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Walking Around the Town of Clare, South Australia

Bain Rotunda overlooking the Clare Oval where the Clare Classic
finish line and after party was located.

The historic town of Clare is located in the wine making region known as the Clare Valley, just to the north of the arguably more famous wine making region, the Barossa Valley, South Australia.


Poster for the Clare Classic
 after party.
I spent a Sunday walking around the town, sight seeing, while my partner attended a wool spinning workshop. Our visit just happened to coincide with the 2018 Clare Classic, a cross country, road cycling event raising money for charity.

I'm sure this event was great but cycling isn't really my thing - and there's not really a lot to see in these long distance events as a spectator beyond the start and finish line celebrations.

My first priority was actually to try out Clare's skatepark. I wrote a much more detailed review of this on my etourist Skateboards Blogazine if you really want the run down, suffice to say, I spent an hour there, in 30 degree (Celsius) heat, and had a fairly good time.

Clare skatepark.

After the skatepark I didn't really have a plan, I just wandered up and down the main street and through a few back roads to see what I could find.

I could probably have taken many pictures of the many historic buildings, just in the main street alone but I wasn't particularly in the zone for finding really interesting photos (I'm not saying Clare isn't interesting, I just wasn't feeling it on such a hot day). Instead I took a few photos of what caught my eye.

'Wheel Wren' by Roland Weight
First was this metal bird sculpture made from old car parts. You can find this in one of the public squares, along the main street, hidden up the back. Created by Roland Weight and titled 'Wheel Wren' it was the winning artwork in the 2017 Rotary Art Exhibition in the Outdoor Sculpture category. I'm actually a big fan of this kind of sculpture so it naturally caught my attention.

I wonder how big this tree
was in 1839 when the first
white man passed by.
Next I had lunch in a park opposite the lawn bowling club where I came across this historic tree trunk marking the event of the first white man, explorer, Edward John Eyre, to pass this way in May of 1839.

There were also a couple of other events and people noted on the plaque but I feel they were just name dropping at that point. Such as the funeral party carrying the remains of explorers Burke and Wills resting there on their way to Melbourne.

From there I walked back through the main street and followed a path that ran up the hill behind the Clare Oval just to see where it went.

The Bain Retunda.
That's where I discovered the Bain Rotunda, which was built in 1904 (after many council delays) in memorial to Doctor John William Devereux Bain. The doctor died in 1903 and was not only a doctor to the local community but was also an investor in many local businesses and initiatives that he felt would enhance the town's overall well being and job prospects.

Back in the day the rotunda was used for many public weekend concerts and, I'm guessing by the relatively new concrete seating installed around it, still is a place for performances.

Finally, as I was heading back toward the main street I spotted the steeple of a building above the tree line. It looked pretty historic so I thought I'd investigate to see the rest of the building attached below it.

It turned out to be St. Michael's Catholic Church which is part of a local Catholic school (I presume since the original church building from 1849 also had a Catholic school building attached). The new church building (the one in my photo) was completed in 1883.

St. Michael's Church

That was pretty much my day in Clare. There are actually set walking trails you can follow that will take you to all the key sites around the town (I probably should've done that). I can also recommend the Clare Motel as a great place for a very affordable, cooked lunch in pleasant surroundings.

Whilst my partner and I were in the region we also visited Martindale Hall and tried out Bukirk Glamping - click the links to read more about those experiences.

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