Hallett lies within the northern arm of of the Mount Lofty Ranges. Cutting through the town is the Barrier Highway, a major route from Adelaide to Peterborough, the Flinders Ranges, the Far-North, as well as Silverton and Broken Hill, and to Sydney and Brisbane. This important transport route provided the catalyst for the development of the three towns in the area - Hallett, Whyte-Yarcowie and Terowie.
Other factors contributing towards the development of the district as a whole were the opportunities for pastoral and agricultural industries. Goyder's Line passes right through the middle of the area. When considering the history of the Hallett area, several prominent historical themes can been seen in relation to the development of South Australia as a colony. These include pastoralism, agriculture, transport and railways, military operations and gold mining.
Pioneering settlers were keen to establish runs in the northern part of the State, despite the fact that the area was mostly unexplored and not fully surveyed.
Regardless of the success of pastoralism, agriculture was always considered to be the economic backbone of South Australia. Pastoralism led to wealth for a few whereas agriculture provided a livelihood from the land for a large number of people.
Transport and the Railways
Transport was a vital component of the development of the Hallett area. The three towns in the area are all situated along the Barrier Highway. The railway used to run through the area with a station at each town. Of particular importance was the town of Terowie.
People fromthe Hallett district have fought in and contributed to various wars, including the Boer War, World War I and World War II. Various monuments stand in tribute to the fallen soldiers.
Terowie also played an important part with a large staging camp being situated there, where thousands of soldiers stayed between 1941 and 1945. Some of these buildings still survive including the cell block used to hold soldiers who had misbehaved.
Alluvial gold is distributed over a fairly large area around the Ulooloo Creek and has been mined at intervals over a hundred year period.
Hallett has a general store, op shop, hotel (the Wildongoleeche) and a gallery. This little town is rejuvenating itself as the hub of the three trails (Mawson, Heysen and Dares Hill) and is actively attracting new businesses and residents.
It is also the gateway to many other areas of interest including Terowie, Sir Hubert Wilkin's Homestead, Whyte Yarcowie and Dare's Hill.
Visit the Hallett Website for further information on the town.
Source : Department of Environment and Natural Resources, District Council of Hallett, Heritage Survey