Kadina, South Australia

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South Australia
Kadina Town Hall
Kadina is located in South Australia
Coordinates 33°57′45″S 137°42′45″E / 33.96250°S 137.71250°E / -33.96250; 137.71250Coordinates: 33°57′45″S 137°42′45″E / 33.96250°S 137.71250°E / -33.96250; 137.71250
Population 4,587 (2016 census)[1]
Established 1861
Postcode(s) 5554
Elevation 44 m (144 ft)
Location 144 km (89 mi) NNW of Adelaide
LGA(s) Copper Coast
State electorate(s) Goyder
Federal Division(s) Grey
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
23.0 °C
73 °F
10.8 °C
51 °F
386.7 mm
15.2 in
Localities around Kadina:
Wallaroo Tickera Alford
Kadina Bute
Moonta Arthurton Paskeville

Kadina is a town on the Yorke Peninsula of the Australian state of South Australia, approximately 144 kilometres north-northwest of the state capital of Adelaide. The largest town of the Peninsula, Kadina is one of the three Copper Triangle towns famous for their shared copper mining history. The three towns are known as "Little Cornwall" for the significant number of immigrants from Cornwall who worked at the mines in the late 19th century.

Kadina's surrounds form an important agricultural base for the region, and are used for growing barley, wheat and other crops such as legumes, canola, chickpeas and field peas. Barley and wheat from the region is considered[by whom?] to be some of the best in the world.


Kadina is about 20 kilometres (12 mi) north-east of Moonta and 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) east of the port town of Wallaroo. There are 6 suburbs making up Kadina's township, each being a distinct historic locality or hamlet. These are: Jericho, Jerusalem, Matta Flat, New Town and Wallaroo Mines as well as central Kadina itself.[2] Kadina East was previously a gazetted suburb east of Kadina's centre, later merged into Kadina itself.[2]



The Narungga are the group of Indigenous Australians whose traditional lands included what is now termed Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. The name "Kadina" is thought to be derived from Kadiyinya, a Narungga word meaning 'Lizard Plain'.


Copper was discovered at Wallaroo Mines in 1859 and adjacent land north east of the site was surveyed in 1861 to house miners and became the Government Town of Kadina. Exceptional amounts of copper were found in the following years. Copper was also found in large amounts at the nearby Matta Mine and Doora Mine. The copper mines attracted many highly experienced Cornish miners to Kadina.

In 1862, the Hundred of Wallaroo and Hundred of Kadina were proclaimed in order to allow parcels of land to be sold in the vicinity of the copper mines. In the same year a horse-drawn railway from Kadina to the port at Wallaroo, west of the town, was opened.[3] Further lines connecting Kadina to Port Wakefield, to the southeast, and Bute, to the northeast (Kadina-Brinkworth railway line), opened in 1878 and 1879, respectively.[4][5]

In 1872 Kadina became a municipality by establishment of the Corporate Town of Kadina. By 1875, the population had increased to 20,000, mostly composed of Cornish miners.[citation needed] In 1907 the adjacent Government Town of Kadina East was surveyed west of Eliza Terrace to cope with the need to house the growing population of the town.[6]

Mining at Kadina ceased completely in 1938, and the rail lines fell into disuse and were closed in 1989.

Heritage listings[edit]

Kadina has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Geography and climate[edit]

Kadina exists in a semi-arid location, above Goyder's Line, and is surrounded by mallee scrub. It is located 8 kilometres inland and 44 metres above sea level. Kadina has a dry Mediterranean climate with seasonal temperatures a few degrees above Adelaide's temperatures. The average winter temperature is 15.4 °C and the average summer temperature is 30.5 °C. Average rainfall of Kadina is 388.8 millimetres. The weather patterns are similar to those of Adelaide.

Local economy[edit]

The town today consists of important historical colonial and federation buildings gathered around Victoria Square. Kadina and its surrounds are experiencing some minor growth due to the Copper Cove housing development at Wallaroo. Kadina also contains the Farm Shed Museum & Tourism Centre (Kadina Heritage Museum) and remnants of the Wallaroo Mines. Kernewek Lowender, a Cornish festival, is held every odd year in May in Kadina (as well as Moonta and Wallaroo, with each location hosting the festival for one day). The town serves as the base for local radio station Gulf FM, broadcasting at 89.3 FM.


Kadina is located within the local government area of the Copper Coast Council,[2] which was formed in 1997. The Copper Coast Council replaced the District Council of Kadina, which existed from 1888 to 1984, and the District Council of Northern Yorke Peninsula. The Corporate Town of Kadina, which had existed since 1872, was previously merged into the District Council of Kadina in 1977.

Kadina is part of the federal division of Grey and lies within the state electoral district of Goyder.[10][11]

Notable people[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Kadina (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2016 Census QuickStats.  Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b c "Placename Details: Kadina". Property Location Browser. Government of South Australia. 21 March 2013. SA0033380. Retrieved 17 November 2017. Derivation of Name: See Hundred of Kadina; Other Details: Town surveyed in January 1861, no proclamation. Boundaries created in January 1999 for the long established name. Incorporates the Government Towns of Kadina and Kadina East. Anglicised version of the Narungga name Gardina for a camp in this area. 
  3. ^ "PORT WALLAROO. From our own Correspondent (July 7)". South Australian Weekly Chronicle. 12 July 1862. p. 3. 
  4. ^ "THE KADINA AND BARUNGA RAILWAY". South Australia Chronicle and Weekly Mail. 8 March 1879. p. 7. 
  5. ^ Callaghan, W.H. (February 2002). "Horse and Steam, Wheat and Copper". Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin: 9-27; 46-63. 
  6. ^ "Placename Details: Kadina East". Property Location Browser. Land Services, Government of South Australia. 12 May 2011. SA0033385. Retrieved 8 November 2017. Derivation of Name: Proximity to the town of Kadina; Other Details: Town surveyed in May 1907. Now incorporated in the bounded locality of Kadina. 
  7. ^ "Kadina Cemetery, including the Mortuary and Wall". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  8. ^ "Former Humphries Barber Shop (former Hancock's Barber Shop and Billiard Saloon)". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  9. ^ "Kadina Town Hall (incorporating 1880 Mechanics Institute)". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  10. ^ "Federal electoral division of Grey" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "Goyder electorate boundaries as of 2014". ELECTORAL COMMISSION SA. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 

External links[edit]