Yorke Peninsula, South Australia - Curramulka

Curramulka
Curramulka is tiny inland township, with a current population of 150 people, that began in 1876 at a convenient intersection where a local deep well, dug in the 1850s by Cornish Miners, already existed. The well was used for drawing up stock water for Gum Flat livestock.

A hotel was built across road from the well during the early 1880s. Then on the other side a general store was constructed, followed by a blacksmith's shop, an implement maker, then a bank agency, a row of houses, a school, church, oval, tennis club, etc, all serving the local farming community. The bank agency has closed down, but the hotel, general store, school, mechanical business, etc, are still in business.

Curramulka has a different type of limestone to the rest of Yorke Peninsula, called 'Blue Limestone'. It is much harder than the white variety and is used extensively for road sealing, plus for base-leveling before home/ building foundations are poured. The rock quarry is about a kilometre to the south of the town. This is also interesting from another angle, as one literally drives down into Curramulka, and up to travel to any other town, because Curramulka is at the bottom of a hollow between the surrounding low hills.

About three kilometres to the south of the town, just off a gravel road is what is generally acknowledged to be the most extensive chain of limestone caves in the Southern Hemisphere. The sheer size of the system is also why so little is known about it. The ONLY visitors are professional cavers, and members of the South Australia Police Rescue Squad who use the caverns for part of their training.

About 30 years ago a farm-hand on a motorcycle got himself lost in the main cave while looking for some missing sheep. Luckily he had a full tank of petrol and finally found daylight in the cliffs north of Port Vincent some hours later.