Town Hall, Paul Barnet / Explore Australia Publishing

Population 20002

Set in the fork of the North and South Parra rivers and surrounded by rolling hills, it is no wonder that Gawler was picked, in 1839, as the site of South Australia's first country town. The grand architecture of that era can be seen in its stately homes and buildings, especially in the Church Hill State Heritage Area. Gawler is today a major service centre to a thriving agricultural district and has a growing Adelaide commuter population.

Visitor Information

2 Lyndoch Rd; (08) 8522 9260 or 1300 545 254

Nearby national parks

Nearby towns

  • Lyndoch

    Lyndoch is one of the oldest towns in South Australia. The first European explorers, led by Colonel Light in 1837, described the area around...more

  • Tanunda

    Tanunda is at the heart of the Barossa and surrounded by vineyards. The modern-day township grew out of the village of Langmeil, which was...more

  • Nuriootpa

    The long history of winemaking in this Barossa town is apparent when travelling down the main street. Old vines that glow red in autumn...more

In Town

Historical walking trail The excellent trail brochure guides the visitor past stately buildings and homes, many with original cast-iron lacework. The Church Hill State Heritage Area provides a fascinating snapshot of town planning in the 1830s, and the 2.4 km walk around it includes a look at several churches, the old school, the courthouse, and cottages of the Victorian era. Also on the way are Gawler Mill, Eagle Foundry (now a popular B&B), the Anglican Church with its pipe organ (open Sun) and Para Para Mansion (1862), a grand mansion that features a domed ballroom and has had British royalty as its guests (closed to public).

Museum: located in the Old Telegraph Station, this National Trust museum displays the history of Gawler's pioneer past; closed Sat–Mon; Murray St.

Historic main street walking tour: the town is filled with some of South Australia's oldest and most historic hotels, pubs and churches; brochure available from visitor centre.

The Food Forest: award-winning permaculture farm producing 160 varieties of organically certified food; tours available; on the Gawler River.

Fielke Cricket Bats: the only cricket bat maker in South Australia, visit the workshop and see how the English Willow bats are meticulously handcrafted; Crown St.

Dead Man's Pass Reserve: so named because an early pioneer was found dead in the hollow of a tree. It has picnic facilities and a walking trail; southern end of Murray St.

Community Art Gallery: local artwork on display; 23rd St.

Adelaide Soaring Club: glider flights over Gawler and region; Wells Rd; (08) 8522 1877.


Roseworthy Agricultural Museum: a dryland farming museum featuring vintage farm equipment, located at the Roseworthy campus of the University of Adelaide; open every Wed and 3rd Sun each month; (08) 8303 7739; 15 km N.

Freeling: a rural town with a self-guide historical walk; 17 km NE.

Two Wells: named for 2 Aboriginal wells found by original settlers, forgotten, then recovered in 1967. It has craft shops with local crafts; Main Rd; 24 km W.

Stockport Astronomical Facility: run by the Astronomical Society of SA, featuring impressive observatory with public viewing nights; (08) 8338 1231; 30 km N.

Eco-friendly activities around town

Cycling in the Barossa 21 km

In the Barossa, you can hire bikes from the visitor centre in Tanunda and take the paved 7-kilometre cycle path to Nuriootpa. For a guided, multi-day supported bike tour, sampling the best of the region’s cuisine... Find out more

Wine-tasting - Nuriootpa and Angaston 27 km

Elderton Wines near Nuriootpa is a carbonneutral winery. Its cellar door is partially solar-powered and the vineyard is using biodynamic methods of production. Yalumba in Angaston has three organic wines and an... Find out more

Adelaide Zoo 37 km

With its catchphrase ‘We exist to save animals from extinction’, this is another of Australia’s excellent zoos. Visit the Giant Panda enclosure to see the Wang Wang and Funi. The sea-lion display... Find out more

Aboriginal gallery, Adelaide 38 km

The Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery at the South Australian Museum holds the largest collection of Aboriginal artefacts in the world. Some 3000 are on display at any one time.... Find out more

Morialta Conservation Park 39 km

One of the most stunning parks in the region and located only 10 kilometres north-east of Adelaide, this has waterfalls and deep gorges, woodlands, koalas, echidnas and southern brown bandicoots. The pick of the walks is... Find out more

Swimming with dolphins off Glenelg 47 km

Since 2002, the eco-accredited Temptation Sailing has offered a ‘swim with the dolphins sail’ on a 17-metre catamaran out of Glenelg, in which the bottlenose and common dolphins reputedly come to the vessel... Find out more

Golf courses around town

The Grange Golf Club (East Course) 39 km

Vern Morcom was working on the final changes to The Grange’s West course redesign when the club announced plans for a second course. Morcom was asked to design it, on 150 acres of adjoining land, and the East... Find out more

The Grange Golf Club (West Course) 39 km

Melbourne’s sandbelt wasn’t the only region in which golf course construction was booming during the 1920s. Various sites in Adelaide’s western suburbs – Kooyonga in 1922, Glenelg in 1926... Find out more

Royal Adelaide Golf Club 39 km

In the city of churches, Royal Adelaide is the golfing equivalent of the Vatican. Every visiting golfer should make a pilgrimage to this Dr Alister MacKenzie-designed layout, one of Australia’s top 10 courses,... Find out more

Kooyonga Golf Club 41 km

Kooyonga is a thinking player’s golf course. One of the game’s greatest strategists, Peter Thomson, gave an insight into what is required to play well at Kooyonga after winning the 1972 Australian Open here.... Find out more

Glenelg Golf Club 45 km

Glenelg is to Adelaide what Bondi is to Sydney – the city’s most popular beach suburb. The terminus for the City to Bay tram, a Glenelg icon, can be found where Jetty Rd meets the beach, where you will... Find out more

Nearby eco-friendly places to eat

The Locavore 45 km

The Locavore (‘local eater’) at Stirling in the Adelaide Hills sticks to the ‘100-mile’ philosophy of sourcing food, which in its case includes the Barossa, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and the... Find out more

The Organic Market and Cafe 45 km

This bustling cafe and organic produce outlet in Stirling was the national winner of the best organic retailer award. Something of an institution in the area, it has delicious antipasto platters and great coffee. About... Find out more

Goodlife 47 km

This innovative restaurant and takeaway not only makes carbon-neutral pizzas, but also places an emphasis on sourcing produce that is organic and local. Takeaway pizzas here even come tied up with string.... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Coopers Brewery 34 km

More than any other Australian brewery, Coopers has grown significant market share over the past two decades on the back of increased demand for alternative beer styles. It was established in 1862 by Yorkshireman Thomas... Find out more

Brewboys 35 km

One of the country’s newest craft beermaking enterprises, Brewboys is a partnership between Stephen Nelsen and Simon Sellick, who also operate the contract brewing company Fresh Cellars. At present they utilise a... Find out more

Adelaide Hills Craft Brewing 36 km

Located in the former Onkaparinga woollen mill complex at Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills, this brewery/bar is run by Alistair Turnbull and Phil Jones. The pair turned their backs on careers in banking to study brewing in... Find out more

South Australian Brewing Company 38 km

Established in 1888, the South Australian Brewing Company became the state’s dominant beer-maker by steadily acquiring competitors like the Kent Town Brewery, West End Brewery and the Walkerville Co-operative... Find out more

Campsites around town

The Old School House camping area 22 km

On the Heysen Trail, this historic building in the north of the reserve sleeps 8 and has tent spaces close by. You’ll find it 9 km east of Williamstown, from Springton Rd. Book ahead, as access is via a gate.... Find out more

Rocky Paddock camping area 22 km

A large open campground set among rocky outcrops on the edge of the forest plantation, this site is 1 km from the information centre off Tower Rd. There is water here but it is not suitable for drinking, so carry in your... Find out more

Centennial Drive camping area 22 km

This long creekside campsite next to Centennial Dr and stands of large radiata pines is on the Heysen Trail. A short – but steep – climb from here leads to Mt Crawford. The sites are 12 km east of... Find out more

Mount Crawford camping area (bush camping) 23 km

For self-sufficient walkers there are assorted bush camping options along the Heysen Trail, with walk-in access only, including 2 huts. The information office can provide details. Some have rainwater tanks but bring a... Find out more

Fromms Farm camping area 24 km

This former dairy is now a generous-sized shelter for group camping, with tent spaces close by. It's located on Mount Rd, 2 km from the information centre. You enter via a gate, so you need to book. This camping area... Find out more

Chalks camping area 24 km

This expansive and popular grassed site is set among river gums on Chalks Rd, close to the corner of Warren and Forreston rds, 4 km from the information centre. There’s a short walk from the parking area over... Find out more

Cromer Shed camping area 28 km

This recent addition to the forest’s list of campsites features a large shelter shed among eucalypt woodland on the south-eastern edge of the forest. It’s off Cricks Mill Rd, 7 km west of Mt Pleasant.... Find out more

Brownhill Creek Recreation Caravan Park 44 km

At this surprising natural nook just a few minutes south from Adelaide, mighty river red gums flank the creek, part of a major valley catchment. There are picnic areas and trails exploring the valley and beyond. To get... Find out more

Belair Park Caravan Park 45 km

Just off Upper Sturt Rd, close to the national park’s main entrance, this well-equipped caravan park has a playground and pool. Book ahead during peak holiday times, and bring a gas/fuel stove.... Find out more

Port Parham camping area 49 km

Famed for its shallow waters and great crabbing beach, this small coastal settlement is a much-loved spot for family outings and boating. The camping is on a council reserve on the northern edge of town, with access 1 km... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Gawler Caravan Park 1 km

This is a good quality park close to the town centre and located on the banks of the Gawler River. It is a good base for exploring the nearby Barossa Valley and is easily accessible from the Sturt and Barrier highways.... Find out more

Tanunda Caravan and Tourist Park 20 km

Enjoy the Barossa Valley experience from this popular park; it is a great base for exploring the fabulous wine-producing region. Located 1.5 km from the town centre, with easy access, it offers patrons a good range of... Find out more

Barossa Valley Tourist Park 28 km

This good quality Barossa Valley caravan park has a large number of sites, a choice of accommodation and a range of facilities including tennis courts. It is within walking distance of the town centre and close to... Find out more

Levi Park Caravan Park 34 km

Levi Park is just 5 km from the city and a very good base for exploring central Adelaide. It has shady caravan sites and pleasant grassy tent sites, all located in a magnificent historic garden. The River Torrens flows... Find out more

Discovery Holiday Parks - Adelaide Beachfront 37 km

With very good amenities and a wide range of facilities, this quality park is close to Port Adelaide, Football Park and the West Lakes shopping complex, as well as only 10 km from the city centre. It is one of... Find out more

Brown Hill Creek Tourist Park 44 km

This picturesque owner-operated park is set in the Adelaide foothills, 7 km south-east of the city. Its 120-acre bushland setting offers lots of shade and facilities include a tennis court. A minimum-stay period applies... Find out more

Marion Holiday Park 49 km

This tourist park in the southern suburbs is close to the enormous Marion shopping centre. It has very good amenities, shaded areas and good facilities including a recreation room and a tennis court. It makes a good base... Find out more

Brighton Caravan Park and Holiday Village 53 km

Just 17 km from Adelaide city, this tourist park enjoys absolute beach frontage and has a nice, relaxed feel. It is a popular family park and bookings are essential during busy holiday periods. A 2-night minimum-length... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

The Garden Pavilion

Gorgeous garden vistas are a feature of this romantic self-contained B&B. Set in a sprawling country garden, the property has a wonderful parkland ambience with stunning border plantings and impressive specimen... Find out more

The Miner’s Cottage

Escape to a classic stone cottage with an astute blend of heritage character and nurturing comfort. There’s no fuss, just stylish essentials like a snug sitting room with open fire, your own neat kitchen space and... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Clarion Hotel Soho 38 km

Completed at the end of 2008, this five-star boutique hotel was designed with many hidden environmental features, such as water-recycling systems, sustainable building materials and airflow and passive cooling to reduce... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Moppa Road rest area 26 km

29km NE of Gawler (L) or 3km W of Nuriootpa (R)

Just off the highway behind a few trees.

Tarlee park area 36 km

At Tarlee

Adjacent to the highway. In the middle of town.

Dublin park area 40 km

At Dublin

On the service road.

Truro East Rest Area 41 km

1 km E of Truro (L) or 45 km W of Blanchetown (R)

Small area just off the highway among a few large trees. Good shade.

Riverton rest area 48 km

At Riverton

Just off the highway among trees. On the south side of town.

Winkler park area 56 km

2km S of Saddleworth (L) or 7km N of Riverton (R)

Very small area adjacent to the highway. Limited shade.

Inkerman South rest area 58 km

22km N of Dublin (L)

Just off the highway. For northbound only.

Hanson rest area 62 km

13km S of Burra (L) or 28km N of Manoora (R)

Just off the highway among a stand of pine trees. 

Inkerman North rest area 62 km

12km S of Port Wakefield (L)

Just off the highway. For southbound only.

What's on around town

Markets: Gawler Railway Station; Sun mornings.

Antique and Collectors Auction: Gawler Greyhound Pavillion; 1st Sun each month.

Band Festival: Mar.

Gourmet and Heritage Festival: even-numbered years, Apr.

Barossa Cup: horseracing; May.

Gawler Show: Aug.

Christmas Street Festival: Dec.

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