Mill, now the town's museum
Tiny sleepy little wheatbelt township
Located 57 km from Adelaide, Mallala is a tiny
town with a population of around 500 people. It
is 41 m above sea level and has an annual
rainfall of 400 mm. The town's name is reputedly
derived from the local Aboriginal word 'madlola'
which supposedly meant 'place of the ground
frog'. It was first used by Phillip Butler who
took up a sheep run in the area in the 1840s. By
the 1860s the area had been subdivided and a
substantial number of sheep and wheat farmers
were finding the conditions ideal. The town
prospered and a large, and beautiful, flour mill
was built to process the local wheat harvest.
The town never grew to any great size. The
impressive World War I war memorial in the
centre of town records only ten people from the
town being killed. In essence the town remained
a largely unspoilt 19th century village.
Mallala changed briefly during World War II
when a flying school was established in the
district. Suddenly the town had a population of
over 2,000 people. After the war the buildings
which had housed the trainees were used for
newly arrived immigrants from war torn Europe.
By the 1960s the town had returned to its
previous quietness. Today it is a sleepy little
village which is a typical 19th century South
Australian wheat town.
The area was settled in the 1840s
It is an intensely sleepy little township
with a museum in what appears to be an old wheat
mill which is only open on Sundays.
Things to see:
Memorial in the centre of town
World War I Memorial
The smallness of the town is perfectly captured
in the First World War Memorial which has the
insignia 'In honour of ten men who died in
defence of home and liberty'. The men died in
France, Palestine and Egypt.
The town's museum (make enquiries regarding its
opening times) is located in the old Flour Mill.
It contains an interesting collection of local
Adelaide Plains Parish Uniting Church
The Adelaide Plains Uniting Church was the old
Methodist Church. It is an extraordinary church
which is out of balance. It looks as though one
of the turrets has fallen off. The church was
built in 1909 and the stone was laid by Sir
Samuel Way, who was the lieutenant-governor of
South Australia at the time.