Discover the heart of the Eyre Peninsula.
Rich in heritage, Cleve is a service town for the surrounding agricultural district. Renowned for its bumper wheat, barley, canola and pea crops, along with sheep farming, the town dates back to the 1850s, when Scottish brothers James, Donald and Peter McKechnie established a station named Wangaraleednie, meaning ‘hill of the west wind’. Governor Jervois proclaimed the significantly easier name of Cleve in 1879, in honour of his cousin’s county seat in Devon, England.
Cleve’s rich farming heritage has been artfully preserved on impressive wall murals around the town and in permanent outdoor displays capturing everything from a dray to the council’s first grader.
Cleve is a RV Friendly Town with a site located at the Cleve Showgrounds, Rudall Road, close to shops.
Cleve has a good range of shops, accommodation and sporting facilities, including a gym and 18-hole golf course running along a creek bed in the centre of town.
Download a copy of the Cleve District Map for more information and maps.
Cleve District Brochure
Things To Do
Darke Peak is home to Caralue Bluff, Darke Peak and Carappee Conservation Park with Carappee Hill being th ehighest point on Eyre Peninsula. Darke Peak township was orginally proclaimed Carappee in 1914. Attractions in the area include Darke Peak Ranges, Darke Peak Range scenic drive and Darke's grave. Refer to the above District Brochure for more info and maps.
Used as an aeroplane spotting point during World War Two, “Observation Hill” - locally known as Ticklebelly Hill - overlooks Cleve and the surrounding farmlands. Today, the lookout is home to a seven-metre ‘Big Cross’, erected in 2000 and dedicated to the Christian forefathers of the district. Pioneers, local families and community groups are commemorated in the heritage pavers. The small but diverse remnant patch of scrub on “Observation Hill” provides an important habitat for various native plant species, including the Silver Daisy which has been identified as a threatened species.
Yeldulknie Weir & Reservoir
Located five kilometres east of Cleve, this state heritage-listed wheelhouse and wall was completed in 1912 to supply water to the Arno Bay and Cowell districts. This historic and beautiful area features abundant birdlife, attractive landscapes and native vegetation, and is home to picnic facilities, a barbecue, gazebo, toilets and seating nestled along the creek bed.
Centenary Park & Town Map
Information map, electric barbecues, picnic facilities, gazebo, public toilets and Apex playground. Wander among various implements of the bygone era - Cleve’s first electric street lamp, the council’s first grader, a dray and more. Located west of Cleve on the Rudall Road, opposite the RV Friendly site.
Wall Murals & Artwork
The Centenary of Federation Mural at the eastern entrance to the town depicts the district’s agricultural heritage over the past 100 years, while the Jubilee 150 Mural in the main street depicts the early days in the town of Cleve.
‘Eyre Montage’ is a tile mosaic created by a local artist and Year 10 Cleve Area School students represents the district industry,
flora and coast with the family making
‘Ballgowns & Ballgames’ is a clay tile artwork displayed on the RSL Hall depicting the past and present lifestyle of our community. This is another joint art project with the Cleve Area School students and artist and makes an impressive display.
Don’t miss the monuments recognising the first wheat crop grown in the district in 1879 and Goyder’s Line, which indicates a climate benchmark, first identified for South Australian farmers in the 1860’s.
Mt Millard Wind Farm
Eyre Peninsula’s largest windfarm with 35 turbines was constructed in 2005 at a cost of $138 million. The public viewing area is accessible via a gravel road (not suitable for caravans) and offers fantastic views of the 120m tall turbines. Mt Millard windfarm is expected to reduce Australian CO2 emissions by 168,000 tonnes per year.
May Gibbs Memorial
Noted for authoring the Australian classic series of Gumnut babies books and the creation of the characters Snugglepot & Cuddlepie, this memorial to May Gibbs celebrates her childhood years spent growing up in the Cleve area. Which locals will tell you gave her the Australian Bush inspiration for these classic literary pieces.
Home to a state heritage-listed homestead, the Gordon Sims Training Farm and Learning Conference Centre is South Australia’s largest school farm. It’s located 4.5km east of Cleve. For information call Cleve Area School on (08) 8628 2104.
National Trust Agricultural & Folk Museum
Featuring the original Cleve Gaol cell built of corrugated iron and the old council depot sheds, this museum holds a fascinating collection of early records and photographs; household articles that belonged to pioneering families; relics from the bullock and horse era and displays of early farming implements and tractors. The main building of the museum is the original council chambers built in 1913. The museum is located at 19 Third Street and open by arrangement - phone (08) 8628 2038 or (08) 8628 2023. Entry is by gold coin donation.
Cleve Hills Scenic Drive
Offering panoramic views of Spencer Gulf and the surrounding plains, the Cleve Hills Scenic Drive travels along the Cleve to Cowell Road through the hills. Emu, kangaroo and mallee fowl can often be seen in the surrounding bush. Look out for the impressive wind farm at Mt Millar.
Travelling east to west from Cowell to Elliston, via Cleve and Lock, this highway was named after Mrs Sylvia Birdseye and her passenger and freight service that operated from the 1920s to the 1960s.
For more information contact Cleve Visitor Information Outlet.