Balaklava is set on the Wakefield River in an area dominated by traditional wheat and sheep farms. It sprang up as a stopping point between the Burra copper fields and Port Wakefield, but a grain merchant from Adelaide, Charles Fisher, soon turned the focus to agriculture. He built grain stores here before there was any sign of grain. This proved a canny move, as it lured farmers to the area. The town features old sandstone buildings and a 'silent cop', a curious keep-left sign in the middle of a roundabout.
Council offices, Scotland Pl; (08) 8862 0800.
Nearby national parks
Courthouse Gallery The arts are alive and well in Balaklava, as shown by this community-run art gallery that has a changing program of local and visiting exhibitions, plus a popular art prize in July. Open 2–4pm Thurs, Fri and Sun; Edith Tce.
Museum: old household items and local memorabilia; Old Centenary Hall, May Tce.
Urlwin Park Agricultural Museum: old agricultural machinery, 2 old relocated banks and a working telephone exchange; open 2–4pm, 2nd and 4th Sun each month or by appt; Short Tce; (08) 8862 1854.
Walking trail: scenic 3 km track along the riverbank.
Port Wakefield Behind the highway's long line of takeaways and petrol stations is a quiet town that began life as a cargo port to carry the copper mined in Burra's Monster Mine back to Port Adelaide. It is set on the mangrove-lined Wakefield River at the top of Gulf St Vincent. The wharf, which has a floor of mud at low tide, is now used by the local fishing industry. A historical walk brochure is available from the Port Wakefield/Rivergum Information Centre. This is a popular spot for fishing, crabbing and swimming. 25 km W.
Devils Garden:a picnic spot among river box gums, once a 'devil of a place' for bullock wagons to get through as the black soil quickly turned to mud; 7 km NE.
Rocks Reserve: walking trails and unique rock formations by the river; 10 km E.
Balaklava Gliding Club: offers weekend 'air experience flights' with an instructor; Whitwarta Airfield; (08) 8864 5062; 10 km NW.
Fishing spots near town
Ardrossan 55 kmLocated on the east side of the Yorke Peninsula, Ardrossan is bountiful water just 150 km west of Adelaide, so is a popular weekend fishing destination. Looking out on the long pier at Ardrossan, it’s striking how... Find out more
Eco-friendly activities around town
Cycling in the Barossa 66 kmIn 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
Campsites around town
Auburn Caravan Park 28 kmThis small park is in Auburn, the historic gateway town to the Clare Valley at the start of the popular Riesling Trail, on Saddleworth Rd, next to the oval and recreation grounds. Follow the sign from the Mid North Rd.... Find out more
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Port Parham camping area 34 kmFamed 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
White Cliffs Reserve 61 kmCome to White Cliffs for pleasant camping beside the Broughton River with its reed-fringed waterholes and stately river gums. You’ll find it on Yacka Rd, 6 km east of Koolunga. Bring firewood and water, and... Find out more
Bunyip Park camping area 61 kmOff the beaten track, Koolunga is a quiet farming town north of Clare. It’s a handy overnight stop for north-bound travellers and, as the site’s name suggests, the town is also renowned for sightings of the... Find out more
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Caravan parks around town
Gawler Caravan Park 58 kmThis 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
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Rest areas around town
Inkerman North rest area 21 km
12km S of Port Wakeﬁeld (L)
Just off the highway. For southbound only.
Inkerman South rest area 22 km
22km N of Dublin (L)
Just off the highway. For northbound only.
Riverton rest area 31 km
Just off the highway among trees. On the south side of town.
Winkler park area 34 km
2km S of Saddleworth (L) or 7km N of Riverton (R)
Very small area adjacent to the highway. Limited shade.
Dublin park area 34 km
On the service road.
Lake Lochiel rest area 34 km
82km S of Warnertown (L) or 33km N of Port Wakeﬁeld (R)
Just off the highway and overlooking the lake.
Tarlee park area 36 km
Adjacent to the highway. In the middle of town.
Hanson rest area 37 km
13km S of Burra (L) or 28km N of Manoora (R)
Just off the highway among a stand of pine trees.
Snowtown North rest area 48 km
62km S of Warnertown (L)
Under trees just off the highway. For southbound only.
Moppa Road rest area 62 km
29km NE of Gawler (L) or 3km W of Nuriootpa (R)
Just off the highway behind a few trees.
What's on around town
Adelaide Plains Cup Festival: arts and crafts exhibitions, as well as golf and clay-shooting competitions; 1st Sun in Mar.
Balaklava Cup: major regional horserace; Aug.