On the Margins of the Good Earth

This was a three day tour to the margins of the good earth, the farming country in and around the southern Flinders Ranges. It was a visiting American scholar, the geographer Donald Meinig, who described the agricultural settlement of this country as akin to living on the margins of the good earth and his 1962 book of that title was adopted as the title and theme for this tour.

With two nights away, the first at Peterborough and the second at Pt Augusta, the 33 participants toured the margins of the good earth and had a very good look at the country, country which was hard on the early settlers, but which is also quite beautiful, even in a dry year like 2018.

For much of the time the travel was well-off the usual tourist routes, exploring the old towns and the railway infrastructure that supported agriculture in the region for more than a century. Highlights included the railway heritage of Terowie and Peterborough, a look at the once thriving wheat towns of the Willochra Plains and a journey through time on the Pichi Richi Railway.