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Burra is one of Australia's earliest, largest and best-preserved 19th century mining towns. The Burra copper mine contributed significantly to South Australia's early prosperity, before the town evolved into a service centre for agriculture.

Burra is located 160 km north-east of Adelaide along the Barrier Highway. The settlement developed around the Burra Creek and lies nestled in a valley surrounded by bare rolling hills. The entire town has been designated as the Burra state heritage area.

Burra became a thriving mining community with the discovery of copper in 1845, and by 1850 the town was Australia's largest inland settlement. The Burra mine was the largest mine in Australia for 15 years.

The Burra mines and associated buildings are the earliest examples of Cornish mining and domestic architecture in South Australia. Paxton Square and cottages in Thames Street were among the first company housing in Australia. On 9 May 2017 the Australian Cornish Mining Sites: Burra and Moonta were included in the National Heritage List.

Once copper production slowed in the 1870s, Burra evolved into a service centre for agriculture. The rise of a successful merino industry made Burra a centre for sheep-breeding and brought further prosperity to the town.

The Burra state heritage area includes seventy places and one object in the South Australian Heritage Register, including:

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