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South Australia
Kapunda street view.JPG
Looking towards the Baptist church
Kapunda is located in South Australia
Coordinates 34°20′20″S 138°55′00″E / 34.33889°S 138.91667°E / -34.33889; 138.91667Coordinates: 34°20′20″S 138°55′00″E / 34.33889°S 138.91667°E / -34.33889; 138.91667
Population 3,152 (2011 census)[1]
Established 1839
Postcode(s) 5373
Elevation 245 m (804 ft)
Location 77 km (48 mi) north of Adelaide
LGA(s) Light Regional Council
State electorate(s) Stuart
Federal Division(s) Wakefield
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
21.6 °C
71 °F
9.8 °C
50 °F
493.8 mm
19.4 in
Localities around Kapunda:
Tarlee Allendale North, Hamilton Bagot Well
Bethel Kapunda Koonunga
Fords St Johns

Kapunda is a town on the Light River and near the Barossa Valley in South Australia. It was established after a discovery in 1842 of significant copper deposits.

The southern entrance to the town has been dominated since 1988 by the 8-metre-tall statue of Map Kernow ("the son of Cornwall"), a traditional Cornish miner. The statue was destroyed by a fire on the morning of 1 June 2006 [2] but has since been rebuilt by its creator, Ben van Zetten.


Francis Dutton and Charles Bagot, who both ran sheep in the area, discovered copper ore outcrops in 1842. They purchased 80 acres (32 ha) around the outcrop, beginning mining early in 1844 after good assay results. Mining began with the removal of surface ore and had progressed to underground mining by the end of the year.[3] Copper was mined until 1879. There are also quarries near the town which provide fine marble ranging from dark blue to white. Marble from the Kapunda quarries was used to face Parliament House in Adelaide, and the pedestal of the statue of Venus on North Terrace, Adelaide is made of Sicilian and Kapunda marble.[4]

A railway from Adelaide was opened in 1860, and extended to Eudunda and Morgan in 1878.

Kapunda had a strong Catholic community and Saint Mary MacKillop visited and established a convent there. St John's Reformatory for Girls operated from 1897 to 1909.[5]

Kapunda is famous as the home of Sir Sidney Kidman. He was a major cattle pastoralist who at one time owned 68 properties with a total area larger than the British Isles. He held annual horse sales at Kapunda with up to 3,000 horses sold during the week. His house, Eringa, was donated to the Education Department, and is still used as the administration building for Kapunda High School. The town also has the unfortunate honour of being titled the most haunted town in Australia after a television documentary focused on the town. Most locals were not amused, however it has led to an increase in the amount of tourists that visit the area. Due to this, the ruins of the Reformatory, located outside the town, were bulldozed, although some locals still believe in the ghost stories popular in town. The town is also close to the historical Anlaby Station and the manor, houses, gardens and other buildings on the property, many of which are being restored by its current owners.

Kapunda was home to several notable manufacturers of farm and mining machinery: Robert Cameron, Joseph Mellors, James Rowe and Adamson Brothers.[6] It was with this last-named company that T. J. Richards, the founder of one of Australia's largest coach-building firms, started his career.

Today, Kapunda is a producer of cereal crops, mainly wheat, barley and oats. Value-added services carried out by local industry include stock feed milling and hay processing. Kapunda is a contributor to the wine-growing industry centred in the nearby Barossa Valley.

Kapunda has hosted the Kapunda Celtic Music Festival since 1976.


Kapunda is in the state electoral district of Stuart, the federal Division of Wakefield, and the centre of the Light Regional Council.

Notable People[edit]

Panoramic view of the town of Kapunda, as seen from Gundry's Hill Lookout on the outskirts of the town.



  1. ^ 2011 Census QuickStats, Australian Bureau of Statistics
  2. ^ "Map the Miner destroyed in fire". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 1 June 2006. Archived from the original on 2 March 2008. Retrieved 2006-06-06. 
  3. ^ Drew, G.J. and Jones, J. (1988), p. 6
  4. ^ Venus, Statues of the City of Adelaide, Adelaide City Council.
  5. ^ C. de Leiuen, Remembering the significant: St John’s Kapunda, South Australia, Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society 36 (2015), 43-60.
  6. ^ "Agricultural Implement & General Machine Manufactories. Kapunda". South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900). Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia. 18 July 1868. p. 4. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 


  • Drew, G.J.; Jones, J. (1988). Discovering historic Kapunda, South Australia. Adelaide: Department of Mines and Energy, Kapunda tourism committee. ISBN 0-7243-4277-X. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Kapunda, South Australia at Wikimedia Commons