Australia Plains

It has to be a sin for an Australian never to have been to Australia Plains.  Okay, so there is not a lot out there, but after the rains during winter rural Australia is beautiful.

img_5092img_0311During the 1850s, the plains were a thriving farming community, mainly cereal farming.  The Goyder Line was the official marker to distinguish good farming land from the not so good land.  Two small rural towns, Sutherland and Bower, are the closest to this line and have strong German heritage.  Like all rural townships, they were places where the local community made the best out of life with what was available to them.

img_0321img_0325Australia Plains is not only rich in history, it was a place of German settlement and where choices between sending the children to a German or English school was one of the hardest decision to make. Schools were teaching in either German or English up to about 1917 and they switched to English. However, it was not until 1939 when German inscriptions on gravestones in the Lutheran church yards ceased.  These German inscriptions are still evident on the gravestones in the small church yard at Bower.

img_5090Once you get passed the small rural townships the land noticeably changes from rich , rolling hills and level off into the Murray Flats and Australia Plains.  There is not a lot out here if you like big city noise, only a small population of people are still living and farming out on the plains. A visit to Australia Plains is worthwhile img_5082to view the old post office which had a life from 1882 until 1971.  By 1899 there was also a blacksmith, schoolhouse and most importantly – a wine shop in Australia Plains.

img_5078A 15 minute drive down the road is Peep Hill which was also a thriving farming community, and today only the Lutheran church is left standing.  All that remains of the school across the road is a memorial stone.  This school only provided education in German and was in existence up to 1939.  Many rural and outback towns in South Australia have been used in Hollywood movies.  Peep Hill is no exception.  The church yard was used in a scene from the Russell Crowe movie The Water Diviner.

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