Kyancutta - Places to See


Polk Dinney Park
Just beyond the General Store in Kyancutta is the Polk Dinney Park which was opened on 29 March 1986. It's a Jubilee 150 Project to Commemorate the Pioneers of the Kyancutta District and all of the fences around the Park have been carved with the names of the Pioneering Families. In the centre of this small park is some old pioneering equipment from the area.

Monument to John Darke
On the road between Kimba and Kyancutta, 32 km east of Kyancutta, is a monument to John Darke who was a surveyor and an explorer. On his return journey from the Gawler Ranges Darke was speared by natives on the 22 October 1844. He died on 24 October and was buried at the foot of Darke Peak. The memorial to Darke was erected in 1944 by the residents of Waddikee Rocks.

Darke's colleague on the expedition, which was planned to determine the suitability of the land around Kyancutta, was John Henry Theakston who wrote in his diary:

'Wednesday, October 23

It is with sorrow I am compelled to continue the journal of Mr Darke, he having been speared by three natives whom he had treated in a most kind manner the day previous. About twenty of them made their appearance at eight o'clock. Mr Darke and myself went and made signs to them to keep from the camp, when some of them sat down, and we returned to breakfast. Shortly after, Mr Darke left me in the tent and went towards the scrub in an opposite direction to where he had seen the natives; when within two yards of the bush, he saw a man's eyes glaring at him, and in the act of throwing a spear; there were others behind another bush and they all delivered their spears with too sure aim - one entered his stomach and came out of his back - the other passed through his knee...

October 24...I have dressed the wounds of Mr Darke, and bled him, but found his extremities getting cold and I informed him I feared the event. About ten o'clock he told me he was dying, that mortification had taken place, he was out of pain; he gave me his last commands, and died five minutes to twelve, quite calm to the last minute.'

Theakston buried Darke the following day.

Goyder's Line
About 25 km west of Kyancutta is a monument to Goyder's Line. 'In 1865 Surveyor General George Woodroffe Goyder marked on the map of South Australia a line delineating drought affected country. The line which passes through this area became an important factor in settlement in this state being regarded as an indication of the limits of lands considered safe for agricultural development.' To the north of this line it was considered to be desert.

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