Barmera, South Australia
The Charles Sturt centenary clock tower, built in 1944
|Population||1,928 (2006 Census)|
|Location||221 km (137 mi) NE of Adelaide|
|LGA(s)||Berri Barmera Council|
Barmera is a town in the Riverland region of South Australia. It is on the Sturt Highway A20, 220 kilometres north-east of Adelaide, the capital of the state of South Australia. It is primarily an agricultural and viticultural town and is located on Lake Bonney (Riverland), a freshwater lake. The population was 1928 in 2006.
It is unknown where the name "Barmera" comes from but it is suspected that it means "water place" or "land dwellers", being a word from a local Aboriginal group. Others postulate it comes from Barmeedjie, the name of the tribe that lived to the north of the Murray River prior to European settlement.
Lake Bonney was first seen by Charles Bonney and Joseph Hawdon in 1838 drove cattle along the Murray River. The lake was named after Bonney. The land however, was settled in 1859 with the establishment of Overland Corner Hotel. It was a popular area with drovers that drove sheep from New South Wales into South Australia. A police station was also built to prevent and stop arguments between the indigenes and settlers.
An irrigation system was established in the town in 1921. The town became gazetted. An influx of World War I veterans settled with promises of irrigated land from the government. A railway station was opened in 1928 and the town was proclaimed in the same year. In World War II an internment camp was established south of Barmera in Loveday and was one of the largest World War II camps in Australia.
Climate and Geography
Barmera exists in a semi-arid location, north of Goyder's Line. Barmera is surrounded by mallee scrub. It is 29 metres above sea level. Barmera has a dry climate with hot summers and warm days and cold frosty nights in winter with seasonal temperatures a few degrees above Adelaide's temperatures and similar to those of Berri. The weather patterns are similar to those of Berri. It receives less than 250 mm of rain per annum. Rain patterns shift from year to year over a nineteen-year cycle.
The Town Today
Attractions are Lake Bonney, which is good for fishing and sailing and sunsets at dusk, but there has been some problems with the Murray River with water shortage so they transferred most of the water in the river and cancelled of any water getting in, but now there has been a change with all water getting in every day due to protests and now making the lake full. There is an irrigation and steam museum as well as wine estates. The Overland Corner is also a very popular attraction nearby with its own walking trail. There is also the remnants of a copper mine and historic graves.
Every Easter, a sailing regatta is held on Lake Bonney and a country music festival is held every June. Riverland Field Days are held in September a Show is held in March.
The town is home to the sporting teams Barmera/Monash Roos Football Club and the Barmera United Soccer Club.
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