|Elevation:||247 m (810 ft)|
• Summer (DST)
|LGA:||District Council of Cleve|
|Region:||Eyre and Western|
Darke Peak (formerly Carappee) is a small agricultural town located in central Eyre Peninsula, South Australia. The town is the population centre for the surrounding agricultural district and has become a minor historical tourist town. The J. C. Darke Memorial and Grave, commemorating early European explorer John Charles Darke, is located near the township and is located on the South Australian Heritage Register.
The town takes its name from the explorer John Charles Darke, who was injured in a spear attack by Aborigines in the vicinity of the peak on 24 October 1844. He died the next day and was buried at the foot of the large peak. Governor Grey expressed a wish that some landform in the region of the grave should be named to honour him. In 1865 surveyor Thomas Evans who was performing a trigonometrical survey of the Gawler Ranges and named the 1,564 ft (477 m) high mount, 'Darke's Peak'.
In 1909, another surveyor, W.G. Evans, reported that he had found bones in a grave and was satisfied they were the remains of Darke. Darke's grave and monument are located on the western side of the range, still standing as a memorial to the first European who explored this area. The memorial was erected by the SA Government in 1910.
The township of Darke Peak was originally proclaimed Carappee in 1914. The town was renamed in 1940 after the peak that bears John Charles Darke's name as further honour to the explorer. A school opened in the town in 1917.
Darke Peak includes Darke Range, Caralue Bluff, Carappee Hill Conservation Park and Carappee Hill in the surrounding area, with Carappee Hill known for being the highest exposed granite rock mass on Eyre Peninsula.
Darke Peak has a hotel which dates back to the early days of the settlement and offers accommodation and meals.
Darke Peak Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.