Saturday, 11 April 2015

Two Wells - Adelaide meets the country

Two Wells Post Office

The one thing that has always baffled me about Two Wells is that I've never been able to find the two wells from which the town gets its name. However, according to Wikipedia, the name originated from when the town was first settled as the colonists used the two Aboriginal wells in the area to water their cattle. I guess that makes a bit more sense now, but I still remember one day I actually drove up here to see if I could find these two wells.
In the end I only found this:

Two Wells - Barbeque Well
Turns out that this is a barbeque
Anyway, you may be wondering a couple of things: first, where you can find Two Wells; and secondly, why on Earth am I writing a blog post about a small country town that the only visitors that it sees are those people coming up here to visit family. Well, the answer to the first question can easily be solved through the use of Google Maps:


 You can zoom in and out to get a better view

The answer to the second question is that originally I wasn't. The only reason that I actually came up here was because I wanted to check out a couple of pubs so that I could post a review of them up on the internet (or more precisely, True Local). However, as I entered the township travelling along Two Wells Road (which comes from Gawler) I noticed quite a number of old style houses which indicated that this little town has actually been around for quite a while.
Two Wells House
There are a few houses like this one
Okay, as I suggested, this little town really doesn't get all that many visitors, especially since the main highway from Perth now bypasses it. Also it is very difficult (actually, it is impossible) to get up here by public transport so the only way people are able to come here is if they have a car. Also, I would hardly say that there are actually any tourist attractions here either (unless you consider the nature walk a tourist attraction, but it seems that nobody actually uses it any more, and the two statues at the start of the path have faced the wrath of the local vandals).

Two Wells - Statue 01Two Wells - Statue 02
At least they look like authentic Greek statues (if they weren't made of cement)

Also, the nature walk was pretty overgrown with weeds and simply did not feel like a walk through a national park (especially since it went behind gravel yard). Okay, the park from which it left was reasonably well kept, but as soon as you walked past the trellis the path itself began to degrade dramatically. It was at that point that we decided to turn back to the main road. Actually, I'm probably a little incorrect because it is actually called the 'historic' walk, but from what I could tell, with the exception of the back of an old building, there was nothing all that historic about this walk.

Two Wells - Historic Walkway
This trellis doesn't look all that historic
However, please don't get me wrong, there are things to see and do in Two Wells: there are two pubs and there is an oval. Okay, that is probably simplifying things a little bit because I am sure that it is a myth that the only things people do in the country is play football and drink beer - Two Wells has a BMX track so there is a third thing that you can do, and there is even a forth thing and that is play lawn bowls.

They even have a couple of cafes which means that beer isn't the only thing you can drink - you can drink coffee as well (since I really can't bring myself to drink tea in South Australia any more). Oh, one of the pubs really didn't appeal to me all that much, but the other pub seemed to not only have a country charm about it, but also had a beer garden that made me feel like I was in a pub in the city.

Two Wells Tavern
This is the good pub
I've noticed that a lot of towns have two pubs, though these days one of those pubs tends to die away due to many of these small towns becoming smaller and smaller as people move to the city. The other pub in Two Wells had a sign telling us that it was closed (at least on Sunday) and pointing to this pub, which looks like it has been given a significant makeover. However, I suspect that there is also a sort of friendly rivalry between the patrons of both pubs, though having never lived in a country town I cannot say for sure.

One of the things that I've noticed, especially with these towns that exist on the fringes of the city, is that there seems to be some wariness with many of the city people coming up here. As the city fringes continue to expand and swallow up these smaller towns - especially with the younger generation looking for a cheap place to buy a house but not be too far from work - these towns slowly become urbanised. In a way two different cultures tend to emerge between the younger city people and the older, and generally rougher, country people.


Two Wells Building
Just a random building in Two Wells

I noticed this particularly when I visited Whittlesea, a town just outside of Melbourne. I went up there with my housemate to simply have a look around and when we went into the pub one of the patrons came outside, with her knitting, and after asking us a few questions, just sat there looking at us. In many ways the people in the country really don't like change - they have seen little change occur in their towns, and feel threatened as the city gets closer and closer. They like their familiar faces and their small community, but as the city gets closer strangers begin to arrive, and some of these strangers look a lot different to what they are used to seeing.

This is what is happening with Whittlesea, and it is what is going to happen in Two Wells. Mind you, some people welcome this change as it will breathe new life into the community, but others are threatened (such as is mentioned in the article that I have linked - the owner of the small supermarket worries that a large supermarket chain will open its doors that will affect her monopoly).

Finally, there was still something that really caught my eye because it was so unexpected and out of the ordinary: the huge Leopard Tank sitting in the middle of the park.

Two Wells Leopard Tank
It was certainly worth coming up here to see this

You can also find this post on my travel blog.

Creative Commons License
Two Wells - Adelaide meets the country by David Sarkies is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. If you wish to use this work commercially please feel free to contact me.

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