Colin Thiele Driving Trail
Colin Thiele is renowned as one of Australia's best known and most loved educators and writers. He was born near Eudunda in 1920, and his early education was at the tiny school at Julia where, among other attainments, he learnt to speak English, as German was the language spoken at home. He received his upper primary education at Eudunda, during which time he boarded with two somewhat eccentric uncles, Fred and August. He had to travel further afield for his secondary education which was undertaken at Kapunda and involved a daily train journey from the Hampden siding which left at 7.00am. He would get back to Hampden at 8.30pm each night, and then had a half hour bicycle ride to home - a very long day. But he used his time well, reading and taking in the countryside. Indeed, his early years in the Eudunda area made a life-long impression on this most observant young man, and is the basis of his first work "Sun on the Stubble" which recounts his boyhood in Eudunda and the surrounding areas.
"Sun on the Stubble" was published in 1961 and since then he has written more than fifty wonderful award-winning books for children. His books are now read and loved around the world. In 1977 he was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for his services to literature and education.
Colin Thiele is best summed up in the words of fellow writer, Max Fatchen :
"Colin Thiele is a quiet man and a gentle one. It's the gentleness of great strength and the quietness of an enormous well of peace and conviction that the man has inside him. He has, without noise or sensation, reached out and with his warm genius touched the hearts and minds of countless people. He offers us, without bombast, the proposition that the human spirit is alive and well, that we can all co-exist, that issues can be discussed and examined with friendliness, and that we do not have to pound each other to pieces to impress society."
As testament to the regard the people of Eudunda feel for this son of theirs, they have erected a bronze statue of him in the gardens of the town, and are currently proposing to undertake the restoration of his birthplace as a living museum to this great man.
Download the Discover Goyder app on the Apple or Google Play store and take the Colin Thiele Drive, a journey of approximately 25 kilometres. This tour takes in the scenic beauty the district has to offer whilst highlighting spots of interest from the early life of Eudunda's favourite son. Commencing at the Heritage Gallery in Bruce Street, the Colin Thiele Drive winds through the town and nearby countryside, the points of interest are signs fronted with 'Gustav and his Dog'.
For more visitor information, head to the Visit Burra website.