When in the riverport town of Goolwa in South Australia, make sure to take a walk to Goolwa Terrace where you’ll discover not only one of the many historic buildings to find in town, but also see some unique local art.
Now home to the South Coast Regional Art Centre, the building was once the Goolwa police station built in 1859 with thick limestone walls and red brick quoin details. Its original features of a court room, 2 holding cells, a charge room, kitchen and foyer can still be seen today as well as the high plaster ceilings and original timber flooring. Some slate flooring is in the building too as well as the old ornate fireplaces, ceiling roses and light fittings.
The attached Court House was built in 1867, 8 years after the original building and became a necessity due to the towns growing trade and increased number of offenders amongst the town’s growing population. Goolwa was the first Australian river port to be involved in shipbuilding and repairs and between 1853 and 1913, 37 paddle-steamers and 23 barges were built at Goolwa.
Today you can venture inside and not only see this original historic building but enjoy and purchase local artists work. As you wander through to see the art in the various rooms will also see the prisoners dock and witness box still in place in the court room, holding cells in the foyer and cell block outside in a courtyard area.
Another interesting fact, is that the first officer assigned to this station in Goolwa when it was newly built, was Mounted Constable Rickaby who later moved to Pt Rickaby on Yorke Peninsula, a town which was later named after him.
As for the current police station, it was built in 1994 and can be found on the corner of Cadell and Gardiner streets in Goolwa and also features an artistic curved corten steel map which wraps around the front of the building.
You’ll find the South Coast Regional Art Centre and old Goolwa police station at 1 Goolwa Terrace, and at the moment it’s showing more than a dozen artists’ works in an exhibition called ‘Mermaids and Sailors’, which is on until the 30th of May 2021.
It is a really interesting venue to visit with its mix of modern art and heritage on display and is open from Thursdays to Mondays 11am to 4pm.