Kimba & Gawler Ranges Historical Society Museum
Today the major attraction in the town is undoubtedly the excellent Kimba & Gawler Ranges Historical Society Museum which is open on Wednesdays from 10.30 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. It is possible to arrange inspections at other times by contacting either (08) 8627 2097 or (08) 8627 2281. The museum is located on the south side of the Eyre Highway near the grain silos.
The success of the museum is based on the way it incorporates a number of buildings which provide a real experience of the early history of the area. The museum complex includes a pioneer house, a one teacher school, a blacksmiths shop, and sheds displaying machinery and engineering equipment.
The Pioneer House is a reconstruction, using original materials, of the first house built by the Haskett family. The house, which is constructed of pine and plaster, was built by Sam Haskett some time after 1908. It was removed and re-erected at the Museum in 1978.
The One Teacher School is one of the many portable wooden schools which were built in the Kimba area between 1918 and 1967. Small schools like this were scattered throughout the area. The cost per pupil was about 5 times as much as pupils in larger schools but many children of pioneer families had the whole of their schooling in these tiny schools. A map on the cairn outside the school building records a total of 26 schools in the Kimba area and records where they were all located.
The Blacksmiths Shop and Machinery Display Sheds contain a wide range of equipment connected with shearing, woolhandling, blacksmithing and wheelwrighting which offers a wonderful insight into the working conditions which existed around the turn of the century.
Visitors wishing to enjoy an excellent view over the whole Kimba area should drive towards the town centre and follow North Terrace out past the Golf Course to White's Knob Lookout where, on a clear day, it is possible to see landmarks up to 50 km away.
To the north of Kimba lie the Gawler Ranges which rise as high as 470 m above sea level. They are the division between the Eyre Peninsula and the harsh desert areas of Central Australia. The roads into the area are less than perfect but the ranges themselves offer excellent opportunities for people interesting in seeing the flora and fauna of the region. Red kangaroos, Western greys and euros abound and in spring the area is covered with wildflowers including dramatic displays of the beautiful Sturts Desert Pea. This is lonely and isolated country and visitors should be well prepared before departing from Kimba as there are few facilities available. It is advisable to get information on the roads and accommodation from the Mt Ive Tourist Centre which can be contacted on (08) 8648 1817.