The land on which this town with the lyrical name sits was originally part of the vast Crystal Brook run founded in 1847 by the Bowman family.
Bowman Park, 5km east of the town, embraces the ruins of the founding family’s homestead. The park, which is part of the famous Heysen Trail, offers both daylight and night walks to catch the nocturnal animals out and about.
Naturally, the reptiles on daylight parade in the park include goannas, one of which might well have posed for the artist who produced The Big Goanna standing rampant at the entrance to the town. The park also includes a restaurant and a range of accommodation.
The Crystal Brook Hotel (1878) and the Royal Hotel (1882) have been slaking thirsts since the early days of the town settlement, while the National Trust-listed Old Bakehouse Museum opens its doors every Sunday or public holiday or by appointment.
A plaque mounted on a rock on the median strip dividing the main street honours a native born son, Arthur Sullivan, who, as a corporal in the 45th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, was awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery during an action at Sheika River, in North Russia, in a post-World War I battle.