I am a writer living in Adelaide. I love food and travel.
Published August 11th 2020
A delightful township in the southern Flinders Ranges
When you think of the word Laura, you think of a name, and you're not wrong. Laura Hughes, wife of pastoralist Herbert Hughes, was whom a delightful township in the southern Flinders Ranges was named after. In 1872, a section of the Booyoolee Run pastoral holding was subdivided, and as a result, the township of Laura was established.
Laura became a supply post in the 1880s for the construction of the nearby Beetaloo Reservoir, which was the largest concrete dam in the southern hemisphere at that time. The reservoir was built to supply water to the struggling farmers in Yorke Peninsula. Later, Laura also became a producer of beer, ice and dairy products for the booming mining operations in Broken Hill about 350 kilometres away. Today, the town is more known as the home of the Golden North ice cream and the boyhood years of Australian poet CJ Dennis.
If you're a South Aussie, you would know that Golden North is an icon of the state. Its factory was established in Laura in 1923, and is still manufacturing ice cream as we speak. Unfortunately, it is not open to the public, so no factory tours or retail sales.
As for CJ Dennis, Laura was where he spent much of his youth. His father owned the Beetaloo Reservoir Hotel during the early 1900s. Although less known today, he was a prosperous poet in Australian history. A statue commemorating this much respected local identity stands on the median strip opposite the town's post office.