Things to do
Information on upcoming events can be found in the Auburn Express local newsletter.
Auburn is the place where evidence of the Clare Valley hospitality begins. Vines were planted near Auburn in the early 1850’s. Today, the wine industry is Auburn’s main source of employment whilst others commute to regional employment, are self-employed in cottage industries or are retired. In Auburn there is something for everyone, offering visitors an attractive variety of accommodation, many heritage buildings of architectural and historic significance, walking trails, dining and browsing venues – and even a mini-golf course. Welcome and enjoy!
Walk with history in Auburn
There is an excellent National Trust brochure titled ‘Walk With History at Auburn’ which provides a map and lists 24 places of historic interest in the town.
The most interesting buildings include:
Auburn Institute & Town Hall
Located on the Main North Road at the northern end of town, the Auburn Institute and Town Hall was built in 1866 by a group of private individuals. The southern facade was completed in 1884.
It is a fine example of Joseph Meller’s stonemasonry skills.
Site of Auburn Hotel
The Auburn Hotel, originally located on the north side of the North Street and Main North Road corner, has gone but it is an important part of Australian folk history. Now the site for Auburn Senior Citizens Club.
It was here that James Dennis, a retired sea captain, ran the pub from 1865-77 and it was here that his son C.J. Dennis (one of Australia’s most beloved vernacular poets – he created the character of ‘the sentimental bloke’ a quintessential Australian innocent) was born. There is a delightful and unusual memorial to Dennis outside the Senior Citizens Club.
It is a metal model of the old Auburn Hotel. The real hotel was demolished in 1969.
Court House & Police Station Museum
Built in (1859) and located in St Vincent Street, both the Court House and the Police Station are National Trust buildings. They have been used to house a history of the local area.
Rising Sun Hotel
Located on the corner of St Vincent Street and Main North Road, the Rising Sun Hotel dates from 1851 and was the first commercial building in the town.
The present hotel dates from the early 1900s but the stables and part of the hotel were built in 1850. The loft is famous as the first place where a telegraph message was received on 3 June, 1862.
This bluestone building was constructed in 1862, the stonemason being Joseph Jones. Meller cut the stone. The postmaster’s duties in the early 1890’s included the maintenance of the telegraph lines. It still continues to operate as a post office and a tourist information point today. The buiding is privately owned.
Joseph Meller’s Historic Buildings
Located at the eastern end of King Street (in Curling Street) this stone Lutheran church was built by Joseph Meller in 1869; Meller also built the former Corn Mart (on the Main North Road) in 1878.
It was purchased by the CWA in 1949; he was also responsible for the Catholic Church at the southern end of Elder Street which was built for the Methodists in 1866 and sold to the Catholics in 1915; the Uniting Church which was built by Meller in 1861 and stands at the southern end of the town; and St John’s Anglican Church (1862) features some of Meller’s stonework above the altar.
Auburn’s Walks, Bike Rides and Scenic Drives
Wakefield River Walk
Passing through the township of Auburn is the picturesque Wakefield River. An area along the side of the river has been cleared in order to give access to this lovely tranquil setting.
The 300 metre trail starts at King Street and concludes at Daly Street and takes around 10 minutes to walk.
A new seat donated by the Auburn Community Development Committee adds another dimension for those wishing to spend a little time in contemplation.
The Auburn Lookout
A Scenic Walk, Bike Ride or Drive
West up Dennis Rd (continuation of West St) to the top of the hill for a great lookout over the township of Auburn. There is a bench seat strategically located for those wishing to rest or reflect on the view.
The Clare Valley Trails
Auburn is the southern starting point for The Riesling Trail to Clare and the northern starting point for The Rattler Rail Trail to Riverton.
Walk or Ride Bike.
For details on The Riesling Trail visit SouthAustralia.com RieslingTrail
The Rattler Rail Trail
Walk or Ride Bike.
For details on The Rattler Rail Trail visit SouthAustralia.com Rattler Trail
Explore the southern region of the Clare Valley, including Watervale, Polish Hill, Mintaro and Auburn following the scenic Mintaro and Auburn Trail.