The town of Balaklava (population 2048, postcode 5461) is located in South Australia, 92 kilometres north of adelaide in the mid-north region. It is on the south bank of the wakefield river, 25 kilometres (16 miles) east of port wakefield. Since prehistoric times the Balaklava district has been near the boundaries of the Kaurna and Peramangk peoples. The first Europeans to traverse the district was john hill and Thomas burr on 29 April 1840. They discovered the diamond lake and encamped near Owen. The first European settlers in the area were James and Mary Dunn who in 1850 opened a hotel to service bullock teamsters carting copper ore upon the gulf road between the Burra mine and the export port of port wakefield. Balaklava was first on the 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) narrow gauge port wakefield railway line which was an isolated horse-drawn tramway inland through Balaklava to Hoyleton. This was eventually taken over by south Australian railways and converted to steam, as well as being extended at both ends. Balaklava was later considered to be on the Gladstone railway line, with a junction to port wakefield. The line to Balaklava from Hamley bridge (connecting to adelaide) opened in 1878. It was converted to 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) broad gauge in 1927 and still existed as far as Balaklava up to 2002. The last freight on the line was bulk grain in 2004. As the Balaklava railway station was originally on the port wakefield to Hoyleton line, before the railway from Hamley bridge was built, and that line entered the town from the southeast, trains travelling using the route between Gladstone and adelaide needed to change direction at Balaklava, as both the north and south lines entered the station from the east, with port wakefield being to the west. The name of the town was originally spelled balaclava. Balaklava was subjected to windblown contamination from British nuclear tests and is home to a long-time nuclear veteran campaigner, Avon Hudson.

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 Location Information

  • Elevation: 68 m (223 ft)
  • Population: 1902, 2,048
  • State electorate(s): Frome
  • Federal Division(s): Grey
  • Established (yr): 1870
  • Population information is based on 2016 Census data.

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