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Whereis > SA > Whitwarta

Map of Whitwarta, SA 5461

Whitwarta is a town in South Australia. The town is situated beside the Wakefield River (known as Undalya to the Indigenous people) about 100 km north of the state capital, Adelaide. The name Whitwarta means freshwater (distorted from Whitarter), a reference to the freshwater springs that exist along the pronounced bend in the river nearby. The constant availability of freshwater along an otherwise dry river (the Rocks upstream of Balaklava is the next closest and permanent waterhole) meant that Whitwarta was a suitable place to establish a village. Approximately 20 people now live in the village.

Geographically, Whitwarta is situated on the plains, almost halfway between the Clare Valley and Skilly Hills to the East and the Southern Hummocks Ranges to the West. A series of salt lakes pepper the countryside to the West and North East of Whitwarta.

The old Whitwarta School (1879–1951) still stands at the northern end of the village on Bowman St, as does the Post Office at the southern end. The church and Whitwarta Hotel along the Kadina Road were damaged by floods during the 1900s, and were demolished as a consequence. The last flood occurred in September 2010 (the previous flood occurred in summer of 1998). A number of Eucalyptus camaldulensis sprouted on the flood plains and riparian zone shortly afterwards, some of which have been fenced-off by local farmers to avoid stock damage. A management plan for the River Wakefield was carried out in 2000, which included recommendations for the amelioration of water quality and flow at Whitwarta.
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