31 May 2022

Bordertown

Outskirts of Bordertown

From the flight deck of this humble Yorkshire blog, I occasionally like to travel to far flung settlements. Some of you may recall that in recent months I have transported you to Stanley, South Dakota and to Lebanon, Kansas - both small towns in America that most readers would have probably never heard about before. I certainly hadn't until I began exploring.

Bordertown Institute on Woolshed Street 

This evening we are moving thousands of  miles away from America and I am taking you on a journey to  a little place in South Australia called Bordertown. What an imaginative name this small town was given in the nineteenth century! You see it sits close to South Australia's border with the state of Victoria - hence Bordertown. Doh! In recent years its population has risen to around 3,000 of whom 2,000 were born in Australia. The others mainly come from South East Asia, New Zealand and Great Britain. Only thirty three inhabitants describe themselves as "indigenous".

Bordertown Cheap Foods Store

Established in 1852, the town was at first connected with mining industries and it was an important staging post for travellers and goods transport between Melbourne and Adelaide both by road and rail. Nowadays, its economy owes almost everything to agriculture in the surrounding region.

Bob Hawke
Hawke House on Farquhar Street

In 1929, a newly born baby exercised his lungs in Bordertown. He was none other than Bob Hawke who went on to become Australia's charismatic Labour prime minister. He served the nation in that role from 1983 to 1991. Hawke died in 2019 at the grand old age of 89. Though he is not buried in Bordertown, his childhood home - Hawke House - is now a museum dedicated to his memory even though he only lived there for the first year of his life.

Bordertown Church of Christ

I cruised around Bordertown courtesy of Google Streetview and the impression I was given was of a proud, peaceful and prosperous town with plenty of amenities and services. It even has its own newspaper - "The Border Chronicle" which seems to cover state, national and international news rather more than local news.

Looking for a  good value house to buy in Bordertown, I found this three bedroom place on Marian Street for $138,000 (AUS) 0r £78,500 (GB) or $99,200 (US):-


Anne Champness who is the Chief Executive of the local Tatiara council based in Bordertown tells us that it is the core of: "A vibrant, prosperous and connected community building its own opportunities" - whatever that might mean.

Finally, I can't leave Bordertown without mentioning the White Kangaroo Wildlife Park. The owners of this establishment insist that their white kangaroos are NOT ALBINOS but a genetic strain of western greys. It seems that some controversy has surrounded the attraction  in the past and all the kangaroos have been specially bred for public display...
And so all too soon, the time has come to leave Bordertown where it glistens in the South Australian sunshine - 284 miles from Melbourne and 168 miles from Adelaide. 

28 comments:

  1. Very illuminating, as always:)

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    1. All over the world there are places where people just like you and me have made their homes.

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  2. Cute little town with a too obvious name. I'd like the locals to request a name change ... Bobtown sounds nice.

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    1. In Bobtown there'd be lots of bobcats just roaming around looking for trouble.

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  3. We travelled through Bordertown by train in March and I have no memory of the town at all. I now know a little more about it.

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    1. You will have to go back with "R" to see the white kangaroos and Hawke House.

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  4. You had some fun making up this post with new information.

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  5. I have passed through Bordertown a couple of times, mostly at night and not stopping. We lived in Melbourne at the time and were headed towards Murray Bridge to visit the ex's parents. Ex was always in a hurry to get there and then again to get home, so although we travelled a fair bit between cities, we never saw much of anything. I'd pack stuff while he was at work, he'd get home, chug down a beer, load the kids into the car and drive until the petrol ran out. Fill up, get going.

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    1. What a shame that you only whizzed through Bordertown with your family. In a sense you might say that Bordertown and towns like it are the real Australia. Big cities are something else entirely.

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  6. I can't believe the low price for that house! It is typical for the region, do you think?
    Thank you for taking us along on your trip to Bordertown. It looks nice enough, doesn't it. What is a Tatiara council?

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    1. Tatiara is simply the name of the large county of which Bordertown is effectively the capital.

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  7. I bet the sun always shines in Bordertown too.

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    1. It is definitely not as sun-baked as many inland Australian towns. Normally, it receives a fair amount of life-giving rain.

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  8. Interesting photos YP.
    I was going to ask if the town is actually inhabited, given the lack of people around, but I see someone getting in or out of their car, outside the Bordertown Institute.

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    1. It is often the case with Google Streetview trips - not many people around and when you do see them they have been blurred for privacy reasons. I would not like to be blurred.

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    2. Nor me - stand up and be counted I say!

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    3. Everybody has to be blurred because of a handful of complainants.

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  9. The house prices are very reasonable. It's a bit far to go and buy one.

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    1. If I sold our house I could buy six identical properties in Bordertown but why I would want them I don't know.

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  10. Thanks to your influence, I have taken several of these tours the last couple months and I think I even have a post or two written about it that will publish shortly now that I'm done writing about the Grand Canyon.

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    1. Does that make me a social media influencer? How come I'm not rich?

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    2. I'll give you a cut if I become rich!

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  11. I enjoyed the tour. I used Google maps to visit my old home town in Nova Scotia. It makes me miss it a little less to be able to be able to see it virtually now and then. My grandmother's road in another small village of Nova Scotia has not been included on the Google Earth map as yet. It drives me crazy! I want to walk up that road again even if it's a virtual tour.

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    1. Perhaps Jenny at Procrastinating Donkey could do that walk for you. She lives in Nova Scotia.

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  12. Bordertown does not look completely unlike a town in Florida. At least from those pictures. I love the Hawke House.

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    1. Hawke House and Moon Mansion appear to belong to the same architectural style.

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  13. The minute I saw that top photo I knew we were in Australia. Just something about it. And the birthplace of Bob Hawke, no less! That house needs a little TLC but the price is right. I wish I could get a house in London for that much.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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