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Level of Significance

  • File
  • Local
  • Regional
  • State
  • National







Height - 4m


Common name
Botanical name
Prunus dulcis syn. P. amygdalus
Other name
Almond Orchard
Onkaparinga (SA)
Giles Road Willunga SA 5172
  • Horicultural/Genetic (Scientific)
  • Seed/Propagation Stock (Scientific)
  • Resistance (Scientific)
  • Rare (Scientific)
  • Location/Context (Social)
  • Landscape (Social)
  • Contemporary association (Social)
  • Park/Garden/Town (Historic)
  • Person/Group/Institution (Historic)
Date of germination
01 Jan 1898
Date of measurement
11 Jan 2017
Date of classification
06 Feb 2017

Statement of Significance

This remnant orchard is part of the town of Willunga's first almond orchard, for which the town has become locally well-known for its annual almond blossom festival. Its nut varieties represent early experiments in suiting a commercial cropping plant to its local soils and climate. They represent scientifically and horticulturally interesting trees and providea social context now celebrated each year, and are a tourist attraction. Almonds are sold at the local Farmer's Market.


see notes above


In the verge along Giles Rd Willunga, next to Aldinga Rd
See "Notes" section below.


This avenue of 50 trees is all that remains of a much larger almond orchard. It was the first commercial orchard in Willunga, planted in 1898. It was one of a number that made Willunga South Australia's premier source of almonds.


The nomination story
Willunga’s enthusiasm for the almond tree (Prunus dulcis, syn. Prunus amygdalus) began as a domestic fruit tree planted outside many an early settler’s mud and thatch cottage. The practice developed of growing them as ‘bonus’ crops on the boundaries of land used for other purposes. This popular nut came to South Australia via Kangaroo Island before formal proclamation of the state. Thereafter South Australia’s climate was recognised as suitable for large-scale production.
By the early 1900's, commercial almond production was spread across the Adelaide Plains around the city of Adelaide. The almond industry expanded in the 1920's and 1930's concentrated in the western suburbs around the Marion, Edwardstown and Brighton areas, also developing in the Willunga and Southern Vales districts.
Plantings subsequently expanded in Virginia, Two Wells, and Angle Vale in the 1960's and 1970's; afterwards in the Riverland and Murray Valley areas. An almond cracker, originally designed, patented and built by local almond grower G. M. Herriott in the late nineteen-forties, was used universally throughout Australia.
In Giles Road, Willunga, in 2017, a row of about 50 Brown Brandis almond trees is all that remain from the original 10 acres (4Ha) orchard planted by Spencer Atkinson Hall in 1898 on what was formerly a vineyard.
Spencer Atkinson Hall was consecutively a local bank manager, a vigneron, almond grower and dairy farmer at Willunga. Hall Road is named after his family. Giles Road commemorates the Giles family who settled in Willunga in the 1930s; pioneers of commercial almond growing in the district. These very old trees are now 119 years old, and growing in the Giles Road verge and are the responsibility of the City of Onkaparinga.
They mark the boundary of Willunga’s first almond grove on Section 256, and are the earliest known commercial planting of almonds in the district. The historical development of almond growing in Willunga is listed as shown:
• In 1898 Spencer Atkinson Hall planted in Section 256 (now Giles Rd)
• In 1901 Mr Allan Hall planted 10 acres of almonds by the Aldinga Road
• In 1909 Strout planted 30 acres of almonds
• Thomas Atkinson planted Ashley Farm (date unrecorded)
• In 1927 Mr Walter Brown planted 40 acres near Aldinga Road
• In 1934 the Almond Groves Co bought the old Ashley Farm of 240 acres
• In 1946 The Giles family began planting
• In 1952 (?) Co-operative Almond Producers Ltd purchased land by the railway line
• In the 1970s over 2000 hectares of land in the district were planted to almonds
• In the 1970s Willunga was the centre of the State’s almond production
• In the late 1970s the almond growing emphasis shifted to the Riverland. The Annual Almond Blossom Festival celebrates the importance of the almond growing industry which provided a solid economic base for Willunga from the 1930s to the 1970s.
Sources 1: “History of Agriculture in SA-Almonds”.The Dept of Primary Industries and Regions, SA
2: ‘Almonds in Australia’, Jennifer Wilkins, the Almond Board of Australia, 2012
3: W A Pretty. ‘Almond Growing in South Australia’, 1976 (not found)
4 Pers. Com. Faye Lush, Willunga NT 4 Jan 2017) who spoke with R. Baxendale WNT - who spoke with Ken Hall, son of S.P.A. Hall to confirm personnel and dates.
5 Faye Lush Willunga NT; for much help in sorting fact from memories
6 Several collected about Willunga, its early families, and their businesses. In the Court House reference library of NTSA Willunga.
7 “Willunga, ‘Place of Green trees’”, published by the Willunga Progress Association, 1952
8 SA Government, The Department of Primary Industries and regions Almond varieties listed in these references are:
• Brandis
• Hatch's Nonpareil
• California Paper shells
• Johnston
• Strout variety (evolved specifically for Willunga)
• Chellaston Almonds on Giles Rd, Willunga, c 2000 Almond orchard, Willunga, circa 1980s LocGov/Onka/Willunga/almonds/Jan2107