Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Kapunda SA


Postcode: 5373

Kapunda is a town in South Australia, established when copper was discovered there in 1843. It lies approximately 77 km north of Adelaide near the Barossa Valley.

The southern entrance to the town was dominated since 1988 by the 8-metre-tall statue of Map Kernow (“the son of Cornwall”), a traditional Cornish miner until he was destroyed by a fire on the morning of 1 June 2006. The statue has since been rebuilt, by its creator/ sculptor, Ben van Zetten.

Kapunda is famous as the home of Sir Sidney Kidman. He was a major cattle pastoralist who at one time owned 68 properties with a total area larger than the British Isles. He held annual horse sales at Kapunda with up to 3000 horses sold during the week. His house, ‘Eringa,’ was donated to the Education Department, and is still used as the administration building for Kapunda High School. The town also has the unfortunate honour of being titled the most haunted town in Australia after a television documentary focused on the town. Most locals were not amused, however it has led to an increase in the amount of tourists that visit the area. Due to this, the ruins of the Reformitory, located outside of town, were bulldozed, although some locals still believe in the ghost stories popular in town. The town is also close to the historical Anlaby Station and the manor, houses, gardens and other buildings on the property, many of which are being restored by its current owners.

Copper was discovered at Kapunda in 1843 and was mined from there until 1879. There are also quarries near the town which provide fine marble ranging from dark blue to white. Marble from the Kapunda quarries was used to face Parliament House in Adelaide, contrary to popular rumor. Today, Kapunda is a producer of cereal crops, mainly wheat, barley and oats. Value-added services carried out by local industry include stock feed milling and hay processing. Kapunda is a contributor to the wine-growing industry centred in the nearby Barossa Valley.

Kapunda has played host to the Kapunda Celtic Music Festival since 1976. Each year the town celebrates its Celtic heritage with concerts, dancing and pub sessions.