Inspired by Australia's natural, developing and fun environments.
Get some inspiration.
Published October 3rd 2015
Where redgum, butter and a bakery make all the difference
Meadows, that small town in the Adelaide Hills that is famous for its Easter fair, country markets and a great bakery, is also the home of a short heritage walk which makes an ideal day trip or perhaps a stopover point on the way through the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Starting at Battunga Park at the junction of the main roads, the first interpretive signs tell us a little about the Peramangk people, their beliefs in the area, and the naming of the district as Battunga country, meaning place of big trees. Meadows was first surveyed in 1839 with the first buildings appearing in the early 1840's.
Battunga Park was created in 1939 to commemorate the centenary of Meadows and as a place for travellers to rest and picnic in the shade. A playground, toilets and numerous bench seats have been added over the years by the Mt Barker Council while the local community have worked hard to revegetate the small but meandering Meadows Creek.
Neighbouring the creek is the Meadows Memorial Hall, the home of monthly Meadows Country Market and the popular Meadows Easter Fair. The Hall, looking different to most other halls in other towns, had an original life as a butter factory, one of two in the town during the last century. Economics and automobiles saw the closure of butter making in the town, with the community working hard to generate alternative uses for the building, a task that they have largely succeeded at.
Further along Mawson Road, we pass the Butchers Shop (#65) which has been operating continuously since 1937, the General Store (#69), the former Oddfellows Hall (#71) and Meadows Oval which is the home of local football, cricket, tennis and netball, and the home to the famous Meadows Annual Country Fair which is held on the third Sunday in October each year.
Crossing the road the walk takes us past the Meadows Post Office (#85), a building that was built in 1884 and is still in use today. The walk now takes us up a short hill to the Meadows Pioneer Wesleyan Cemetery, on the site of the first chapel in Meadows which was built in the early 1840's. Fast forward 30 years and the congregation decided that walking up the hill to the chapel and the cemetery was no longer fun, so the chapel closed and was relocated to the Main Road.
A quick walk through the cemetery reveals that the first burial was in 1855, and that many locals have been buried here over the years. And in a unique touch, there are a number of headstones made out of local redgum which was obviously easier to source than granite and stone. These headstones have been restored and protected by the Battunga Country Lions Club, and provide that unique insight in to the area.
As we head down the hill we pass the St George's Anglican Church, the only original church building left in Meadows. Alongside the Church is the former Meadows Institute and Council Chambers, both which are now private businesses.
The final formal stop on the walk is the former Meadows Schoolhouse. Over the years, I have stopped at the building many times without fully appreciating its heritage as a Schoolhouse prior to it becoming the popular Meadows Bakery and Tearooms.
Walking back to the start we pass the Meadows War Memorial and a giant sculpture which has been placed in the gardens as part of the Adelaide Hills Sculpture Trail. This sculpture is known as 'Fossils' and was prepared by Sculptor Petre Petrov during the 2014 Adelaide Hills International Sculpture Symposium.
The Meadows Heritage Walk is 2.5km and should take less than an hour to complete, but if you are like me and find it mandatory to stop at the Meadows Bakery, then I'd allow a little more time. Details on the walk are available from the Meadows Community website or from the Meadows Community facebook page.