Holidays are all about going off the beaten track and discovering a secret you can go home and tell your friends about. Caltowie is one such secret.

During the 1860s, the township became an overnight camping place for bullock teams hauling timber from the natural forest at Wirrabara to the Burra copper mines.

Bullocks would be watered at the Yackamoorundie Creek and teamsters would have a cool drink themselves – no wonder the township became known as Carcowie, the Aboriginal name for ‘lizard’s water hole’.

Thanks to the historic Caltowie Hotel, the town remains a great watering hole today.
This majestic hotel is just the place to linger for a drink or enjoy a delicious country meal, available six nights a week (not Tuesday). Or stay the night in one of the pub’s comfortable rooms and enjoy the weekend entertainment.

A short walk around the town will reward you with a glimpse into the town’s thriving past.

Marvel at the beautiful stone homes and buildings that remain from the early 1900s when Caltowie was home to nearly 600 residents and a host of thriving businesses including a flourmill, chaff mill, machinery manufacturer, three general stores, and two hotels.

Caltowie lays claim to being the birthplace of SA’s ‘brothers of invention’ Don and Ted Both, whose inventions of the portable iron lung and portable humidicrib saved countless lives (see their story at the Jamestown National Trust Railway Station Museum).

A playground and public toilets are convenient on the main road through Caltowie.

If you are interested in native flora, head just west of the town to the Caltowie cemetery indigenous species plantation.

Or follow the Caltowie Corridors of Green native plantings through to gorgeous Appila Springs. Picnic at the Springs anytime, take a swim when it’s warm.