Parndana, the place of little gums, was established in the geographical centre of Kangaroo Island in 1951 to provide commercial and logistic support to a regional farming boom.
The boom was kick-started by the implementation of a government land scheme in 1948 to resettle World War II returned servicemen which doubled the island’s production.
With its shopping and commercial centre, three churches and a community pub, Parndana is the archetypal Australian country town, but its setting in an island environment free of predatory pests and noxious flora gives it a distinct edge on comparative mainland villages. Even the road verges round Parndana harbour natural wildlife and burst into a riot of spring wildflowers.
The Parndana Wildlife Park, just 3km west of town, conserves Kangaroo Island’s largest privately owned collection of native animals. The complex includes a walk-through aviary, a local arts and crafts shop and undercover eating areas.