The Copper Coast is an easy, one-and-a-half hour drive along Port Wakefield Highway from Adelaide. Its population of approximately 14,500 people is spread throughout the three main towns, Wallaroo, Moonta & Kadina. Wallaroo and Moonta, the seaside towns on the Copper Coast, have a population of approximately 4,000 and 5,000 respectively. Both towns population increases substantially during the summer holiday period, with plenty of accommodation available to suit all tastes and budgets. Kadina, being the largest town with approximately 5,400 people, is currently undergoing major of renovations to the CBD and town centre.
The Copper Coast gets its name from its mining heritage, when Copper was first discovered in 1859 in Wallaroo Mines, Kadina. Cornish miners were recruited to work the mines, until 1923 when the mines closed after copper prices fell after World War I. The area is rich in history, with a heritage drive and museum in each town. The biannual Copper Coast Cornish Festival, the Kernewek Lowender, brings approximately 45,000 people to the area to celebrate the Cornish heritage. Hundreds dress up in traditional Cornish costumes, and enjoy the festivities such the maypole and furry dancing, Gathering of the Bards and the Dressing of the Graves. The local schools all take part in the maypole and furry dancing, the kids usually learning the dance and training in their lunch breaks.
One of the most traditional foods of the Copper Coast, that you’ll see in plentiful supply during the Kernewek Lowender, is the good ol’ Cornish Pasty. A legacy from the Cornish miners, the traditional Cornish pasty was filled with cheap ingredients such as potato, swede and onion, and a small amount of meat. They were taken down the mines as a ‘complete meal’ with meat, veg and carbs all in one easy to carry parcel. It is believed that the distinctive shape with the knobbly crust on the top, was to give the pasty a ‘handle’ which was thrown away after eating the rest of the pasty, to prevent contaminating the food with dirty arsenic-covered hands.
I have always gone to the Cornish Kitchen in Moonta when I get a pasty craving (I ate one for lunch everyday while I was pregnant!). But I think I might have to step out of my comfort zone and try a new bakery after my encounter yesterday, with a stranger who overheard me talking to Keely & Benji about the best Cornish pasty. An old fellow on a gopher stopped me and ask if I was a local or tourist, and when I replied “local”, he said “Well the best Cornish pasties are from Prices Bakery, the Cornish Kitchen put too much carrot in theirs!”. I have yet to try one from Prices Bakery, so the jury is still out! Cornish pasties are available from almost every bakery on the Copper Coast all year round.
There really is no shortage of places to eat and drink on the Copper Coast. From do-it-yourself style with a large, well-stocked Woolworths or Drakes Foodland in each town providing all the groceries you need to cook for yourself; to dining out for every meal, with plenty of delis, restaurants and takeaway shops; PLUS a minimum of at least 3 pubs in each town (Wallaroo boasts 5 pubs! Stay tuned for my upcoming post on my Wallaroo Pub Crawl). Most places are family/kid-friendly, with kids menus, high chairs, and understanding staff who have kids of their own and understand what its like dining out with kids. Quite a few places have a safe beer garden, a playground across the road (The Exchange Hotel), or a kids playroom (The Anglers Inn Hotel).
The Coopers Alehouse in Wallaroo is the Copper Coast’s newest pub, opening in 2007, and definitely the place I choose to go when I don’t feel like cooking, or want a cold beer or sav blanc. Its waterside location and extensive food and drinks menu options makes it a popular choice for both locals and tourists. It has a great outside dining/bar area overlooking the marina, as well as sports bar, function room, and large dining room, suitable for weddings, functions or any social gathering. They offer fresh local and South Australian Seafood, as well as the usual pub-style meals with an a la cart menu that changes with the seasons, and wood oven pizzas. Their ‘Spencer Gulf Seafood Combo’ would be my top pick; with local whiting, Spencer Gulf prawns and salt & pepper squid, served with salad and chips. The alehouse has a comprehensive selection of beers, wines and spirits to chose from, with over 15 beers on tap and a collection of speciality cocktails, including the delicious (but very strong!) Espresso Martini.
Here are some of my other favourite places to enjoy a drink, snack, or meal on the Copper Coast. With so many yummy food choices, its clear to see that the Copper Coast provides an abundance of options to feed yourself and your family. Do you have a favourite place on the Copper Coast that I haven’t mentioned? Please feel free to mention it in the comments below.
- The Smelter; all day breakfast, brunch, lunch, coffee, and the best fish in town! https://www.facebook.com/thesmeltercafe/
- Café Mia; breakfast, light lunches, salads, coffee, cakes, slices and muffins https://www.facebook.com/caffemiawallaroo/
- Saltwater Café Pizza; breakfast, pizza, pasta, burgers, yiros, hotdogs https://www.facebook.com/SWcafepizza/
- Hooked on Fish & Chips; fish & chips, yiros, hotdogs, hamburgers https://m.facebook.com/hookedonfishnchips2/
- Jetty Road Bakery; Cornish pasties, pies, sausage rolls, kitchener buns and honey sticks with real, fresh cream!
- Wallaroo Community Sports Club; Licensed Happy Hour 5-7pm every Friday night, meals on the first Friday of the month from 5-7pm http://envirostruct.com.au/wallaroo-community-sports-club/
- Wallaroo Sailing club; Licensed bar facilities and meals from 6.30pm-8pm Fridays http://www.wallaroosc.yachting.org.au/
- The Bellagio; Licensed Italian restaurant serving breakfast, pizza, pasta, salads
- Cracked Pepper Café; light meals, sandwiches, wraps, rolls, amazing Vietnamese rolls and salads, pies, pasties & sausage rolls
- Highway Restaurant; Licensed, a la carte menu features entrees such kebabs, oysters, wedges, and mains such as seafood, schnitzles and steaks https://www.facebook.com/Highway-Restaurant-1671178209784085/?hc_ref=ARSShR1yM5YTtx0rcoeU64DzSj0Vmp71U9kvz6eGAj-xitsHr7tJHFNLzVBBi8KGLak
- The Patio Restaurant; Licensed, breakfasts, coffee and cake, a la carte menu http://moontabaymotel.com.au/restaurant/
- Coffee Barn Gelateria; artesian gelato, coffee, sweet & savoury pancakes https://www.facebook.com/Coffee-Barn-Gelateria-Moonta-222437771103200/
- Café Capella; Licensed, breakfast, lunch and dinner, featuring pizza, pasta, steak and seafood https://www.cafecapellasmoonta.com/menu
For more information about the Copper Coast, you can view the Copper Coast 2018 Visitors’ Guide here https://issuu.com/ypcountrytimes/docs/ccvg2018 or visit http://www.coppercoast.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=1728 for the councils tourist information.