Heather Baldock has lived in Australia for nearly all her life. She is a co-ordinator with the Grey Nomad Program We asked Heather what life was like in Kimba – a town that is 210 kilometres from Port Lincoln and 490 kilometres from Adelaide.
What industries is Kimba known for?
Kimba’s main industry is agriculture and since we are in a low rainfall marginal farming we work hard to attract tourism $$$ to ease the reliance on an industry that faces poor seasons from time to time.
How long have you lived here?
All of my life except a stint away at school and overseas.
What do you think are some of the best thing/s about living in Kimba?
Kimba has a great sense of community and many people contribute in many ways as volunteers whether through sporting clubs, community organisations or helping out our neighbours in times of need.
If someone moved here from Adelaide or interstate what aspects do you think may take some time to adjust to?
The entertainment and recreation around Kimba is created by ourselves so anyone willing will soon be welcomed into helping organise an event or fundraiser; our emergency services are all delivered by volunteers and newcomers are always welcome; the community is crime-free with low unemployment, we are surrounded by some great landscapes to explore.
Sport opportunities include lawn bowls, golf, cricket, tennis, football, netball & basketball and there is always a call for more players. Sport plays a huge role in the community social structure.
What is the climate like?
Summer gets hot and dry with the occasional thunderstorm; winter is mild, no snow but quite a few frosts and less rainfall than the local farmers would like. Plenty of beautiful days though and lots of sunshine.
What type of medical facilities are there in Kimba?
We have a well-staffed hospital, aged hostel, pharmacy, visiting allied health services and usually a GP. Currently we are having locum GPs visit as our resident GP moved on a month ago and the search is on at present for a new doctor.
Can all medical cases be treated in Kimba?
No, some cases are transferred by ambulance to Whyalla 1 ¾ hours away or fly with the Royal Flying Doctor Service to Adelaide.
What sort of public transport is available?
We have a Red Cross car driven by volunteers that helps people get to medical appointments in regional centres. Stateliner bus transport comes through Kimba from Adelaide two days a week and returns to Adelaide twice a week, going through one of our closer regional centres of Port Augusta.
Do younger people stay in Kimba after they have completed their schooling?
We are very fortunate to have Reception to Year 12 in Kimba. We have always had a percentage of these students go to boarding school for the final years of high school, particularly if they plan to go onto University. With limited job opportunities our young people often move to find employment, although a surprising number we return a few years later when other opportunities may have opened up.
Being half way between Sydney and Perth would mean that Kimba receives a lot of visitors?
Kimba is on Highway One, also known as Eyre Highway. We are on the main highway running from Adelaide across the Nullabor.
So, lots of vehicle pass by the edge of the township. One of the challenges that our community has been tackling for 30 years has been attracting those travellers into our community to check out our attractions and bring some valuable tourism. We are the Eastern Gateway to the beautiful Gawler Ranges, have the magnificent Lake Gilles on our doorstep, a very extensive museum, sculptures and now the fabulous Silo Art so there is plenty of reasons for people to take a break from the highway and enjoy some great country hospitality.
When is the best time to visit Kimba?
Autumn and Spring are very popular with the Grey Nomads who call in when the days are beautiful, however people will be welcomed at any time.
Tell us about the Show Jumping and Dressage Championships
This year will be the 44th annual Yeltana Showjumping Championships. It started as a bush picnic and has grown into one of the highly lauded south Australian country events on the Showjumping program.
Run over two days in April the event sees local and regional riders compete against some of the state’s best competitors. A dressage competition is held on the Sunday along with the finals of the Showjumping.
Some gymkhana style events are also held so the event caters for lots of riders of varying ages and skills. A Calcutta is held on the Saturday evening with punters buying their preferred horses in the three championship events on the Sunday.
(Photo Credit: District Council of Kimba)