprisingly very good,that needs to be taken slowly to fully appreciate it and it the roads are not wet;then this would be a good time to do it.