Auburn, the southern gateway to the Clare Valley, is rich in history and built heritage. As early as 1839, in South Australia’s infancy as a colony, pioneers grazed sheep and cattle in the district. When established in 1849, the township was named Tateham’s Waterhole, after the first settler, William ‘Billy’ Tateham, who, reputedly, lived in a dugout on the side of the River Wakefield. In 1856, it was renamed after the Irish town of Auburn.
With the discovery of copper at Burra to the north-east, Auburn flourished as a resting place for the ‘bullockies’ and ‘muleteers’, the men responsible for carting copper ore from the mines at Burra to the gulf at Port Henry (now Port Wakefield).
The township retains much of its charm as well as its original stone buildings, many of which are listed on the National Trust, State Heritage and National Estate Registers. A number of these buildings have been converted into heritage-style accommodation and outlets catering for locals and visitors alike. Auburn is also the meeting place of the Riesling Trail, which extends north to beyond Clare, and the Rattler Trail, which extends south to Riverton.
Auburn is the place where evidence of the Clare Valley hospitality begins. Vines were planted near Auburn in the early 1850’s. Today, the wine industry is Auburn’s main source of employment whilst others commute to regional employment, are self-employed in cottage industries or are retired.
One of Australia’s greatest poets, C.J. Dennis, was born in Auburn in 1876. He is best known for the immensely popular ‘The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke’, published in 1915. An annual festival is held in Auburn to celebrate his life and work.
In Auburn there is something for everyone, offering visitors an attractive variety of accommodation, many heritage buildings of architectural and historic significance, walking trails, dining and browsing venues - and even a mini-golf course. Welcome and enjoy!
When visiting Auburn, why not download a "Walk with history in Auburn" Brochure or pick up a copy at one of the Visitor Centres and enjoy exploring this historic treasure.
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