Off the Tourist Trail #8 – Point Pass, South Australia

Looking towards Point Pass at Inspiration Point, Mid North, South Australia

Penniless Australians despondent over their inability to travel overseas to areas of unfettered opulence and baroque magnificence need no longer be depressed about the prospect of never seeing their gilt and glamour.



Lutheran Church, Point Pass, South Australia
In fact, those unable to leave the country for ANY reason – infirmity, criminal record, pteromerhanophobia* or even choice – can take heart that Australia has once again risen to the challenge of providing unique experiences.

Because I’d be surprised if any of the world’s pantheon of gilded steeples could claim a more bizarre and unusual location than Australia’s stunning contribution at Point Pass**.

Gilded Steeple at Point Pass, South Australia
Deep in South Australia’s mid-north, Point Pass is only slightly west of the Goyder line, beyond which land is considered unsuitable for farming.
Just up the road – if ‘road’ is an accurate description of the steep, stony track held in place by well placed rocks in the washaways – the staggering view from Inspiration Point looks down over this farming region on the plains to the ranges beyond.
Midway between Eudunda and Robertstown en route to larger copper mining town Burra, Point Pass was once a watering point on the overland stock route and a significant town in its own right.
And with many German settlers pioneering the region, this 1870’s church and adjoining Immanuel College complex form part of South Australia’s Lutheran heritage.

Who cares that the unexpected sumptuousness of glittering metal flashing in the March 2012 autumn sunshine isn’t really gold, but comes from the anodised aluminium covering the steeple? One day I may travel overseas and see other examples of this art.

Point Pass Lutheran Church Steeple – ona South Aussie autumn day
But they’ll have to work mighty hard to beat this shining spire on that lonely little church in the middle of the mid north plain on the edge of nowhere …

Want more information?

* Pteromerhanophobia = fear of flying, according to Wikipedia!

**Many thanx to ‘Flinders Ranges and Mid North’ by Stuart Nicol for most of the information about Point Pass in this post.
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31 comments

  • @Emme – Gold ANYTHING would have been a surprise out there!!

  • That really would have been quite the unexpected find amid the pastoral landscape.

  • So Erica Jong could have named her book “Pter..(whatever that was)” instead of “Fear of Flying” ;>)…somehow doesn’t have the same ring.

    But seriously all of you who are already there in OZ don’t really need to fly anywhere, no matter what that fear is called. So much to see and do! That church is amazing out there in the middle of “nowhere.”

  • @Aleah – Haha! You’re right!! But it DOES happen …
    @George – Yes, real gold would be superfluous!! And I bet we wouldn’t be able to tell the difference …
    @Sallie – Hahaha! I can’t imagine why she didn’t call it Pteromerhanophobia – it’s such a catchy title!!!

  • I don’t think this steeple could be any more spectacular if it were covered in gold. It definitely qualifies as a beautiful gilted sight

  • Ptero what?? Wow I can’t imagine how difficult it would be for a travel lover to have that condition!

  • Great shots of this amazing structure in the middle of nowhere, Red!

  • @Mrs Tuna – Likewise! I go through phases … and don’t panic, there’ll be another scenic loo just for you!!
    @Diane – Yep, me too! That’s why I’m here and you’re there!!
    @NixBlog – Yes, and SOOOOO much blue – that’s what you really like, right?!

  • Ptero . . . so that’s what’s wrong with me! I’ve always wondered! I love the lonely outposts especially. Chalk up another one to see when and if I get over my ptero . . . whatever it was!

  • You know, Australia looks like Arizona a lot of time but the trees look different. Missing you girlie, I’m sorry I’m a crappy bloggy friend.

  • @Carole M – Thank you! It’s my pleasure to do so!!
    @Yvonne & Raphael – All this, and more downunder!
    @Indrani – I thought so too – and my camera is full of countless photos to prove it!
    @Courtney – I’m usually not one for churches and the like – but in this case I just HAD to make an exception!

  • The spire looks stunning against the blue sky.

  • WOW! What a neato steeple!!! As usual, greatly love your photos and the places you let me virtually experience in Australia via you and your blog.

  • Fantastic scenery!
    Have a nice weekend
    Yvonne & Raphael

  • always wonderful to do the trek with you via cyberspace. Not only do you provide such interesting photos from beyond but fabulous narration too

  • A hidden treasure very well captured, thanks for the post and information.

  • @River – I took WAY too many pix of the building because of the stonework!! Inspiration point is marked on one of our maps – it’s in the hills east of Pt Pass but closer to Robertstown!
    @Carolyn – It’s about 40 mins drive from Burra – the countryside is spectacular!! Make a day trip & go to Eudunda – they have an excellent bakery!!
    @darlin – Thank you!!
    @diane b – According to the sign out the front it’s still in use. I’m really starting to appreciate church architecture – especially when it’s in unexpected places!
    @PDP – It’s a joint effort … P is addicted to travel brochures & often reads about these odd things. As navigator, sometimes they’re marked on the map and in guidebooks like the one I used on this trip. Luckily, we’ve both got enquiring minds – and cameras!

  • What a shining spire! Maybe a little out of place — (But we have been to a couple of “castles” — one in the desert of Death Valley and one over here in the middle of a swamp practically — so we know about ‘out-of-place’! People have dreams!)

    Loved the new word.

  • PerthDailyPhoto

    I think you (or it could be Pilchard) have an inbuilt homing signal for the most bizarre and unusual places Red. Must say this ‘golden’ steeple does look magnificent against the blue Australian sky!

  • That sure is an amazing church for out in the middle of nowhere. Is it still in use today?

  • WOW heading for Burra in a couple of months if I have time will seek it out.

  • I’m feeling a bit homesick today and your first photo – WHAM – took me straight back to where I was born and raised – dry and harsh-but-beautiful South Australia. *Sniffle*

  • That’s an impressive steeple, I bet it shines beautifully in the moonlight too and it would highlight the way to the bingo hall….
    I really like the offset stonework on the corners of the building!
    I got out my map of SA and located both Burra and Eudunda, then found Robertstown and Point Pass, they’re both marked, but not Inspiration Point. They’re even listed in the index!

  • @SFlaGuy – HHMMmm.. it’s mid afternoon on a weekday – but apart from that, totally puzzling why there are no people!!
    @Saucy Kod – You make it a pleasure to provide them!!
    @Kath – While I’m sure many others have visited Inspiration Point, I’m the only person I know (apart from Pilchard) who has! Unless you tell me otherwise???
    @MJWC – Haha! Human Nature, huh?? Do they still look like a haircut boy band??!!
    @Magsx2 – Even if I HAD known about an OZ golden steeple, I wouldn’t have expected to find it way out here!
    @Joan Elizabeth – Yes, nothing quite like it!! I’d never say never, but I’m quite happy exploring OZ!!
    @Sallie – And I’m going to track those dreams down and blog about them!!!

  • Golly I didn’t know what that big work meant … had to google it. Well I’ve done much overseas travel in my time, mostly for work. Now I am ever so happy to just stay in Oz and visit the wonderful little towns dotted all over the country with all their unexpected finds. Give me the wide brown land over the gilt, glamour and long histories any day… but is sure is fun that you found some gilt here.

  • Hi,
    That is an amazing church, I didn’t know that we had a “golden” steeple like that here in OZ, I always learn something new about our great country from your blog.

  • My Journey With Candida

    What a beautiful church. They sure don’t build them like that anymore.

    I went to a show last night and thought of you. The show featured 4 Aussi Motown singers. They were suppose to be very popular in Australia, that could be all hype. Their name is Human Nature.

  • Wow, stunning photos of Church and steeple. This is soooooo beautiful. You impress me yet again with your terrific finds and around the next corner or hill you discrover and share these delightfully intriguing gems of Aussie Land. Thanks Red – this is brilliant.

  • I see the church, I see the steeple, but from these pics I see no people. Bingo cards must be pretty steep in that town to afford such a pretty church topper.

  • @Jane & Lance – Somehow, I don’t think you’ll find Point Pass on your map … The spire’s remoteness makes it all the more surreal – and thereby unique. I’m a recovering pteromerhanophobic, so will enjoy the overseas glitter vicariously – for now!

  • Jane and Lance Hattatt

    Hello Red:
    Well, suffering as we do from pteromerhanophobia, we are more than delighted that you continue to present such wondrous Aussie hidden gems for us without the need of a plane!!

    As you say, whilst there are undoubtedly more glittery, gilty or goldeny examples of decoration throughout the world, one doubts that one would see them in such a situation as this.

    It must be a remarkable sight to see the church spire rising from the landscape with nothing else as far as the eye can see. Wonderful!

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