Kiwanis rest stop celebrates 10 years

Kiwanis Barossa members celebrating the 10th anniversary of the rest stop on Gomersal Road: Phil Schmaal, Ev Leske, Des and Lorna Schiller.

Kiwanis Barossa members gathered at the Gomersal Road rest stop to celebrate its tenth anniversary.

Pizza and stories were shared across bespoke mosaic picnic tables, under the shelter that was built with the assistance of Ahrens Engineering, volunteers and local school students a decade ago.

When Kiwanis first began the project in 2010, the site was an eyesore, full of trash and tangles of non-indigenous plants.

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“I guess from a community perspective, we’ve opened this up and this now can be used by members of the local community and tourists coming through, whereas previously it was a dump,” said Kiwanis member, Phil Schmaal.

“With the help of some of the school students in the early days to get it set up, it’s now a community asset.”

As well as comfortable picnic and shelter areas, the rest stop features an array of Barossa native plants, sourced from the Barossa Bushgardens and planned out in a pleasing design by Pauline Martin.

Des Schiller co-ordinates the watering and maintenance schedule, visiting the site at least once every three weeks to keep it looking tidy and fresh.

Additionally, once a year Treasury Estate volunteers descend on the rest stop to help with pruning.

Kiwanis member, Ev Leske said the plants are now nicely established and a pleasure to view.

“In winter time especially when the sennas are flowering and the wattles are flowering it looks really good. And that shows off the indigenous plants that Barossa Bushgardens have provided,” he said.

Being an organisation with the mission of serving children, the Barossa Kiwanis were quick to give credit to the school children who helped with planting, building and decorating the space all those years ago.  

They hope the Gomersal Road rest stop will continue to flourish in years to come.

“To me it’s heartening to hear the comments from the general public as to what this place looked like, to what it is now,” said member, Lorna Schiller.

“I think Kiwanis can stand proud by taking this on as a project.”