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About us

Adam, Maree, Dolce and Beau (fur baby) Wauchope took over the Cliff House in late 2021.  If guests look closely enough they will find the Wauchope’s frolicking in or on the waters around Moonta Bay, and someone is always on hand to respond to guests needs.

The Cliff House was founded by the Rosewarnes, a proud Kadina family that has been involved in many businesses on the Yorke Peninsula for approximately 140 years.  

The Cliff House was Sally’s Rosewarne’s vision and Sally worked tirelessly over the past 20 years to build up the business with many Cliff House guests returning year after year to soak up the unrivalled sea views.

The Rosewarne’s named each apartment after the pioneers of the Copper Coast region namely:


The ‘Hughes’ apartment (3 bedroom) – Walter Watson Hughes was a Scottish sea captain who had emigrated to South Australia in 1840 and purchased land in the vicinity of Moonta for keeping sheep. Minerals were discovered on his property by two shepherds.

Wheal Hughes was established as a copper mine in the 19th century, but is now a tourist attraction (The Moonta Mines). The 'wheal' part of the name comes from Cornish, and means 'place of work'.
Walter Watson Hughes, with fellow pioneer Thomas Elder described below, donated 20,000 Pounds towards the establishment of the University of Adelaide.


The ‘Hancock’ apartment (2 bedroom) - Henry Hancock worked as an assayer of ores at the Moonta Mine in 1861 and the following year became Captain of the adjacent Yelta Mine. In 1864 he was appointed Manager of the Moonta Mine, a position he held for thirty-four years. During his career he introduced extra machinery, notably a Cornish steam engine, which was assembled by Frederick May of Gawler. It powered the pumps, winches and ore crushers, which had previously been hand-driven. By 1865 he had set up tramways to move ore around the site and in 1866 a railway replaced the wagon teams in transporting the huge volume of ore to the smelters at Wallaroo.

After the amalgamation of the Wallaroo and Moonta Mining and Smelting Company in 1889, Hancock became its General Manager, retiring in 1898.


The ‘Ryan’ apartment (3 bedroom) – In 1861 Irish shepherd Patrick Ryan, while looking after sheep for Captain Walter Watson Hughes, discovered copper in a wombat hole. A pumping station at Rossiter’s Point erected in 1901 and was used to pump sea water to Ryans' Engine house at Moonta Mines, more than three kilometres away. The pumping station was used in the cementation process when treating the tailings dumps for the copper mining. Just south of the Cliff House on low tide you can still explore to see what remains of the pumping station.


The ‘Elder’ apartment (2 bedroom) – Sir Thomas Elder was a Scottish-Australian pastoralist, highly successful businessman, philanthropist, politician, race-horse owner and breeder, and public figure.  
He entered political life as a member of the South Australian Legislative Council in 1863 but retired in 1869. He was again elected in 1871, but resigned in 1878 and took no further part in politics.
Along with Walter Watson Hughes and Sir Thomas Elder became a main miner on the Yorke Peninsula, which brought him in a huge fortune.

Walter Watson Hughes and Thomas Elder donated 20,000 Pounds each toward the establishment of the University of Adelaide.

The owners of The Cliff House beachfront apartments are locals who are deeply in love with Moonta Bay, Yorke Peninsula and Regional South Australia. 

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