Kimba is a small farming community on the Eyre Peninsular in South Australia. By small I mean less than 1000 people make up the population. It is said to be geographically located halfway between Perth and Sydney.
We had been made aware of the Grey Nomads volunteer programme in Kimba a couple of years ago and decided that next time we were in the area we would stay a while and participate. The way it works is for at least two days of volunteering work you get in return seven nights’ accommodation at the Recreation Reserve with a powered site.
After making contact with the Visitors Information Outlet we were met by a couple of very friendly locals, and taken down to the Kimba and Gawler Ranges Historical Museum. Formed in 1971 and run by its own volunteers the museum gives an amazing insight into the incredible resourcefulness, spirit and determination of the pioneering farming and grazing families who settled in this area at the end of the 19th century. Pastoral leases were first granted in 1872 and the area has gone on to be one of South Australia’s major grain belts.
There is a huge variety of farm machinery, old trucks and tractors, Clancy the old fire engine, and a great display of tools used to build and maintain the properties during those pioneering years. Buildings include a one teacher school, the Haskett Brothers pioneer house built around 1908, the old store and an old telephone exchange. During the early years of white settlement water was a big issue. To help with this Government funds were available to build sheds so that rain water could be collected and stored in tanks. Ever resourceful the settlers would build under the sheds and for many this was home for quite a few years.
We had so much fun working at the museum that we stayed for three months.
We also did heaps of stuff outside the museum as well, mostly thanks to the amazing people we met there. For example we went on a crop inspection that involved driving around huge paddocks and checking the wheat and barley crops. The inspection included a great BBQ lunch in bushland adjacent one of the huge paddocks.
We visited an egg producer who keeps his chickens in purpose built caravans that are located out in the bush.The chickens are free to roam the pasture and bush and are guarded by dogs; everything is automated and runs off solar energy. The dogs live with the chickens and never leave them.
We also visited a farmer whose true passion is rocks and minerals. He has the most amazing collection of rocks gems and minerals and could probably retire on the proceeds if he sold the lot. But like a lot of collectors he just loves the stuff and wouldn’t part with it.
I chose a rainy day to visit The Gawler Ranges NP. I managed to get some nice photos despite the inclement weather. Coming across a small mob of Emus that were quite a distance off the side I decided to stop and see what happened. It wasn’t long before they wandered over my way to see what I was up to.
There is plenty to see and do around Kimba and we both had a fantastic time there.