History

The townships of Kadina, Wallaroo and Moonta acquire the name of the ‘Copper Coast’ due to the copper mining surge which dates back to the late 1800s. When green coloured stones where first discovered in 1859 at Wallaroo Mines (Kadina), the future of this area changed forever. In 1860 the Wallaroo Mining Company was formed, producing 26,000 ton of ore by the mid 1860s. The discovery of copper at Moonta began in 1861 with Patrick ‘Paddy’ Ryan also uncovering the traces of green stones. The Tipara Mining Association was formed and by 1870 more than 5000 people were dependant on the mine, which was producing 20,000 ton of ore. Wallaroo foreshore became the location of the Wallaroo Mining Companies smelting works in 1860 and was regarded at one point in time the largest smelting works in the world. The smelter operated through until 1923.

Even today when walking through the heritage sites it is hard to contain your excitement as you climb the red skimps and witness a flash of green, evidence of the copper ore. But nothing like the excitement it caused back in the 19th century.

Interesting Facts

KADINA ‘Lizard Plain’

  • Just under a 2 hour drive from Adelaide CBD (148km)
  • Rich copper mining and agriculture heritage
  • Largest town on Yorke Peninsula with a population of approximately 5,000 people.
  • In the late 19th century, Kadina had a population of 20,000
  • Only 17km to Moonta and 9km to Wallaroo

MOONTA ‘Impenetrable Scrub’

  • Just over a 2 hour drive from Adelaide CBD (167km)
  • Famous for copper mining, Cornish heritage and the Cornish Pasty
  • 4,238 residents of Moonta, Moonta Bay and Port Hughes (2011 Census)
  • 17km from Kadina and 17km from Wallaroo

WALLAROO ‘Wallaby Waters/Urine’

  • Approximately a 2 hour drive from Adelaide CBD (156km)
  • Natural deep sea port
  • Home to Spencer Gulf’s prawn fleet
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