The town of Clare is located in South Australia in the Mid North region, 136 km north of Adelaide. It gives its name to the Clare Valley wine and tourist region.
One of the first settlers in the area was John Horrocks, in 1839. The town itself was established in 1842 by Edward Burton Gleeson, and named after his ancestral home of County Clare in Ireland.
The town was first named Inchiquin, which this was later changed. Lake Inchiquin is now the name of a reservior located to the north of the town, near the golf club. A railway line was built from Riverton to Clare in 1919 and on to Spalding in 1922. It closed in 1974 and the tracks were removed in the 1980s after damage caused by the Ash Wednesday fires of 1983. The alignment now carries the Riesling Trail walking and cycling trail.
The layout of the town’s road system was apparently designed by a draftsman in Adelaide, without any knowledge of the local geography. There are several roads in Clare that end abruptly at a cliff face, only to continue again at the top of the cliff.
Clare is governed at the local level by the District Council of Clare and Gilbert Valleys. Clare lies in the state electoral district of Frome and the federal electoral division of Wakefield.