Cleve is Eastern Eyre Peninsula's largest business town, offering substantial shopping, health and community centre including educational, recreational and sporting facilities for the region. Hotel/motel, caravan park, service stations, RAA contractor, bakery, butcher, banks, accredited hospital with resident doctor, medical facilities, supermarket, rural supplies and specialty shops. Sporting facilities include 18 hole all season golf course, skate park, bowling greens, netball/tennis/basketball courts with coin operated lights, town oval and playgrounds.
Within easy driving of Cleve are the coastal resorts of Arno Bay and Cowell, facing Spencer Gulf. Both these towns offer many kilometres of unspoilt coastal beauty with sandy beaches, rocky formations and excellent fishing opportunities. Panoramic views of the surrounding planies and Spencer Gulf are a bonus feature of scenic drives through the Cleve/Cowell hills. Carappee Hill and Darke Peak have their own unique and attractive inland features.
Major events for Cleve include the annual Cleve AH&F Show, Cleve Christmas Pageant and each even year the Eyre Peninsula Field Days and Yeldulknie Range Dinner Dance.
Cleve is unique, in that it is the only Eyre Peninsula town not serviced by rail, silos, on a major highway or on the coast. One wonders why it came into being and contiues to exist, yet it is the main business centre servicing eastern EP. A strong agricultural base, foreshore attractions at Arno Bay and scenic destinations throughout the district, compliment our rural lifestyle and comfortable, relaxed atmosphere for both residents and visitors.
Cleve - on the 'Birdseye Highway' - Australia's newest highway
Eyre Peninsula Field Days
This 3-day major South Australian Agricultural and Rural event is held during the second week of August each even year, on a 12 hectare site adjacent Cleve town. The EP Field Days is a huge event held in very high regard and brings exhibitors from all over Australia. The display includes the latest machinery and technology in the agricultural industry as well as information and products directed to all aspects of rural living. The general interest section hosts a wide range of crafts, gifts, clothing, fashion parades and cooking demonstrations encompassing all aspects of rural living. For further information contact www.eyrepeninsulafielddays.com.au
South Australia's largest school farm 'Gordon Sims Training and Learning Conference Centre' is 4.5 kms east of Cleve. the Homestead is State Heritage listed. The Cleve Area School has a Certificate in Agriculture for Year 11 and 12 students which includes practical working on Sims Farm. For further information contact Cleve Area School www.cleveas.sa.edu.au
Yeldulknie Weir & Reservoir
The weir and reservoir completed in 1912, supplied water to the districts of Arno Bay and Cowell but not Cleve. It is an historic and beautiful area with picnic and BBQ facilities and walking trails. The restored wheelhouse is state heritage listed.
Consists of a monument. grave sites, historical machinery items. Has gravel road access. Wangaraleednie is an Aboriginal name, said to mean 'place of the west wind'. It was first settled 1853 by the McKechnie brothers, who establised a sheep run. The brothers lived in the area until 1869. The chimney of McKechnie Bros original cottage, built after 1853, stands within sight of the grave headstones. There are some historic machinery items and a monument which celebrate 150 years and the McKechnie descendents, in 2003.
Observation Hill is known locally as 'Ticklebelly Hill'. The small, diverse remnant patch of scrub provides an important habitat for a number of plant species including the threatened Silver Leaf Daisy (oleria pannosa ssppannosa). There are over 60 Silver Leaf Daisy plants within the reserve.
'Observation Hill' was used as an ememy aircraft spotting post during World War II and was manned 24 hours per day.
National Trust Agricultural & Folk Museum
The Cleve Branch is based in the original Council Chambers built in 1913 and includes the original Cleve gaol cell and a large display shed. Displays include early records and photofraphs, household articles of pioneering families and early farming implements, many of which were made by local craftsmen. Admission is a gold coin donation.
Further information: Phone 08 8628 2038 or 08 8628 2023, open on request.
Centenary of Federation Mural painted during 2001, deoicts the district's argicultural heritage. Main Street, Cleve.
Tile Mosaic at RSL Hall
This public artwork, named 'Ballgowns & Ballgames', was completed by year 10 Cleve Area School students in 2005 and depicts our youth's interpretation of local history and culture.
Monuments Recognising First Wheat Crop and Goyder's Line
These plaques recognise the first wheat crop grown in the district in 1879 and Goyder's Line, which indicates a climate benchmark, first identified for South Australia farmers in the 1860's.
Mt Millar Wind Farm
Eyre Peninsula's largest wind farm with 35 turbines aligns the hilltops was constructed in 2005 at a cost of $138 million. At the public viewing area you will see the enormous two megawatt wind turbines with a blade diameter of 71 metres atop an 85 metre tall tower- a total height of 120 metres! Mt Millar wind farm will reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by up to 168,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. Gravel road access with steep inclines. Not suitable for caravan access.
May Gibbs MBE
Commemorative monument to the author of the gumnut babies "Sunggle Pot & Cuddle Pie"/ May Gibbs spent her childhood in this area around the 1880's and influenced many books with her famous gumnut babies. Birdseye Highway near Cowell.
"The locality hereabouts was first settled in 1853 by Dr James McKechnie, who with his two brothers, Donald and Peter, established a sheep run at Wangaraleednie - an aboriginal name said to mean 'hill of the west wind'. The brothers lived in the area until 1869 when James and Donald died and were buried on the property. Peter returned to Scotland, and in 1873 the run was sold to George Melrose, who in his first year shore 30,000 sheep. By 1897 the dingoes had reduced his flock to a mere 1300 and Melrose sold out to a man who subdivided the property into farming blocks. Melrose incidently is reported to be the first man to release rabbits on Eyre Peninsula; other authorities state Peter McKechnie was responsible.
The township was proclaimed on 6th March 1879, and was named Cleve by Governor Sir William Drummond Jervois, after the family seat in Devon, England, of his aide-de-camp and cousin, Thomas Snow. Cleve in old English means 'cliff' or 'hill'. The plan of the town, like many other country towns, followed the layout of Adelaide with the streets set out in the form of a grid and surrounded by parklands.
The Sims Farm 'Dingle Dell' was a property of 405 hectares which was bequeathed by Mr Gordon Sims to the SA Government in 1960 for research and educational purposes. Miss Audrey Sims, sister of Gordon, was given a life tenure of property. 109 hectares of the farm was used by the Cleve Area School to train students in agricultural courses which proved very successful. After her death the SA Government, in 1985, announced it did not propose to establish an agricultural college but would sell the property and use the money for research elsewhere. People of the peninsula objected strongly and argued it was against the legal and moral terms of the will and that the property should be used to train young farmers. After a great deal of debate the farm was handed over to the Sims Farm Operations Ass Inc in conjunction with the Cleve Area School.
Although Eyre Peninsula contains only 9% of the state's farmers it produces 40% of South Australia's grain harvest, and obviously the average acreage of each farm is much larger than those in other parts of the state. A 1939 report stated farmers on the Peninsula should have a minimum 3000-5000 acre. To farm the land requires large, fast and efficient equipment and the Eyre Peninsula Field Days, held at Cleve, are designed to give both the farming community and general public the opportunity to see and assess the latest machinery, equipment and techniques available. Held every two years, in August, the three day event usually attracts about 25,000 visitors who come to see the millions of dollars worth of machinery, numerous demonstrations and displays. To and About Eyre Peninsula, Harold Normandale 1986