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Padthaway, SA

Famous wine growing area on the Limestone Coast

Padthaway is a tiny township surrounded by vineyards which stretch from the hills across the valley. Apart from the attraction of the very unusual Pioneer Memorial in the town's main street, the main attractions are Henry's Drive cellar door and the impressive Padthaway Homestead and Estate which is both a cellar door and a boutique bed and breakfast destination.

Location

Padthaway is located 288 km south-east of Adelaide via Murray Bridge and Keith.

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Origin of Name

It is widely accepted that the town's name is a corruption of the local Aboriginal word, "potawurutj" meaning "good water".

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Things to See and Do

Pioneer Memorial Park and Marker
Located on Memorial Drive in Pioneer Memorial Park, the project marks the gateway to Padthaway and the wine region. The unusual marker was officially opened on 28 October, 2001 and was the work of Gallery 54 Penola (a team of eight artists). A sign at the Marker explains: "'Padthaway' is an Aboriginal word for 'good water', which abounds at a shallow level, facilitating the industry of the district from early times. The rock, of local green granite, represents the water, the water flows out to the industries of the land, which in turn focus on the source.
"The landscape of Padthaway is dominated by converging lines, firstly the sheep left lines on the landscape, then the crops, the flood banks of the irrigation, and today the rows of vines merge into the distance. The larger-than-life trellises represent the converging lines in an exaggerated perspective, each one supporting a phase of the rural industry, firstly grazing, then cropping, flood irrigation and finally vineyards and the wineries." The unusual marker uses green granite (quarried in the local area), galvanised steel and pine.

Padthaway Historic Walking Tour
There is a pleasant walk which starts at the Rotunda in Apex Park and includes eight places of interest in the tiny community. There is a map and descriptions of the places in the Pioneer Memorial Park.

1. Rotunda
Has original art work about Padthaway by local Anne Emmerson.

2. Padthaway Homestead and Estate
Padthaway Estate is set on 50 hectares of red gum country. The Homestead, built in 1881-1882 by Eliza Lawson, was once the centre of an 84,000 acre property owned by the family of Robert Lawson. Lawson took up Padthaway Station in 1847 and married Eliza Bell in 1849. Robert Lawson died in 1876 at the age of 60 and Eliza lived in the completed home from 1882 until 1913 when she died at the age of 91. The house remained in the Lawson family until 1979. The current owners purchased the land from the descendants of Robert Lawson. The original Lawson cottage nestles in a glade and overlooks the courtyard surrounded by the old stables, the original kitchen, the workshop, the blacksmiths shop and overseers rooms. The shearers quarters have been restored to their original condition. The Quarters were built in 1901 and, having been modernised, they now house the Padthaway Estate Winery cellar door where “Eliza”, their famous sparkling wine, is produced on Australia’s only traditional French Coq Champagne press. The homestead garden was redesigned by the Victorian landscape gardener Ellis Stones in 1948 in the style of an English home with formal areas, walled gardens, orchard, patio, glade and outbuildings all sheltering behind luxurious hedges and English trees.
The Padthaway Estate is listed on the SA Heritage Places Database as including "Homestead, Cottage, former Kitchen, Cellar, former Schoolroom, Shearing Shed, Shearers' Quarters, former Stables and Overseer's cottage." See http://maps.sa.gov.au/heritagesearch/HeritageItem.aspx?p_heritageno=14187 for more details.

3. Padthaway Heritage Cottage
Located nearby and accessible from the main road is the Padthaway Heritage Cottage which was built for the overseer of the Padthaway run. He drowned at sea but the cottage continued to be the home of the Lawson workmen. In the 1940s it was used as the Padthaway Telephone Exchange. It was also used as a drop-off point for mail, bread etc. In the 1980s it was used as a Doctor's Surgery.

4. Padthaway Cemetery
A sad memorial to the harshness of the times. In the cemetery is a small limestone walled plot where two of Robert and Eliza Lawson's children are buried. Mary, who was their second child, died in 1855 having only lived for twenty months and Anne, their fourth child was buried in 1860 having lived for only 15 months.

5. Orchid Track and Padthaway Conservation Park
This is the start of the Padthaway Bush Walking track which leads into the Padthaway Conservation Park - Located 1.5 km east of Padthaway this 984 ha park is situated on a former coastal dune and is characterised by stands of yellow gum, ribbon gum, brown stringybark, manna gums with extensive acacias and banksias. It is also home to a variety of animals including koalas, birds - including the rare long-billed corella, rabbits, kangaroos and many insects. In spring the rare fire orchid can be sighted. It can be accessed from the Beeamma Parsons Road.

6. Padthaway Heritage Golf Club House
In 1988 this historic home, known to the locals as 'The Shepherd's Hut', was opened as the Padthaway Golf Club House. It was built in 1912 by Douglas Penny, a local beekeeper. About 100 metres to the south there is still evidence of the fruit trees he planted.

7. Historic Woolshed
Located beyond the Padthaway Homestead this old woolshed dates from the 1880s. At its height it could handle 1,100 sheep a day and the Padthaway Station had a herd of 27,000. Today it is the Padthaway Estate Winery.

8. Padthaway Marker
Located on Memorial Drive in Pioneer Memorial Park, the project marks the gateway to Padthaway and the wine region. The unusual marker was officially opened on 28 October, 2001 and was the work of Gallery 54 Penola (a team of eight artists). A sign at the Marker explains: "'Padthaway' is an Aboriginal word for 'good water', which abounds at a shallow level, facilitating the industry of the district from early times. The rock, of local green granite, represents the water, the water flows out to the industries of the land, which in turn focus on the source.
"The landscape of Padthaway is dominated by converging lines, firstly the sheep left lines on the landscape, then the crops, the flood banks of the irrigation, and today the rows of vines merge into the distance. The larger-than-life trellises represent the converging lines in an exaggerated perspective, each one supporting a phase of the rural industry, firstly grazing, then cropping, flood irrigation and finally vineyards and the wineries." The unusual marker uses green granite (quarried in the local area), galvanised steel and pine.

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Other Attractions in the Area

Wineries
This is not really the place for an analysis of all the vineyards (a total of 11 vineyard with two cellar doors) in the area. For people wanting detailed information on the vineyards check out the excellent Padthaway Wine Region website - https://www.padthawaywineregion.com/producers.htm. It lists all the wineries and effortlessly bounces wine enthusiasts through to the dedicated internet sites of each of the vineyard. The total area along the Riddoch Highway comprises 345 square kilometres and is 62 km long and 8 km wide. There are more than 4,000 ha of vineyards in the area most of which are planted with Shiraz, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Although there are many vineyards around Padthaway, few have cellar doors or associated restaurants. The best cellar door and historic homestead in the district is Padthaway Estate Winery.

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History

* Prior to the arrival of Europeans the area was home to the Potawurtji and Ngarrengiri Aboriginal people.

* The first European to settle the area was Robert Lawson who moved into the area with his wife Eliza in 1847. He had acquired 21,500 hectares and subsequently increased the holding to 32,000 hectares.

* In 1847 Lawson built a small cottage which he lived in for the next thirty years. He bred Arab horses for India and sheep for their wool.

* In 1872 the government reclaimed part of Lawson's run and offered blocks of land for sale

* In 1876 Robert Lawson died.

* In 1882, after Robert Lawson had died, Eliza Lawson built the elegant Padthaway Homestead.

* In 1901 the shearer's quarters at Padthaway Homestead were completed.

* A local school was opened in 1935.

* In 1952 the Padthaway area was identified for a World War II soldier settlement. It became an official, gazetted town that year.

* In 1964 the Seppelt wine company started growing grapes in the district.

* Lindemans and Hardys wine companies arrived in the district in 1968.

* In 1980 the Lawson family sold Padthaway Estate which was turned into a vineyard.

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Visitor Information

There is no visitor information in the town but the Bordertown Visitor Information Centre, Tolmer Park, 81 North Terrace, tel: 1800 520 0644 and (08) 8752 0644 has information. It is open 10.00 am - 4.00 pm Monday to Friday and 10.30 am - 2.30 pm on weekends.

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Useful Websites

Check out https://www.tatiara.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=587 for more information on Padthaway.

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