On to Gawler, Dead Man’s Pass and beyond

First off, we now have Facebook Page so check it here and like it! Reto is updating it with lots of photos.

Joint meeting of Gawler Rotary Clubs with mayor

Meeting with Mayor Redman (center) and Presidents of local Rotary clubs.

This past week we’ve been the guests of the Rotary Club of Gawler and Rotary Club of Gawler Light. Our first evening we were the guests and program at a joint meeting of both clubs at the beautiful Hewett Centre. Prior to the meeting we attended a reception with Gawler Mayor Karen Redman, a charming women who was very keen to hear our views and share updates on her community.

As with last week, our hosts here have us busy each day! One enlightening session was meeting the family farmers of Pareta Farms and hear their story of how they dodged the devastating Pinery Fire from last November. In total, the deadly fire burnt approximately 85,000 hectares (210,000 acres) of land in the Balaklava / Roseworthy area of Southern Australia. Owner Peter Heinjus showed us their operations and how a row of native Melaleuca helped to suppress the fire from advancing into their main living and work compound. Less than four months later, new shoots were popping up from the root stock where the charred remains of the shrub like trees stood. Nearby Eucalyptus trees were aso greening again and the charred dry crop fields were greening up from recent rains.

Reto and KoalaUndoubtedly a highlight for the group was our visit at the Gorge Wildlife Park. Spread through this compact gorge like reserve are more than 50 species of wildlife from alligators to Capuchin monkeys. We were able to mingle with and feed small kangaroos (including some albino ones) and wallabies. And then there were the koalas. A few times each day they bring koalas out for guests to briefly hold. For their sie they were heavier than we would think but very calm with the whole experience.

Today we took in Gawler’s Farmer’s Market, a band competition marching through the downtown and some serious people watching at the Clare Racing Club, where the horse races seemed to take a back seat to the ‘see and be seen’ scene of the masses of 20 somethings wearing their ‘going to races togs’. Also enjoyed a our of the historic Sevenhill Cellars, the first winery established in the Clare Valley. Sevenhill was settled by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1851 to produce sacramental wine. While that tradition continues, Sevenhill is also highly regarded for its premium wines.

Oh and about the title for this blog, Dead Man’s Pass is named after an unidentified dead man found in 1837, for which a road pass is named. When the Gawler Light Rotary Club was formed there was talk of calling it Dead Man’s Pass Rotary of Gawler or the like, but alas, they opted to recognize William Light, who planned the layout of the City of Gawler. Frankly, Ithink it would be great fun to do a Rotary make up meeting at Dead Man’s Pass…imagine what the club banner would look like?


Sevenhill cellar room (photo from Sevenhill)






About Vocational Training Team, Rotary District 5060

This is the blog of the Vocational Training Team (VTT) of Rotary District 5060 about their trip to Australia. For 30 days this team of four from Washington State U.S.A. and British Columbia Canada will be the guests of Rotary District 9500 in South Australia and part of the Northern Territory. They will learn about local viticulture, agri-tourism and agricultural practices while enjoying the history, scenery and culture of the region. Follow along on their adventure!
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