soil for wheat cropping near Balaklava
Typical wheatbelt town with a number of
attractive sandstone buildings.
Located 92 km from Adelaide and 26 km from Port
Wakefield, Balaklava is an important service
town with a number of interesting buildings.
Although it only experiences 391 mm rainfall per
year it is a quietly attractive town with rows
of pine trees and green ovals and playing
fields. In summer, when the rainfall drops to
nearly zero and the temperature rises, the town
is surrounded the dry barren landscape of the
The town came into existence in 1849 as one
of the many stopover points on the route from
the Burra copper fields to Port Wakefield. The
town proper was established in 1870 by an
Adelaide grain merchant, Charles Fisher. It was
named after the famous Crimean War Battle of
Balaklava which Fisher reversed the usual
process by building large wheat stores hoping
that the commercial advantage would attract
farmers to the area. The reason for this unusual
development was that a 'tramway' had been
completed between Hoyleton and Port Wakefield in
1870 and there was no stopover point on the
route. Fisher's instincts were correct. Sheep
and wheat farmers moved into the area. The first
meeting of the town council occurred in 1878 and
by 1885 the town had a population of 550.
Even today the town, on the flat countryside,
is economically driven by wheat and sheep. It is
characterised by a large number of old style
sandstone houses and the distinctive curio of an
elaborate 'Keep Left' sign in the centre of town
which is notable for the fact that the solitary
light globe has an overhead powerline which
comes down to it.
'Keep Left' sign in the centre of
Things to see:
Balaklava Folk Museum
The Centenial Hall is now a folk museum which
contains local agricultural implements and a
wide range of local memorabilia. It is located
in May Terrace and signposted off Wallace
Street, the town's main street. Open Monday to
Friday on request - Tel: (08) 8862 1626
Avon Art & Craft Guild
This local craft guild meets regularly to
practice traditional wool crafts including
spinning, dyeing and weaving. For more
information contact (08) 8862 7041
Lions Club Walking Trail
There is an attractive walk along the banks of
the Wakefield River which has been organised and
signposted by the local Lions Club.
Located 7 km north east of Balaklava the Devils
Gardens Reserve is an interesting picnic
destination noted for its fine stands of river
box gum trees.
The Rocks Reserve
Located south of Balaklava the Rocks Reserve is
a pleasant 11.5 hectare picnic and walking
destination on the banks of the Wakefield River.
It takes its name from the attractive rock
formations which have been created by the river.