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Published April 3rd 2016
The inland trail of forests, creeks and planes
Located in the middle of the Yorke Peninsula, Minlaton is an important regional town located around two hours away from Adelaide, and a perfect spot for that mandatory driving break. While there, the Minlaton Walking Trail is a short trail which provides visitors to get a unique insight in to the cultural and farming life of South Australia's own Yorke Peninsula.
The Walking Trail commences from the Yorke Peninsula Visitor Centre at Harvest Corner, where the lovely staff will helpfully provide you with a brochure outlining the significant items along the trail that are worthy of more than a passing look.
The trail leaves the visitor centre and heads north along the Main Road passing the old Post Office (1912), the War Memorial in the centre of the road, and the gigantic mural featuring the life and times of Minlaton's favourite son, Captain Harry Butler.
Continuing north the trail passes the National Trust Museum which is home to a wealth of information and artefacts from the region including the much loved Harry Butler room. Further north, a life-size statue of Captain Butler stands outside the memorial where a replica of Harry's famous Red Devil plane is housed. Alongside the memorial is a parking area which is a pleasant rest stop for families traveling through the town.
A quick glance across the road and the familiar sight of emus dawdling through a paddock appears. The HJ Cook Fauna Park has been a popular stopping point for families for years with its range of emus, kangaroos, birds and reptiles keeping kids busy for some time.
Heading west the walking trail diverts through some natural bush land on the edge of the golf course where old wooden bridges cross a small creek. The wood on some of these bridges comes from the former Port Julia Jetty, which demonstrates the great recycling efforts of the community.
Crossing the road and the bushland changes withe the addition of river red gums, an oddity in the centre of the Yorke Peninsula. The trees are believed to be around 500 years old, and were nurtured by various inhabitants of the land over the years, but sadly many are dying due to the increased salinity levels in the area.
Gum Flat was the original European name of the town, and was also the name of the large sheep station on the eastern side of town, with its original homestead still standing tall today. Nearby the old horse dip has been restored by local schoolchildren while a series of aboriginal wells which bore 'sweet water' gave rise to the name of Minlacowie, or Minlaton as it has now become.
Heading back towards town a large forest of drooping sheoaks adorns the pathway providing shelter from all elements for walkers as they head past the Minlaton Hotel and back to their starting point at Harvest Corner.
The Minlaton Walking Trail is around 3km long, and is suitable for pushers and wheelchairs. The Trail should take just under an hour to complete, with details available from the Visitor Information Centre.