Port Wakefield Jetty, Wakefield Regional Council

Population 1627

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.

Visitor Information

Council offices, Scotland Pl; (08) 8862 0800.

Nearby national parks

Nearby towns

  • Mintaro

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  • Clare

    Clare is known as the 'Garden of the North'. In the mid-1800s, Edward John Eyre reported favourably on the area and pastoral settlement...more

  • Kapunda

    Kapunda is between two wine districts – the Barossa Valley and the Clare Valley – but its history is very different. Copper was discovered...more

In Town

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 km

Located 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

Wine-tasting - Nuriootpa and Angaston 65 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

Cycling in the Barossa 66 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

Nearby breweries

Knappstein Enterprise Brewery 39 km

History has turned full circle for the Clare Valley’s Enterprise Brewery, which ceased beer-making operations in 1916, but was revived for its original purpose in 2006. In between time, this gorgeous sandstone... Find out more

Campsites around town

Auburn Caravan Park 28 km

This 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

Port Arthur Roadside Rest Area 32 km

A shady, no-frills stop for weary travellers at the head of Gulf St Vincent, the rest area is close to mangrove flats where you might see wading birds at low tide. It’s just off the Port Wakefield–Yorketown... Find out more

Port Parham camping area 34 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

White Cliffs Reserve 61 km

Come 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 km

Off 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

Burra Creek Gorge camping area 66 km

Mighty river red gums feature in this extensive reserve on Robertson Rd, 26 km south from Burra on the Heysen Trail. After winter rains the creek environment is a lush habitat for birds and other wildlife. It’s a... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Gawler Caravan Park 58 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

Barossa Valley Tourist Park 65 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

Tanunda Caravan and Tourist Park 66 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

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

At Riverton

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

At Dublin

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

At Tarlee

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.

Show: Sept.

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