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Blinman - South Australia

Tiny copper town with a glorious past

Picturesque Blinman is the only survivor of numerous copper towns in the Flinders Ranges. It is surrounded by beautiful countryside. From whichever direction you come here, it is a magnificient drive.

Bushwalking, four-wheel-driving tours, exploring the old copper mine and historic buildings - there is much to do to keep you busy for a day, or two.
Scenic drives through Glass Gorge and to Parachilna via Parachilna Gorge are very worthwhile and a great experience.

old school building in the flinder ranges
The old schoolhouse


Copper was discovered in 1859 by shepherd Robert Blinman, and three years later mining began. Drought and low copper prices closed the mine a few times. The final closure was in 1910.

At its peak the town had a population between 1500 and 2000, which declined everytime the mine closed.
A Police station and school were built in the early days, both operated until 1970.

Today, only 22 people live in South Australia's highest town (alt. 615 m). Blinman is a good base to explore the gorges and the beautiful scenery in the northern Flinders Ranges.

Explore Blinman

Historic buildings and the old mine area are the main attractions in town, and most of them are lined along the wide main road.

  • The beautiful old schoolhouse (1883)and the Memorial Hall (1896) were built from local sandstone, as well as the police station (1885).
  • The North Blinman Hotel (1869) is a brick building that was later rendered, and still had a lot of its original features. The hotel still operates, of course. Hey there is no Australian town I can think of without a running hotel. :) The hotel offers motel style accommodation and camping.
  • Other historic buildings include the small library (1900), the post office (1876), a butcher's shop and of course the hotel.
  • Blinman-Cottage and the Captain's cottage offer accommodation, see more on the Flinders Ranges Travel Tips page.
  • Spread across the town are still a few old miner's cottages built from pine.
  • Opened in 2011, the Blinman Heritage Tourist Mine (Ph: (08)8648 4782) offers tours to experience an original underground mine. The office is in the town centre and acts as information centre for tourists as well.

    Visitors can explore the mine area themselves with the help of a booklet, or join a 1 hour tour to go underground. Booking is essential and can be done in the mine office (open daily from March to November)
Like in most Australian Outback towns the cemetery is worth a visit. These old cemeteries tell stories of the hardship in the early days.

How to get there

All routes to Blinman can be called a scenic route. The Flinders Ranges offer beautiful scenery anywhere.

Coming from the south you have a sealed road all along the way from Hawker via Wilpena.

Access from the west is along the stunning Parachilna Gorge. In dry weather there are no problems with a conventional car.
Another option is a drive along Glass Gorge when you drive from / to Parachilna.

The same is valid for the Arkaroola to Wirrealpa road. These roads are in fairly good condition when the weather is dry.

To be on the safe side check out the road restriction report for South Australia Ph: 1300 361 033 before you go.

Have a safe trip and enjoy South Australia's highest town.

Population: 151 (2006 census) - including people on nearby stations
Location: Approx. 485 km northwest of Adelaide
State:South Australia
Post Code: 5730
Elevation: 615m
Time Zone: Australian Central Standard Time (ACST)
Best time to visit:
All around the year
Blinman offers accommodation, meals a general store, but no fuel

general store
The general store

blinman memorial hall
Memorial hall

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Copyright © 2007- Rita Amend.