Uniquely South Australia - Pt. 2

compass cup  

Continuing with our Uniquely South Australia listing, here are some more South Aussie uniquities to enjoy.

Compass Cup – A cow race … yes, a cow race … held annually for the past 40 years in Mt. Compass, South Australia. They boast that it's the ONLY cow race in Australia, but I'm thinking it's probably one of the few cow races in the world. You can't count the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona … totally different.

Sturts Desert Pea is a sturdy desert plant that has brilliantly showy scarlet blooms when in blossom. It's the floral emblem of South Australia. I didn't have to go to the desert to see it though … they had one for sale at Farmer Joe's.


sturts desert pea


Haigh's Chocolates – A South Australian-based family-owned confectioner/chocolatier that's been around since 1915. At a dinner party at Pauline and Denys', Kay brought some for us to try. Kay insisted she was a South Australian icon, too.


kay and haighs chocolates


Fru-chocs are chocolate covered dried fruits previously only available in South Australia for some strange reason. Pauline bought some for us to try. They're quite tasty.




West End Beer, a local brewery since 1859 (now evidently owned by Lion/Mitsubishi).


west end draught


There are some unique words used here and since we're speaking of beer, here's one for you ... a “butcher”. Believed to be derived from the German becher, meaning a cup or mug, it's the name given to a 200 ml (7 imp fl oz) beer glass. So you can buy your beer in an Imperial Pint (20 oz), a Pint (15 oz), a Schooner (10 oz), a Butcher (7 oz) or a Pintie (4 oz). Australians like to have lots of options when it comes to beer.

A unique South Australian invention is the “stobie pole”. Built of concrete and steel, they're used like the traditional wooden telephone poles to support power and telephone lines and were invented in South Australia by James Stobie in 1924 because hardwood was scarce AND they're resistent to white ants.


stobie pole


And since we're talking uniquely South Australia, here are some of South Australia's notable firsts:

  • South Australia is the first and only state to have never had a convict settlement at any time in its history.
  • Adelaide was the first Australian capital city to be connected by telegraph with London. (1872)
  • South Australia was the first territory of the British Empire, excluding Britain, to legalize trade unions. (1876)
  • Cremation was legalized here in 1891, an Australian first.
  • South Australia was the first Australian Colony to grant women the vote and allow women to stand for parliament. (1895)
  • The first license to drive a motor vehicle in Australia was issued in Adelaide. (1906)
  • South Australia was the first Australian State to decriminalize homosexual relations between consenting male adults in private (1975)

I'm sure there are many other firsts, quirky words and uniquely South Australian things. Come on, you South Aussies, contribute if you can. Educate the rest of the world.