Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Jamestown SA


Postcode: 5491

Jamestown is a town in the Mid North region of South Australia 209 km north of Adelaide. It is on the banks of the Belalie Creek and on the railway line between Gladstone and Peterborough, and ultimately on the main line linking Adelaide and Perth to Sydney.

Jamestown was named after Sir James Fergusson, the Governor of South Australia when the town was surveyed in 1871. Major products of the area are grain, legumes, wool and timber. The world’s first plantation forest was the Bundaleer forest first planted in the area in 1876.

Jamestown is in the Northern Areas Council, the South Australian Legislative Assembly electoral district of Stuart and the federal Division of Grey. Sir John Cockburn was the town’s first Mayor, doctor, and later Premier of South Australia in 1889–1890. Jamestown is also the birthplace of Australian bush legend, the late Reginald Murray Williams, better known as RM Williams, the bush outfitter.

Surveyed in 1871 to service the productive and reliable farmland of the Northern Highlands, Jamestown is 209km north of Adelaide. Although grain and legumes are highly profitable crops, wool has long been the dominant product in these parts and Jamestown’s monthly sheep sales are the largest in rural South Australia.

The town’s development is colourfully portrayed on a series of shopside murals while the National Trust Museum – housed in the old station – features early railway equipment and artefacts. A standout is nearby Bundaleer Forest. The world’s first plantation, it was planted in 1876 and stands as a living testimony to the versatility of radiata pine. Historical and botanic walking trails of between 1.5 and 4.6km snake through the forest. Jamestown hosts South Australia’s largest, one-day Agricultural Show on the Monday of the Ocxtober long weekend. The dominant name on street signs and foundation stones is Cockburn and the labelling pays due homage to Sir John Cockburn, Jameston’s local doctor who was the town’s first mayor and first and only South Australian Premier.