Where is the best place to find ruins? Well, the remains of our community's architecture may not be the most famous in the world, but our fallen structures still have great importance and outstanding value in preserving the history of South Australia.
There are at least four locations where I am able to find partially intact ruins even though much time has gone by.
The first is within Anstey Hill Recreation Park approximately 16 kilometres northeast of Adelaide. The nearest car park is at Gate 6 on Perseverance Road. Venturing along Water Gully Track brought me to the extensive ruins of the once largest nursery in the southern hemisphere. Established by Charles Newman in the 1860s, Newman's Nursery had glasshouses, hothouses, shade houses, stables, barn, hay shed and buggy shed. An enormous variety of fruit trees were grown, sold and exported from here.
Secondly, I found the abandoned township of Inneston in the Yorke Peninsula to be rather impressive. Once a thriving gypsum mining town, its lonely ruins now stand proudly giving visitors the experience of staying overnight among what remains. But, don't worry, you won't actually be sleeping in a derelict structure. There are self-contained renovated heritage lodges for rent, although, I'm sure you will still feel the isolation far away from the rest of the world.
The third location has been restored as a place of pilgrimage. In 1851, the Jesuits purchased property at Sevenhill in the Clare Valley and later built Weikert Cottage where farmer Franz Weikert lived until his death. Franz led a group of Catholics from Silesia, a few years prior, to South Australia in pursuit of religious freedom. The cottage is located just a short wander from the Sevenhill Cellars car park.
Lastly, there is the Baroota Homestead ruins within the Mambray Creek section of Mount Remarkable National Park. The remains of this struggling homestead was a six-roomed pine paling house for the Baroota run which flourished for a short time before drought and floods killed its sheep and therefore destroyed livelihoods. The conditions these people faced were truly harsh.
Where are some other places you have found ruins in South Australia? I would love to know your thoughts.