The Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council area is located in the Yorke and Mid North Region of South Australia, between 70 and 140 kilometres north of the Adelaide CBD. The Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council area is bounded by the Northern Areas Council area in the north, the Regional Council of Goyder area in the east, the Light Regional Council area in the south, and the Wakefield Regional Council area in the west.
The Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council area includes the localities of Alma (part), Anama, Armagh, Auburn, Barinia, Benbournie, Black Springs, Boconnoc Park, Bungaree, Clare, Emu Flat, Farrell Flat (part), Giles Corner, Gillentown, Halbury (part), Hill River, Hilltown, Hoyleton (part), Leasingham, Manoora, Marrabel, Mintaro, Penwortham, Polish Hill River, Rhynie, Riverton, Saddleworth, Salter Springs (part), Sevenhill, Spring Farm, Spring Gully, Stanley, Stanley Flat, Steelton, Stockport, Tarlee, Tarnma, Tothill Belt, Tothill Creek, Undalya, Waterloo, Watervale and Woolshed Flat.
The Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council area is predominantly rural, with the main township at Clare, and other townships at Auburn, Riverton and Saddleworth. Villages are located at Leasingham, Manoora, Marrabel, Mintaro, Penwortham, Rhynie, Sevenhill, Stockport, Tarlee, Waterloo and Watervale. Rural land is used largely for wheat and cereal growing, sheep and cattle grazing and viticulture, with some slate quarrying. Tourism is also an important industry. The Council area encompasses a total land area of over 1,800 square kilometres.
The Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council is named for the valleys in the area, with Clare thought to be named after County Clare in Ireland and Gilbert being named after Thomas Gilbert, Colonial Storekeeper.
The original inhabitants of the Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council area were the Kaurna and Ngadjuri Aboriginal people.
European settlement of the area dates from the early 1840s, with land used mainly for sheep and cattle grazing, and later grain growing and viticulture. Population growth took place from the mid 1800s into the late 1800s, spurred by nearby copper mining at Burra, slate quarrying at Mintaro, the construction of railway lines and the establishment of numerous small townships. Gradual population growth has taken place in recent years.
Major features of the Council area include Spring Gully Conservation Park, Martindale Hall Conservation Park, numerous wineries, The Riesling Trail, Inchiquin Lake, Gleeson Wetlands, Mintaro Maze, Clare Hospital, Riverton District Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, The Valleys Lifestyle Centre, Clare Golf Club, Riverton Golf Club, Clare Racecourse, Mintaro State Heritage Area, Clare Old Police Station and Courthouse Museum, Saddleworth & District Historical Society Museum, Scholz Park Museum, Stockport Observatory, Clare Valley Model Railway, Bungaree Station and Glenhaven Park Camp Site.
The Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council area is served by the Barrier Highway and the Horrocks Highway.
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