Call in to Wilmington and find out why this town was once known as Beautiful Valley. Nestled in the Flinders Ranges, surrounded by the stunning Mount Remarkable National Park and the Willochra Plain spreading eastward, it is easy to see why Wilmington was first known as 'Beautiful Valley' by the pioneers who settled in the region during the mid 1800s, before Governor Musgrave officially named Wilmington in 1876.
Nearby is the spectacular Alligator Gorge, where unusual rock formations and sparkling mountain pools can be seen. Steps enable visitors to get down to the bottom of the gorge, where in some places, the walls are only two metres apart. The water-worn rock leads right through the ranges to Mambray Creek, offering some of the best walking trails in the Flinders Ranges.
Walking and trekking trails in and around Wilmington provide different perspectives of the beautiful landscape and suit everyone from beginners to the more experienced hikers. A popular walk is the trail from town up to Mount Maria, a 2 hour return walk.
The Heysen and Mawson Trails both pass through town, a test for more experience walkers and cyclists wanting to stretch their legs. Or you could try walking or cycling the Wilmington to Melrose Rail Trail and enjoy 22 kilometres of varied landscape.
Stay in Wilmington and explore the Heritage Trail, including the early settler lifeline of the Cobb and Co coach stop. You’ll also find South Australia’s oldest toy museum, which hosts an impressive collection of meccano, toy cars, board games, model trains and more. There is even a puppet museum, appealing to both the young and the young at heart.
Hancock’s Lookout offers a beautiful panorama view of the region, located off the picturesque Horrocks Pass (the road between Wilmington and Port Augusta). Look out over the Spencer Gulf and Flinders Ranges and at night, the lights of Port Augusta are visible across the gulf. Another nearby lookout worth stopping for is Moockra Tower, which offers 360 degree views.
Also well worth seeing is Horrocks Pass itself, as it’s gently winding road cuts right through the ranges and offers views of the rolling landscape and secluded little valleys, as well a few historic ruins and landmarks.
Enjoy a true country tradition at The Wilmington Night Rodeo, which is held every January and is a must see event. The Wilmington Rodeo was one of the very first all-night rodeos and has been kept going by a small hard-working committee and dedicated locals since first being kick-started in 1966.
While in Wilmington, make the most of the convenient local post office, hardware and general store, service station and craft shop. Meals and rooms are available at the local hotel or stay at one of the scenic caravan parks. There is even an 18-hole golf course.
Council have been working towards the 'Jewel of Beautiful Valley; A Framework for the Revitalisation of Wilmington' since 2013 when the report was finalised. This has been in liaison with the Wilmington Progress Society.
Within this framework there are projects listed as Wilmington's Core Areas or Action Areas, including Traffic Conditions and the Main Street. The Main Street was also outlined in Wilmington's Top 10 Priorities Community Brainstorming Evening held in 2017.
The upgrades are based on the Framework including the sections 'Traffic Conditions', 'Location's for Parking' and 'the Parking Plan'. Council drafted a scope of works based on this framework for the purpose of the grant and project, both the extract and scope of works are included below.
This project will include kerbing and protuberances, landscaping, parallel and angle parking, defined walking spaces, access ramps, paving and irrigation. The works will continue with the theme of the existing upgraded protuberance in Wilmington. The upgrades will create and provide a safer environment, allow people to move easily and safely across the wide road and improve the amenity of the Wilmington Main Street.