Minnipa is one of several gateways to the Gawler Ranges, famed for its Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats, Pygmy Possums, Hopping Mice and 140 species of wildflowers.
Guided tours of the Minnipa Agriculture Centre are recommended for those interested in farming.
The enthusiastic explorer Edward John Eyre first discovered Minnipa in 1839 on one of his epic journeys west. Later, a Government-sponsored expedition mapped and recorded the native names of unique granite rocks in the area, giving them names like Pildappa, Tcharkulda, Yarwondutta and Chilpuddie.
Minnipa has good facilities including a supermarket, caravan park and hotel/motel, while for children there is a swimming pool, playground and picnic area.
Pildappa Rock is an isolated granite inselberg, approximately 15km north of Minnipa. The spectacular wave-like formation rivals Wave Rock in Western Australia. During the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century the site was a vital watering point on the stock route to the winter grazing grounds in the Gawler Ranges. There are picnic, toilet and free barbecue facilities, and camping is permitted in the grounds.
Tcharkulda Rock is a massive granite outcrop featuring the largest and most spectacular tafoni and boulders in the district. The area has been conserved as an attractive public picnic and recreational space. There is an excellent example of a shepherd’s hut within the reserve, which has been restored to its original state. The rock is 6km east of Minnipa on Bockelberg Road.
Located 2km north of Minnipa, Yarwondutta Rock is listed on the Register of National Estate because of its geological significance. For entry visit Minnipa Agricultural Centre or call (08) 8680 6202.
Located 5.7km north of Minnipa, this is another example of a water reservation and storage facility that has been recently restored to provide an alternative water supply to maintain the township’s sporting facilities. The site also holds a radio relay tower.
The Minnipa McKenzie Road provides easy, public access through the middle of the Gawler Ranges to the Yardea Station intersection and also Hiltaba Station. These drives are picturesque and are accessible most of the year by conventional vehicle and year round for 4WD.
Minnipa Agricultural Centre
Established in 1915, the Minnipa Agricultural Centre (2km from town) plays an important role in applying research into sustainable dryland agriculture, including farming practices and technology and trialling of new and alternative crop and pasture species. Tours are available by appointment.