Darke Peak and the True Blue Two Loo View!

Last Updated on November 10, 2015 by Red Nomad OZ

The Colman S**tter, Darke Peak, South Australia
Darke Peak Dunny #1 – The Colman S**tter at the Hellbent Hotel, South Australia

Swinging a feral cat ANYWHERE in the middle of South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula without hitting a stony peak, hill, bluff, outcrop, mountain, cliff, dome or rock-face is almost impossible.

Take the small town of Darke Peak – population 50 – for example.

We’d followed the 8-peak Darke Range to the west all the way into Darke Peak township named for – yes, you guessed right, the range’s highest point, Darke Peak.

To the east loomed the great domes of Carappee Hill, the Eyre Peninsula’s highest point at 495 metres above sea-level.

Darke Peak Dunny #2 - the miniature silo!
Darke Peak Dunny #2 – the miniature silo! Eyre Peninsula, South Australia

Behind us was Caralue Bluff – an impressive wedge of rock where only a short climb up the base gave even more impressive views of the Darke Range AND Carappee Hill.

Because of the mostly flat country around them, the rocks don’t look very big from afar, but the closer you get, the less likely a stroll to the top seems. Despite enticements like seeing the grave of first European explorer to the area Charles Darke, or standing atop the regions highest point, or finding yet another opportunity to prove I really AM an amateur when it comes to landscape photography!!

Luckily for us, the flat country means the great views don’t require great height.

Pub #2 - The Hellbent Hotel, Darke Peak, Eyre Peninsula
Pub #2 – The Hellbent Hotel, Darke Peak, Eyre Peninsula

BUT even more luckily, at the small township of Darke Peak there’s a killer view without climbing AT ALL!

Because THIS little town has a true-blue two-loo view!

It’s also got two pubs. First, there’s the Darke Peak Hotel, apparently first in South OZ to serve Queensland brew XXXX (that’s pronounced ‘Four-ex’ in case you didn’t already know).

Pub #1 - The Darke Peak Hotel - from Loo #2 - the Mini Silo! Eyre Peninsula, South Australia
Pub #1 – The Darke Peak Hotel – from Loo #2 – the Mini Silo! Eyre Peninsula, South Australia

Then there’s the Hellbent Hotel right across the road – originally constructed in the early hours of New Years Day 1980 so the locals could continue to commemorate the new decade after the Darke Peak Hotel closed for the night!

There’s no record of what happened to the original, but the Hellbent Hotel was upgraded and reopened for the Darke Peak Legends weekend, 2009.

Inside Mini Silo Loo, Darke Peak
Inside Mini Silo Loo, Darke Peak

Perhaps it’s unsurprising that at one time, Darke Peak held the record for the per capita highest beer consumption rate in South Australia.

And with a record like THAT, it’s perhaps also unsurprising that the town has TWO loos!

Right next to the Hellbent Hotel and with a fine view of the nether regions of Erica the Emu (see below), the Colman S**tter (just insert ‘hi’ if you’re having trouble with the asterisks) is a classic example of what happens to old dunnies when they die.

Minimalist Interior, Mini Silo Loo, Darke Peak
Minimalist Interior, Mini Silo Loo, Darke Peak

It’s unclear if the Colman is still operational – the tin walls and ‘dunny’ can; the wooden seat; and the ‘privacy’ screen are all classic Australiana of yesteryear – but I’m betting NOT!

Happily for visitors wanting to answer nature’s call, there’s a far more modern alternative a few steps away behind the Darke Peak information pavilion.

Built in the proud tradition of the two giant silos it faces at the Darke Peak railway station, this mini silo-shaped dunny is a masterclass in monastic minimalism, inside AND out. But there’s NO doubt THIS loo’s in use – or was that just me 😀

Darke Peak Dunny #2 isn’t a one-trick pony when it comes to the view. From the prison cell-like comforts of the little silo loo, cunningly hidden under a giant pine tree just off the main road, I could see the silos, railway (complete with train), the Darke Range, the Hellbent Hotel, Erica the Emu, the Darke Peak Hotel and the Colman S**tter.

The Colman S**tter with Silos, Train and Darke Range - all visible from the Silo Loo #2!
The Colman S**tter with Silos, Train and Darke Range – all visible from the Silo Loo #2!

It just might be the only place in OZ where you get a tour of the town’s main attractions just by using the dunny!

And that trumps visiting a bunch of rocks any day, right??!!

Morris Commercial at Hellbent Hotel
Completely gratuitous shot of old Morris Commercial at Hellbent Hotel

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Colman S**tter View of Erica the Emu! Darke Peak, South Australia
Colman S**tter View of Erica the Emu! Darke Peak, South Australia
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  1. Seeing this post made me smile, it made me think of when on a trip with Leo he saw and old fashion dunny and said that is gross nanna it is not a proper toilet it smells awful and there is no way I would use it he was so funny

    1. It’s amazing what you’ll do – and use – when your legs have been crossed for awhile, Jo-Anne! But if you teach Leo how to actually clean a dunny, he’ll never have to worry about grossness again, right?!?!?!

  2. I just love your loo-posts, Red 🙂
    just cracks me up!
    Reminded me of Windorah, where I found 8 loos for females alone, seemingly more than the women living there. Next time around I saw what for, too, all the peeps going to the big party in Birdsville.

    1. Yes, our Aussie loos are unique, Iris! And it’s my privilege and pleasure to show them to the world!! But I hope I never need to be told to shut the door when I use the dunny 😀

  3. I love this post! The Hellbent hotel, the Coleman S**tter, that’s the Australia I love 😀
    Two pubs for only 50 people?
    I must find this place on my map.

    1. This is rural OZ at its best, River! I hope I’ve put Darke Peak on the map with this expose of the town’s main features – two pubs and two loos is a good cross-section of attractions don’t you think? The natural attractions are just an added bonus 😀

    1. HAha, our Dinkum Aussie Dunnies come in all shapes and sizes, Kozue!! At least the mini silo isn’t open to the weather like the Colman S**tter 😀 There are a LOT of rocks to see around this town – but for my money, the two loo view beats everything!!!

    1. Well, NOW you know what you missed Kathy!! But I think I’d be doing my drinking at the Darke Peak Hotel – the Hellbent didn’t really look like it was open for business! Maybe special occasions only 😀

  4. I’m often amused at the things some towns use as a claim to fame but the first to sell XXXX in SA is surely original. Love the sh**tter, it brings back memories of my gran’s room with a view.

    1. The XXXX thing made me laugh too, Pauline! The Colman S**tter is a MUCH better selling point – in my opinion, anyway!! It’s practically an historic artefact!!

    1. HHHMMMmmm… perhaps you’re right, Andrew! It’s far less likely to have been a monastic cell in the middle of a two-pub town, huh?! The Eyre Peninsula is yet another place on the list to explore properly – a 3 day flying visit to nearby Kimba just wasn’t enough 😀

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