What uniquely South Australian heritage stories, experiences and places do you think would appeal to visitors?

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This online engagement was hosted on YourSAy from 9 September 2019 to 7 October 2019. Find out more about the consultation process. Below is a record of the engagement.

Read Developing a strategic direction for heritage tourism in South Australia and join in the discussion below.

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Allan Taylor

07 Oct 2019

A neglected part of SA tourism is what I call "Coastal Tourism", which can include heritage tourism. This is dependant on having suitable ships, ferries, hydrofoils, catamarans etc that take tourists around the region....at present virtually non-existent. As a travel blogger several times I have posted on Facebook explaining what should be done. I offer my recent post on Facebook below:
Allan Taylor
Yesterday at 15:23 ·
I notice in today's Sunday Mail an interesting article about South Australian tourism, and how SeaLink, the company that runs the ferry to Kangaroo Island, is looking to expand its operation to a Glenelg - Kingscote (KI) connection, and perhaps elsewhere in the region. This is an encouraging thought, but not yet a firm development. As a travel blogger I have in the past written about such a prospect which has so long been neglected, but just awaiting for the appropriate entrepreneur. I reproduce below what I wrote about the region in October 2018.


One of the most neglected aspects of SA tourism is the attractiveness of its varied coastal features in the Spencer Gulf and the Gulf of St Vincent which are to some extent protected from wild weather by the elongated Kangaroo Island. True we have a large car ferry that connects Kingscote on Kangaroo Island to the adjacent mainland. It is said to be expensive. Also there is, or was, a similar type car ferry operating across Spencer Gulf, between Wallaroo to Lucky Bay, near Cowell. This route for motorists saved about 500 kms by cutting short the long journey to Port Augusta for Adelaide motorists going to Port Lincoln, and vice versa.

What I am saying about SA coastal shipping is that it is moribund, and actually going backwards if all that is left is the big Kangaroo Island ferry. We can do better than that surely? Why has this coastal tourism stagnated and going nowhere? The answer is that you are unaware of the potential that exist here with coastal shipping. Your mind is stuck in concrete with a “do nothing” attitude. What is required is a more flexible approach with a better range in size and type of vessel to ply this coastal region. A good place to see what works in other countries is go to the southern part of South America, along the fiordland coast of Chile, and Tierra del Fuego, and in the Chilean and Argentine Lake Districts, and look at the Buenos Aires-Montevideo connection ……here you will find nautical tourism at its best.

Admittedly, we don’t have the fine mountain scenery of South America, but SA has a multitude of other attractions, like sunshine, fine wines, whale watching, fishing villages, fish cookery, unique animals and forests, spectacular beaches and landscapes, surfing, and village crafts including opals and jade sales. It’s all there just waiting development for the tourist. We must become the clever country again and stop going backwards economically.

What is needed is a better range in size of passenger and car/bus/truck carrying vessels, also fast catamaran and hydrofoil passenger vessels……our local entrepreneurs should take a holiday in South America and see how they have got nautical tourism down to a fine art. You don’t need elaborate and expensive boat terminals to do this. A simple wharf or concrete ramp is often adequate. My foto shows a car being driven off a small ferry (called a transbordador) with its stern door down....the beach has a concrete ramp to receive the ferry. It takes only minutes to load on or off with a bus and few cars to cross the Strait of Magellan at its narrowest point of 6 kms at Pta Delgada on Tierra del Fuego.

Locally, what is needed is a round trip linkage between Adelaide (at Glenelg) to Port Lincoln, then to Kangaroo Island and back to Adelaide, and vice versa. Get this route established with maybe a hydrofoil type passenger vessel and small car ferry. Later other ports of call in the region, such as Port Vincent on the Yorke Peninsula, could be investigated.
Bon voyage, Allano
Image may contain: ocean, sky, cloud, outdoor, nature and water

Lee Williams

30 Sep 2019

Visitors would appreciate a wholesome experience of local culture, local food, history in narrated form, photographic, and physical form of buildings and structures. Any area in SA has history, it isn't always obvious. Travellers I speak to, are looking for different things. Some want a real experience, spend a while and "get the feel" of an area. maybe local pubs, local cafe's, and the traditional bakery. Some want a more 'in the environment" experience, many are interested in our native assets, many find the agricultural story interesting. All visitors, need safe travel, some of our roads are much less appealing the further you travel from Adelaide. This has led to many of our small and unique businesses that use to cater for travellers closing, and local knowledge goes from that area.
history of the SE, its development, travel adversities due to swamps etc. the wool history, the fishing industry, the pines industry, and the pioneers, Gold route history, the aboriginal history. I think if heritage is to be experienced, a great resource will be the historical groups in many of the country council districts. Maybe even the 'local shows", many of the "show societies" have a lot of heritage history attached, and could be supported and promoted (they are annual and all the year around, for the contribution of cooking competitions , horseriding, local produce displays. Local CWA, also have great heritage history. I think promotion of small communities will help revitalise those communities, and allow visitors to experience real local/SA experience. Our open clear skies, always impress visitors, they can be viewed most places away from the street lights.

Margot Masters

29 Sep 2019

I agree with suggestions of others re supporting First People of SA to share their stories as they see fit. I recently visited a small but impressive museum in Selva Di Cadore, northern Italy, (http://www.museoselvadicadore.it/) which showcases the stories of human habitation over 7000 years using archeological findings. It also displays fossils and recreates local dinosaur history as well as explaining the geology of the magnificent surrounding Dolomites. While we “stumbled across” the museum & it has greatly enriched our visit to this area, I understand it also acts as a drawcard to visitors. The local people of this small town are justifiably very proud of the place which is housed in a beautiful old building, tastefully repurposed as a modern interactive museum. As part of it’s appeal, it is very welcoming to children & clearly runs educational school group tours. It prompted me to reflect that we in SA have amazing, unique stories about continuous human life, culture & language over a much longer timeframe. Our history of intriguing extinct megafauna, fossil records & fascinating geology of areas such as the ancient Flinders Ranges are also unique. While the SA museum is a fabulous resource, the specifics of the telling of the stories of relevance to particular places gives a strong sense of meaning. Perhaps a network of satellite displays in regional areas with a common thread but local specifics would work. I’d like to do such a tour to learn about the great variety of physical/environmental & human/cultural history in SA.

Government Agency

Department for Environment and Water > Margot Masters

30 Sep 2019

Thanks for sharing your experience in Italy Margot. There is a lot we can learn from other places around the world. Our natural and anthropological heritage is a powerful tool for helping us understand who we are and build connections to place. - Linda

Andrew C

11 Sep 2019

Certainly a need to support the First people of South Australia tell their story. As a migrant to Australia I'd love to be able to hear the local dreamtime stories and hear how Aboriginal people lived 60,000 years ago from the land and not just by reading about it at the museum. Work with the local Elders to identify how we can help preserve their history then tell their story for a modern audience.

Also we see other States cash in on their 'legends' like Ned Kelly in Victoria (with a new movie coming out soon), Ben Hall in NSW (film out a few years ago) so why not look at one of SA mysterious local legends and make a thing of it - the Birdman of the Coorong. An outlaw in a free State.

Government Agency

Department for Environment and Water > Andrew C

11 Sep 2019

Hi Andrew, Thanks so much for your thoughts. Can you tell us more about this mysterious Birdman of the Coorong? - Linda

Andrew C > Andrew C

19 Sep 2019

Unfortunately no, only what you can find on the internet. https://aguidetoaustralianbushranging.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/john-francis-peggotty-the-birdman-of-coorong/

Maybe there is something in the State Archives?

Chris Blaikie

10 Sep 2019

Indigenous Heritage and indigenous peoples occupation of land in towns and cities should be given greater prominence.
The History of Strathalbyn website for example has a fantastic photo of First Nations people's homes occupying the riverbanks beside white settlers houses. Here >> http://strathalbynsa.com.au/about/history-of-strathalbyn/
More acknowledgement and on site recognition of this sort of history of heritage information would be excellent. I lived in Strathalbyn as a kid and had never seen this photo or heard of indigenous residences within the town.
The rural town I live in now has a site known to be the last place First Nations people were allowed to camp of their own free will before being moved on to a local landholders property....to slavery ? I'm not sure but many towns have records and perhaps even images such as in the link above that provide a sadly missing context to our settler history and heritage.
I have no doubt that visitors appreciate a comprehensive heritage view of any place rather than a who's who of the wealthiest residents and colonists.

Government Agency

Department for Environment and Water > Chris Blaikie

11 Sep 2019

Hi Chris, Thanks so much for sharing this information. Great photo on the Strathalbyn website - Linda


09 Sep 2019

German heritage tours/trail should be a priority with so many South Australians being of German heritage. The first 3 boatload of Lutherans of German descent arrived in Adelaide in 1838/1839 so the celebration of the 200th anniversary for their arrival needs to be prepared for. Annecdotally lots of individual family groups are thinking about what to do and need some help preparing for such a reunion. If thought is given to this project now, a really good celebration could be had with a resource developed by Heritage SA. I for one would welcome the opportunity to discuss some ideas so far.

Government Agency

Department for Environment and Water > SONIA MANGELSEN

11 Sep 2019

Thanks for your thoughts Sonia. Our German heritage has certainly given some of our towns and communities a very strong sense of identity. - Linda