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Yankalilla District Heritage Trail

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by Steve Hudson (subscribe)
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Published November 2nd 2015
Remembering the early days of fishing, farming and fun
It was late in 1836 when Colonel William Light walked from Second Valley to Yankalilla and spent five days surveying and exploring the countryside. Some six years later settlers began arriving in Yankalilla, and before long a Council was proclaimed, and in 1857 it was formally declared as a township.

Yankalilla Heritage Trail, Yankalilla Walking Trail, Yankalilla Bakery, Yankalilla Hotel, Normanville, Second Valley, Normanville Hotel, Mary MacKillop, Bungala House
Normanville Jetty - Steve Hudson


In the meantime Robert Norman arrived in Adelaide in 1844 as a dental surgeon and set up home in North Adelaide. In the late 1840's Norman commenced buying land near Yankalilla and by 1855 he had the township surveyed and named Normanville.

Yankalilla Heritage Trail, Yankalilla Walking Trail, Yankalilla Bakery, Yankalilla Hotel, Normanville, Second Valley, Normanville Hotel, Mary MacKillop, Bungala House
Yankalilla Visitor Information Centre - Steve Hudson


Since these early days the district of Yankalilla has grown enormously and observed the passing of many events, a number of which have had significant cultural, religious and maritime significance to South Australia. To enable visitors to gain a greater understanding of these significances, the Yankalilla and District Historical Society have pulled together a heritage trail complete with interpretive signage at each location for the enjoyment of all.

Yankalilla Heritage Trail, Yankalilla Walking Trail, Yankalilla Bakery, Yankalilla Hotel, Normanville, Second Valley, Normanville Hotel, Mary MacKillop, Bungala House
Bungala House - Steve Hudson


The heritage trail starts at the eastern end of Yankalilla where the magnificent Bungala House stands stall. The house was built in the 1850's and 1860's by the Butterworths who operated a neighbouring flour mill.

Yankalilla Heritage Trail, Yankalilla Walking Trail, Yankalilla Bakery, Yankalilla Hotel, Normanville, Second Valley, Normanville Hotel, Mary MacKillop, Bungala House
First Catholic Country School - Steve Hudson


Close by are two buildings of enormous religious significance to South Australia. The first building is the former first Josephite Country Catholic School in SA, which was founded by the then Sister Mary MacKillop and opened in 1867, while nearby is the cottage that was once occupied by Sister Mary Mackillop during her stays in the district.

Yankalilla Heritage Trail, Yankalilla Walking Trail, Yankalilla Bakery, Yankalilla Hotel, Normanville, Second Valley, Normanville Hotel, Mary MacKillop, Bungala House
Informative Signage - Steve Hudson


Heading in to the centre of Yankalilla we pass the first of many antique and curio shops, the post office which has been rebuilt three times, and the Council Chambers. Like most towns the Hotel is one of the oldest buildings, and the Yankalilla Hotel is no different, albeit it has had a number of renovations since first being constructed in 1854.

Yankalilla Heritage Trail, Yankalilla Walking Trail, Yankalilla Bakery, Yankalilla Hotel, Normanville, Second Valley, Normanville Hotel, Mary MacKillop, Bungala House
Yankalilla Hotel - Steve Hudson


Between Yankalilla and Normanville, the Wesleyan Church and Cemetery, and the Shrine of Our Lady of Yankalilla at Christ Church form important foundations to the two townships. Both originally built in the 1850's, these buildings have stood the test of time with both surviving the 1902 earthquake that shook the town.

Yankalilla Heritage Trail, Yankalilla Walking Trail, Yankalilla Bakery, Yankalilla Hotel, Normanville, Second Valley, Normanville Hotel, Mary MacKillop, Bungala House
Christ Church - Steve Hudson
Yankalilla Heritage Trail, Yankalilla Walking Trail, Yankalilla Bakery, Yankalilla Hotel, Normanville, Second Valley, Normanville Hotel, Mary MacKillop, Bungala House
Wesleyan Cemetery - Steve Hudson


A sole cottage, once belonging to Bootmaker John Fowler, lies on the southern side of the Normanville road next to a Park. This cottage is one of the last remaining cottages of this style in South Australia, and has been lovingly restored and maintained by the community. Over the road from the Cottage is the Normanville Hotel which was built by Robert Norman in 1851. In early years the hotel had many uses including as the interim Council Chambers pending the decision as to where to build the formal Council Chambers.

Yankalilla Heritage Trail, Yankalilla Walking Trail, Yankalilla Bakery, Yankalilla Hotel, Normanville, Second Valley, Normanville Hotel, Mary MacKillop, Bungala House
Normanville Hotel - Steve Hudson


Meanwhile, some 15 minutes down the road towards Cape Jervis is the town of Second Valley with its heritage listed Leonard's Mill and the maritime significant Second Valley seawall, causeway, bridge and jetty. Exploring and appreciating these significant assets of yesteryear at Second Valley Beach takes some time, but makes this short detour very worthwhile.

Yankalilla Heritage Trail, Yankalilla Walking Trail, Yankalilla Bakery, Yankalilla Hotel, Normanville, Second Valley, Normanville Hotel, Mary MacKillop, Bungala House
Second Valley Jetty - Steve Hudson


Yankalilla is around 70km from Adelaide, and only 20 minutes further south than the Guan Yin Buddha. The 3km (one way) heritage trail through Yankalilla and Normanville can be easily walked, but the trip to Second Valley requires a car. Brochures on the Heritage Trail are available from the Yankalilla Tourist Information Centre or through the website.
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Why? One of the great spots of the Fleurieu
When: Any time
Where: Yankalilla, South Australia
Cost: Free
Your Comment
My mother's family started in Yankalilla in 1842. Johann Klopp was a blacksmith / Sawyer and some of his handiwork can apparently still be seen around the town.
Thing is I have very little info about the family.
by billa (score: 0|4) 1317 days ago
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