ALFA ROMEO OWNERS CLUB OF AUSTRALIA
Burra, South Australia
The dates for Alfesta 97 were Thursday 27th March to Monday 31st March 1997. Participants arrived all day Thursday, many having travelled vast distances from the far corners of Australia. The official program started with simple BBQ dinner on Thursday night. The event ended Monday morning, after a hearty breakfast.
The focus of the event, the Paxton Square Cottages are different from the usual holiday accommodation found at past Alfesta, and were allocated on a “first in” basis. A nearby Motel was also used and those who preferred more traditional accommodation were booked into there instead of the Cottages.
All meals were provided and there was plenty of wine, beer, soft drinks and tea and coffee, supplied free of charge with the meals. Most meals and some indoor events were held in a vast Marquee, erected in Paxton Square, between the Cottages. The Burra Hotel operated the Bar in the Marquee at convenient times, and prices were quite moderate.
The programme include a tour of the town of Burra and old mining sites, an Observation Run, a Show and Shine, a Theme Fancy Dress Dinner Dance, and a formal Presentation Dinner.
Drawing on the heritage of the location in historic Burra, the theme for the Fancy Dress Dinner Dance, on Friday night, was Australian Folklore.
Plenty of time was allowed for exploring the surrounding area and to mix with the other Alfisti for a quiet drink at the bar. There was ample leisure time and participants could take it easy and recover from the journey to the event. The famous Wine producing areas of the Clare Valley, and a little further afield, the Barrossa Valley are not far from Burra. Those interested in the “fruit of the vine” had time to take in a trip to some of the Wineries in these areas.
Paxton Square cottages, originally built in the 1850s, are situated next to the picturesque Burra Creek, just a short walk from the town centre. Each of these 32 self contained cottages , complete with its own kitchen and bathroom, offers accommodation for couples, families or groups, and provides 20th century comfort in a charming 19th century setting.
The cottages are built on a whole town block, and enclose a large private grassed area. A marquee in the Square was the centre piece of the Alfesta programme.
A limited number of conventional Motel rooms, with air conditioning, telephone and television, were available, a short walk away from Paxtons, for those who preferred this type of accommodation.
The Historic town of Burra
Burra was the first metal mining town in Australia, and by 1851 (the year that gold was discovered in Bathurst and Ballarat) it was Australia’s largest inland town.
Before the South Australian copper strikes at Kapunda and Burra in the early 1840s, Australia was totally reliant on overseas sources for metals, and our exports were virtually all agricultural.
Burra’s copper brought Cornish and Welsh miners flocking to the Monster Mine, which from 1850 to 1860 was the largest metal mine in Australia.
Later, when the copper lodes became uneconomic to work, Burra became the centre of a strong agricultural and sheep grazing industry. The district is now considered to be the Merino Sheep capital of the world.
In the last 15 years Burra has been revitalised by the tourist industry, with the whole community involved in the presentation of the town as a living monument to the past. The town of Burra has been declared a State Heritage Area.
You can visit the Market Square museum, miners cottages and dugouts, Redruth Gaol (SA’s first country gaol, and location for key scenes in the award winning film Breaker Morant), a restored 19th century Brewery and nearby ghost town of Hampton, as you follow the Heritage Trail around historic Burra.
The time table of events for Alfesta ’97
All day:- Arrival and registration
Evening:- BBQ Dinner and meet and mingle with the other guests
Morning:- Games and bonding session (get to know the other Alfisti)
Afternoon:- Burra township walks (walk around the town and buy your souvenirs)
Evening:- Seafood Dinner and Quiz Night (display your great knowledge on all sorts of topics)
Morning:- Township parade and Observation Run (get yourself lost in the Australian bush)
Afternoon:- Lunch at a Winery, Wine tasting and free afternoon
Evening:- Theme night, Dinner dance
Morning:- Show and shine
Afternoon:- Heritage tour with many options
Evening:- Presentation dinner
Morning:- Departure for home or stay on in the area for an extended holiday
|Number of Adults||Paxton Cottages||Motel|
|3 people share||$385||$410|
|4 people share||$375||$395|
|5 people share||$365||n/a|
|Under 5 years||Free||Free|
|5 to 12 years||$135||$160|
|13 & 14 years||$185||$210|
|15 to 17 years||$330||$360|
Children 12 years and under having adult meals were charged as for a 13 to 14 year old.
All prices listed above are “per person”.
A day by day package was available for those making their own accommodation arrangements.
Written by Phil Storr