Fancy spending the night in an abandoned town? Nobody lives there, except for visitors such as yourself who rent one of its renovated heritage lodges. These lodges are self-contained and can comfortably accommodate between two and ten people.
Once known as the thriving gypsum mining town, Inneston
is now a historic township in the heart of Innes National Park
. What remains are its lonely ruins standing proudly near the clear and slightly salty Inneston Lake. Staying overnight in one of the lodges gives you the experience of staying among ruins.
The general store
One way to explore Inneston is by following the easy two-kilometre Inneston Historic Walk trail. Taking about an hour to complete, this trail will transport you back to the era of gypsum-mining before the Great Depression. Inneston Lake was mined in summer when it was dry. Looking around its edges, you can see the depth to which the miners used picks and shovels to mine the top layers of gypsum.
Inneston's resourceful early settlers built a plaster factory, shops, stores and dwellings using local materials such as quarried limestone and gypsum blocks. They had their own school, post office, bakery, general store and stables. They were a self-sufficient community although isolated from the outside world.
The post office
The post office was built to make the task of getting mail easier. Mail was taken to Edithburgh by the local hawker who owned a single-seater car. Using the car, instead of horse and buggy, reduced the travel time to just five hours! Today, the drive between Inneston and Edithburgh takes about an hour.
The stables were built for the Clydesdale horses used on the tramway to haul gypsum to the Stenhouse Bay
jetty. Horsepower operated the tramway until diesel locomotives were introduced. For those who are keen, following the tramway along a four-kilometre trail will lead you to the bay. Alternatively, you could also drive there in 15 minutes.
Be sure to visit this historic township of Inneston next time you're in the Yorke Peninsula. And, do consider staying overnight too. Bookings can be made online via the National Parks and Wildlife Service's website