Waikerie, South Australia
Peake Tce, the main street of Waikerie
|Population||2,684 (2016 census)|
|LGA(s)||District Council of Loxton Waikerie|
Waikerie is a rural town in the Riverland region of South Australia on the south bank of the Murray River. At the 2006 census, Waikerie had a population of 1,744. The Sturt Highway passes to the south of the town at the top of the cliffs. There is a cable ferry crossing the river to provide vehicle access from the north side of the river.
Before European settlement, the Ngawait tribe inhabited the area. The river and surrounding land provided everything they could possibly need - fish, shellfish, birds, kangaroos, and native fruits. Now, Waikerie is well known for citrus growing and gliding, as the flat dry terrain provides good thermals. Waikerie hosted the 14th World Gliding Championships in 1974.
The town of Waikerie derives its name from Weikari, which is claimed to mean 'the rising'. However some linguistic anthropologists argue that the name refers to the spider creator god from local creation myths. The Waikerieness was said to fend off monthly centipede infestations by leaking seeds all over the area. This refers to the emergence of many ghost moths (especially Trictena argentata : Hepialidae) from the ground among the river red gums after heavy rain.
Waikerie is in the District Council of Loxton Waikerie, the South Australian House of Assembly electoral district of Chaffey and the Australian House of Representatives Division of Barker. The historic former Irrigation Pumping Station Chimney in Scenic Lookout Reserve is listed on the South Australian Heritage Register.
Waikerie Airport is near Waikerie. It is home to the Waikerie Gliding Club. It has two runways 08/26 and 02/20.
Waikerie is home to the Waikerie Magpies Football Club (Australian Rules), who currently play in the Riverland Football League. Former Adelaide Crows captain Mark Ricciuto is from Waikerie and played his junior football with the Magpies.
Waikerie is also home to the 360 metres (390 yd) Sunline Speedway. The speedway has been home to some of the biggest names in South Australian sedan speedway including Super Sedan drivers Wally Francombe (supercharged EH Holden), Robert Gwynne (Chevrolet Camaro), Noel Reichstein (Chevrolet Corvette) and twice (and inaugural) Australian Street Stock Champion Neil Hoffman and his Chrysler Centura. Other classes that race at the Speedway include Modified Sedans, Formula 500's, 360 Sprintcars, AMCA Nationals and Late Models.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Waikerie (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Waikerie (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2010-01-29.
- Peter K. Austin The Gamilaraay (Kamilaroi) Language, northern New South Wales — A Brief History of Research. James Cook University, 1988. http://www.hrelp.org/aboutus/staff/peter_austin/AustinGamil.pdf
- "Former Irrigation Pumping Station Chimney, Waikerie". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- Sunline Speedway official site
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