The Wattle Range Council area is located in the Limestone Coast Region of South Australia, about 400 kilometres south-east of the Adelaide CBD and 500 kilometres west of the Melbourne CBD. The Wattle Range Council area is bounded by the District Council of Robe and the Naracoorte Lucindale Council area in the north, the Victorian border, West Wimmera Shire and Glenelg Shire in the east, the District Council of Grant in the south, and the Southern Ocean in the west.
The Wattle Range Council area includes the localities of Beachport, Bool Lagoon (part), Bray (part), Burrungule (part), Canunda (part), Clay Wells (part), Comaum, Coonawarra, Furner, German Flat, Glencoe, Glenroy, Hatherleigh, Kalangadoo, Kangaroo Inn (part), Koorine, Krongart, Maaoupe, Magarey, Millicent, Moerlong, Monbulla, Mount Burr, Mount McIntyre, Nangwarry, Nora Creina (part), Penola, Rendelsham, Rocky Camp, Sebastapol, Short, Southend, Tantanoola (part), Thornlea, Wattle Range, Wattle Range East and Wepar (part).
The Wattle Range Council area is predominantly rural, with the main service centre being Millicent, and smaller townships at Beachport, Coonawarra, Furner, Glencoe, Hatherleigh, Kalangadoo, Mount Burr, Nangwarry, Penola, Rendelsham, Southend and Tantanoola. The Council area encompasses a total land area of about 3,900 square kilometres. Rural land is used largely for sheep and cattle grazing, crop growing, horticulture, viticulture and timber production, with fishing and tourism also being important industries.
The original inhabitants of the Wattle Range Council area were the Booandik Aboriginal people.
European settlement dates primarily from the 1840s, with land used mainly for grazing and crop growing. In the 1850s the township of Penola developed, acting as a service centre for travellers to the goldfields. Population growth took place from the 1870s into the early 1900s when many other small townships developed, aided by the opening of the railway line. In the 1890s the Penola Fruit Growing Colony (now Coonawarra) was established in the Coonawarra and Penola areas. Significant development occurred during the post-war years, aided by the soldier settlement scheme. The population gradually declined from the early 1990s, falling from about 13,000 in 1991 to about 11,000 in 2011, largely due to a decline in dwelling occupancy rates.
Major features of the Council area include Canunda National Park, Beachport Conservation Park, Belt Hill Conservation Park, Calectasia Conservation Park, Glen Roy Conservation Park, Gower Conservation Park, Lake Frome Conservation Park, Penguin Island Conservation Park, Penola Conservation Park, Reedy Creek Conservation Park, Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park, Tantanoola Cave, Lake Bonney, Lake Edward, Lake George, Lake Leake, Lake McIntyre, Lake St Clair, numerous wineries in the Coonawarra wine region, Millicent Living History Museum, Beachport Old Wool and Grain Store Museum, Nangwarry Forestry Museum, Mary MacKillop Penola Centre, Glencoe Woolshed, Beachport Jetty, Pool of Siloam, Millicent Swimming Lake, various beaches, Lake Bonney Wind Farms, Woakwine Wind Farm, Beachport Golf Club, Hatherleigh Golf Course, Millicent Golf Club, Noorla Yo-Long Outdoor Adventure camp, Bowman Scenic Drive, several art galleries, Millicent and District Hospital, Penola War Memorial Hospital, Kelap Glade, Father Woods Park, Jubilee Park (Millicent), Millicent Showground, Penola Racecourse and Millicent Aerodrome.
The Wattle Range Council area is served by the Princes Highway and the Southern Ports Highway.
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