Balaklava, South Australia

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South Australia
Shops in the main street of Balaklava
Balaklava is located in South Australia
Coordinates 34°08′S 138°25′E / 34.133°S 138.417°E / -34.133; 138.417Coordinates: 34°08′S 138°25′E / 34.133°S 138.417°E / -34.133; 138.417
Population 1,827 (2011 Census)[1]
Established 1869
Postcode(s) 5461
Elevation 224 m (735 ft)
LGA(s) Wakefield Regional Council
Region Mid North
State electorate(s) Frome
Federal Division(s) Wakefield
Localities around Balaklava:
Lochiel Blyth Clare, Sevenhill
Port Wakefield, Bowmans Balaklava Auburn, Rhynie
Long Plains Mallala Hamley Bridge

The town of Balaklava (population 1827, postcode 5461) is located in South Australia, 92 kilometres north of Adelaide in the Mid North region. It is on the banks of the Wakefield River, 25 kilometres east of Port Wakefield.


Since prehistoric times the Balaklava district has been near the boundaries of the Kaurna and Peramangk peoples. The first Europeans to traverse the district were John Hill and Thomas Burr on 29 April 1840.[2] They discovered Diamond Lake and encamped near Owen. The first European settlers in the area were James and Mary Dunn who in 1850 opened a hotel to service bullock teamsters carting copper ore upon the Gulf Road between the Burra mine and the export port of Port Wakefield.

The Gulf Road copper ore traffic came to a sudden end in 1857 when a railway connected Burra and Gawler, the teamster's loads being replaced by a flow of pastoral produce to the port, mainly wool and grain. The town was laid out by Charles Fisher in 1869 and named it after the Battle of Balaklava.[3] He built large grain stores on the tramway from Hoyleton to the port at Port Wakefield, intending to encourage farmers to settle near the town. The first Hotel erected in the new township of Balaklava was the Balaklava Hotel, later called the Royal. Thomas Saint borrowed the finances from Thomas James Manton and applied for the Hotel Keepers Licence on 17/11/1870 and was granted licence No.17 of 1871 on 04/04/1871.

Balaklava used to be on the railway line from Adelaide to Gladstone, with a junction to Port Wakefield. The line north from Hamley Bridge (connecting to Adelaide) opened in 1878 as a 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) narrow gauge line. It was converted to 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) broad gauge in 1927 and still existed as far as Balaklava up to 2002.[4] The last freight on the line was bulk grain in 2004.[5]

The name of the town was originally spelled Balaclava.

The town today[edit]

The local newspaper is the Plains Producer.[6]

Balaklava hosts the annual Balaklava Cup horse racing carnival on the first Wednesday each September.[7] It also has an agricultural show in September each year. This major event showcases the regions many achievements, in agriculture, horse riding, baking, art and the local schools achievements as well as many fun things for the family to enjoy.

Balaklava is well known for its interest and support in the arts. The Balaklava Eisteddfod Society[8] holds its own music and speech/drama Eisteddfod every year in early August. It has been running since 1997 and is a very major event for the township.

The Balaklava Community Arts[9] group has been running since 1982 and has always been very supportive of the visual and performing arts. The Balaklava Courthouse Gallery began within the ranks of Balaklava Community Arts and now holds widely known exhibitions and competitions in visual arts. The Balaklava Community Arts group continues to nurture the local artistic talents and entertain the community with performing arts by both local and visiting artists, promoting the arts to the wider community.

Balaklava has many sporting facilities and clubs, such as the local basketball competitions and tennis in summer, the football and netball in winter and the squash courts open all year. The basketball, netball and tennis courts are all centralised onto the one ground with the football oval 20 metres away. Balaklava also has its own pool, open in November through to April.

The Balaklava Golf Club[10] offers an all year round fully watered 18 hole 5,987 metre championship golf course and has clubhouse facilities. The Balaklava Gliding Club[11] is nearby at Whitwarta, 10 km north-west of the township. Flying operations are normally on every weekend or by prior arrangement. Visitors are always welcome and can even enjoy an air experience flight.

The township of Balaklava has four education institutions - the Balaklava Community Children's Centre, Balaklava Primary School, Balaklava High School, and the Balaklava Horizon Christian School.


Neighbouring towns include:


Balaklava is the administrative centre for local government seat of Wakefield Regional Council. Balaklava lies in the state electoral district of Goyder and the federal electoral division of Wakefield.



  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Balaklava (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  2. ^ Register newspaper, 9 May 1840, page 5.
  3. ^ Manning Index of South Australian History
  4. ^ Horse and Steam, Wheat and Copper Callaghan, W.H. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, January;February, 2002 pp9-27;46-63
  5. ^ "When was last train movement to Balaclava". Railpage. Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd. 28 September 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2015. [self-published source]
  6. ^ The Plains Producer website
  7. ^ "Balaklava Cup". Thoroughbred Racing SA. 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  8. ^ Balaklava Eisteddfod website
  9. ^ Balaklava Community Arts Inc. website
  10. ^ Balaklava Golf Club website
  11. ^ Balaklava Gliding Club website

External links[edit]