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Echunga ( ih-CHUNG-gə) is a small town in the Adelaide Hills located 34 km south-east of Adelaide in South Australia.
The area was initially settled in 1839, with the town laid out in 1849. Gold was discovered in 1852 and Echunga became the first proclaimed goldfield in South Australia. This led to a gold rush; however, it did not last long with the diggings exhausted and all but abandoned within a year. Subsequent discoveries in 1853 and 1854 led to smaller and equally short-lived rushes. In 1868 more gold was discovered at nearby Jupiter Creek, which proved to be a much larger and long-lived field.The town reputedly takes its name from a Kaurna word 'eechungga' which may mean either 'a short distance' or 'close by'. For a brief time Echunga prospered and it has been estimated that at its peak it had grown to a population in excess of 1,200. Echunga is part of Battunga Country.
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