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Cleve, SA

Quiet wheatbelt town in the heart of the Eyre Peninsula.

Holiday towns on the coast. Rural service centres inland. Such is the nature of the Eyre Peninsula. Cleve is located in a sheep and wheat growing area and, as such, is a small town providing services for the surrounding farmers. The district, prior to clearance by Europeans, was characterised by dense mallee scrub which comprised white mallee, red mallee, narrow-leaved red mallee and broombush. Euros and Western grey kangaroos were commonplace and the rainfall rarely exceeded 400 mm per annum. It was dry land which, if carefully used, could produce good reliable crops of wheat and was ideal sheep country. Today the dryness of the area has been a pleasant reservoir and weir built at Yeldunknie and an impressive wind farm on the road to Cowell.

Location

Cleve is located 529 km west of Adelaide via Port Augusta and the Princes and Eyre Highways. It is 223 km south-west of Port Augusta.

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Origin of Name

Cleve was named after Cleve House, the country seat of the Snow family who were cousins of Governor Sir William Francis Drummond Jervois who was Governor of South Australia (1877-83).

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Things to See and Do

Cleve Heritage Walk
Covering 2.8 km and taking around one hour to complete, the Cleve Heritage Walk list a total of 27 places of interest (the brochure is available from the Newsagent in the main street) all of which date from the first decade of the twentieth century. The most interesting include:

1. Centenary Park & Town Map
The Park is maintained by the local Lions Club. Historic agricultural implements from the horse and bullock era are on display as well as the first council grader and the first Cleve street light. It is located on Main Street.

10. St Michael and All Angels Anglican Church
The first stone for the church was laid in 1913. This simple church has been made in a distinctively South Australian mixture of brick and stone.

16. National Trust Agricultural and Folk Museum
There is a small National Trust Museum located in the First District Council of Cleve Chambers in Third Street. The website explains: "the Agricultural and Folk Museum opened in 1972 and displays a collection of early pioneering artefacts from household articles to agricultural machinery, as well as an extensive collection of photographs and local records. The photographs, records and mainly domestic items are displayed in the original council chambers which began to be built in 1912 for £110 and opened on 20 February 1913. Larger objects including tractors, stationary engines and an iron lung donated by the Cleve and District Hospital used during the polio epidemic of the 1930s, are displayed in a shed behind.Housed in Cleve’s Old Council Chambers, the Agricultural and Folk Museum opened in 1972 and displays a collection of early pioneering artefacts from household articles to agricultural machinery, as well as an extensive collection of photographs and local records. The photographs, records and mainly domestic items are displayed in the original council chambers which began to be built in 1912 for £110 and opened on 20 February 1913. Larger objects including tractors, stationary engines and an iron lung donated by the Cleve and District Hospital used during the polio epidemic of the 1930s, are displayed in a shed behind." It is open by appointment only, tel: (08) 8628 2038.

Cleve's Centenary of Federation Mural
There are a number of interesting murals depicting the early history of the area around the town. They were all created by the children at the local high school with the assistance of professional artists.

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Visitor Information

Cleve Newsagency, 21 Main Street, Cleve, tel: (08) 8628 2183

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Useful Websites

The local council has an excellent website with a special "Tourist Information" section. Check out https://www.cleve.sa.gov.au/page.aspx and there is a downloadable brochure on Cleve and Arno available at http://exploreeyrepeninsula.com.au/destinations/eastern-eyre/cleve.

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1 suggestion so far
  • I am trying to find out the name of the first white baby born in Cleve Hospital. I have been told it was a relative of mine. We are trying to do a family tree for that part of our family, and this detail is what we are missing. Hoping some one may be able to help thank you.

    Karen Croke