The Barunga West Council area is located in the Yorke and Mid North Region of South Australia, between 120 and 180 kilometres north-west of the Adelaide CBD. The Barunga West Council area is bounded by the Port Pirie Regional Council area in the north, the Wakefield Regional Council area in the east, the Yorke Peninsula Council area in the south, the Copper Coast Council area in the south-west, and Spencer Gulf in the west.
The Barunga West Council area includes the localities of Alford, Bute (part), Clements Gap (part), Fisherman Bay, Kulpara, Melton, Mundoora (part), Ninnes, Paskeville (part), Port Broughton, South Hummocks (part), Thomas Plain, Tickera (part), Ward Hill, Willamulka (part) and Wokurna (part).
The Barunga West Council area is predominantly rural, with a township at Port Broughton, smaller townships at Bute and Fisherman Bay, and small settlements at Alford and Tickera. Land is used largely for grain growing (wheat and barley), with some grazing and mixed farming. Fishing and tourism are also important industries. The Council area encompasses a total land area of about 1,600 square kilometres.
The Barunga West Council area is named after the Barunga Range which is located to the east, which is thought to be named from an Aboriginal word meaning “a place for meat”.
The original inhabitants of the Barunga West Council area were the Nharangga Aboriginal people.
European settlement of the area dates from the 1850s. Land was initially used for grazing, then for grain and crop growing. A port was established at Port Broughton in 1871, prompting the creation of the township. Growth took place during the late 1800s, when several other small townships were established. During the 1920s shacks were built at Fisherman Bay. The population has been relatively stable in recent years.
Major features of the Council area include Bute Fauna Park, Port Broughton Golf Club, Port Broughton and District Hospital and Health Service, Port Broughton Heritage Centre, Bute Sportsground, Port Broughton Oval, Port Broughton Jetty and several beaches.
The Barunga West Council area is served by the Copper Coast Highway and the Spencer Highway.
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