Sounds ominous doesn’t it, but of course as always there’s a story behind the name. From Burra in the mid north of South Australia we take the Worlds End Highway (yes true) until we get to another sign post for Worlds End Reserve.
From here on, the world as you know it does come to an end – put away your mobile phone and devices, they won’t work here. We are 16 kilometres south east of Burra and the campground runs along the banks of the Burra Creek.
The abandoned farm buildings and houses could give you the impression that the world does end here but behind the name is the fact that early pastoralists thought it would be risky to venture further into the nearby arid country. In 1864/65 the South Australian Surveyor General, George Woodroffe Goyder, defined a boundary on a map showing land where crops could be grown and from there on, where drought prevailed.
This boundary, which is still known as Goyder’s line, had a major influence on farming in SA and defined a boundary between sheep and cattle production and crop production. You guessed it…Goyder’s line passes through the Worlds End Reserve.
The reserve has a gorge and permanent supply of water which attracted the local Ngadjuri people, early settlers and today, tourists. Many of the ruins are from the early settlement that included residences, a post office, telephone exchange, a school, the Worlds End Creek Hotel and a Lutheran Church. The ruin of the church which was built in 1889, is still standing having also been used as a Methodist Church, and school.
Locally, this area was known as ‘The Gorge’ and since the 1880s was a popular place for picnics, sporting activities and holidays, mainly by people from Robertstown, 20 kilometres to the south. At the campground today there are sign boards containing a heap of information and some fabulous old photos of the gorge in its heyday.
The campground today offers basic bush camping with fire pits, rubbish bins, some picnic tables and benches and three composting toilets. It is free to stay and the facilities are managed by the Regional Council. Dogs are welcome in the beautiful surroundings which include some huge River Red Gums.
When you drive into the reserve you can choose to take the road left on a higher level or straight on to a lower level with more camping spaces. With no television or social media contact to distract you, it’s an extremely peaceful place to stay with plenty of bird life to listen to and watch.
You can also take walks along the Burra Creek Gorge, or just relax with a good book and enjoy a drink around the campfire while you brush up on your camp oven cooking skills.