The RDA (Regional Development Australia) Yorke and Mid North Region is located to the north of metropolitan Adelaide, between 70 and 300 kilometres north and north-west of the Adelaide CBD. The RDA Yorke and Mid North Region is bounded by the Flinders Ranges Council area in the north, Unincorporated South Australia in the north-east, the Mid Murray Council area in the south-east, the Light Regional Council area, the Adelaide Plains Council area and Gulf St Vincent in the south, and Spencer Gulf and Port Augusta City in the west.
The RDA Yorke and Mid North Region encompasses the eleven local government areas of Barunga West Council, Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council, Copper Coast Council, Regional Council of Goyder, District Council of Mount Remarkable, Northern Areas Council, District Council of Orroroo Carrieton, District Council of Peterborough, Port Pirie Regional Council, Wakefield Regional Council and Yorke Peninsula Council.
The RDA Yorke and Mid North Region is predominantly rural, with a regional centre at Port Pirie and major townships at Clare, Kadina, Moonta and Wallaroo. The Region has smaller townships at Ardrossan, Auburn, Balaklava, Blyth, Booleroo Centre, Brinkworth, Burra, Bute, Carrieton, Crystal Brook, Edithburgh, Eudunda, Fisherman Bay, Gladstone, Hamley Bridge, Jamestown, Koolunga, Laura, Lochiel, Maitland, Melrose, Minlaton, Moonta Bay, Napperby, North Beach, Orroroo, Owen, Paskeville, Peterborough, Port Broughton, Port Germein, Port Hughes, Port Victoria, Port Vincent, Port Wakefield, Redhill, Riverton, Saddleworth, Snowtown, Spalding, Stansbury, Warooka, Wilmington, Wirrabara, Yongala and Yorketown, as well as numerous smaller villages and settlements. Rural land is used largely for agriculture, particularly grain growing (wheat, barley and legumes) and sheep and cattle grazing. Forestry and fishing are also important industries, with some viticulture. Significant industrial areas are located in Port Pirie, including the port which exports lead, zinc and ore. The Region is home to substantial mining and extractive industries, including copper, dolomite, granite, gypsum, limestone, sand and slate. Power generation (wind farms) and tourism are also important industries. The Region encompasses a total land area of about 35,000 square kilometres.
The original inhabitants of the RDA Yorke and Mid North Region were the Kaurna, Ngadjuri, Nharangga and Nukunu Aboriginal people.
European settlement of the area dates from the early 1840s, with land used mainly for grazing, grain and crop growing and timber-getting. Growth took place from the 1850s into the early 1900s, spurred by copper mining at Burra, Kadina, Moonta and Wallaroo, the opening of railway lines, the construction of ports, and the establishment of numerous townships. The population increased slightly over recent decades, with most of the growth in the Copper Coast Council area.
Major features of the Region include Innes National Park, Mount Remarkable National Park, numerous Conservation Parks (Bird Islands, Black Rock, Caroona Creek, Carribie, Clements Gap, Clinton, Leven Beach, Martindale Hall, Minlacowie, Mokota, Pandappa, Point Davenport, Ramsay, Red Banks, Spring Gully, Telowie Gorge, Warrenben, Wills Creek and Yalpara), Alligator Gorge, Burra Creek Gorge, Port Germein Gorge, Mount Remarkable, Bundaleer Forest Reserve, Wirrabara Forest Reserve, numerous salt lakes, TAFE SA (Kadina, Narungga and Port Pirie Campuses), Burra State Heritage Area, Mintaro State Heritage Area, Moonta Mines State Heritage Area, Clare Valley Model Railway, Moonta Tourist Railway, Pirie Rail Express, Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre, Mintaro Maze, Gladstone Gaol, Stockport Observatory, the Port Pirie CBD, Pirie Plaza Shopping Centre, Hallett Wind Farms, Hornsdale Wind Farm, Snowtown Wind Farm, Wattle Point Wind Farm, Hallett Power Station, Port Pirie Smelter, Ardrossan Dolomite Mine, the Heysen Trail, the Mawson Trail and numerous beaches, galleries, golf clubs, hospitals, jetties and wharfs, lookouts, museums, swimming pools and wineries.
The RDA Yorke and Mid North Region is served by the Augusta Highway, the Barrier Highway, the Copper Coast Highway, the Goyder Highway, the Horrocks Highway, the Princes Highway, the Spencer Highway, the St Vincent Highway, the Wilkins Highway, the Worlds End Highway, the Yorke Highway, Port Wakefield Road, the Port of Ardrossan, Klein Point Port, Port Giles, Port Pirie Port and Wallaroo Port.
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