"LITTLE CORNWALL - MOONTA" Moonta by balhannah

Moonta Travel Guide: 33 reviews and 105 photos

MOONTA - Cornish copper mining history and heritage.

MOONTA, is one of three towns known as the Copper Coast or "Little Cornwall" for their shared copper mining history. The other two are Kadina, site of the famous Wallaroo Mines, and Wallaroo.


Moonta is a lot bigger town with a population about 3,500 people .

It is thought that the name "Moonta" is derived from Moontera, an (Indigenous) Narungga word meaning 'impenetrable scrub.'

Large and rich deposits of copper were discovered at Moonta in 1861 by shepherds from Walter Watson Hughes' sheep farm. This became a prosperous mine, named Wheal Hughes, with other mines soon to follow.

The town was laid out in 1863 and a horse drawn tramway to Wallaroo was established in 1863. Following advertising by the South Australian Government, Cornish miners arrived in Moonta soon afterward.

The primary copper mining operations ceased in 1923, but smaller-scale operations recommenced in the area in the 1990s, and ended 2 years later.

Moonta is surrounded by farms growing barley, wheat and other crops such as legumes, canola, chickpeas and field peas.
Barley from the region is considered to be some of the best in the world.

A 3day festival known as the Kernewek Lowender Cornish festival is held every odd year in May in the Copper Coast towns, where each of the three towns hosts the festival for one day.

Moonta was excellent! Plenty to see, and good accommodation at our seafront caravan park, I really could have stayed much longer, but couldn't, so time to move onto the other Copper Triangle city of WALLAROO

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Moonta has everything for an enjoyable holiday!
  • In a nutshell:A little piece of Cornwall in Australia
  • Last visit to Moonta: May 2012
  • Intro Updated Jun 20, 2014
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Reviews (32)

Comments (2)

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Jun 29, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    Looks like a good town to visit, excellent page, Dee :)

    • balhannah's Profile Photo
      Jun 29, 2014 at 11:29 PM

      Thanks Regina! I would love to be there when the Cornish Festival is on

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Wow, how did I miss this great page! My kind of place to explore, excellent!

balhannah

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