The close-knit Barossa community has been left stunned by the deaths of a man and a baby girl at the Whispering Wall.
The close-knit Barossa community has been left stunned by the deaths of a man and a baby girl at the Whispering Wall.

‘It’s bloody rocked our community’

Members of the close-knit Barossa community are in shock over the deaths of a man and a baby girl who fell from the Whispering Wall last night.

The popular Williamstown attraction remains closed today as police investigate the deaths of the man and girl, who witnesses saw go over the ledge of the 36m-high wall and fall to the ground.

At a cafe on Williamstown's main street, community members spoke about the tragedy.

Local Allie O'Toole said it had hit everyone hard.

"Any time something like this happens it bloody rocks our community, it's just so terrible," Ms O'Toole said.

"I used to take my kids there pretty often, it's a terribly long drop."

Rodney Carnell, who has lived in the Williamstown area since 1980, said he'd never heard of a similar tragedy.

"It'll be terribly devastating on the community here," he said.

Mr Carnell said he expected the Wall - to which he has taken his grandkids - to be closed for a while.

"It may need better enclosure over the top and a higher fence."

Williamstown local Rodney Carnell talks about the tragic deaths at the Whispering Wall. Picture: Jason Katsaras
Williamstown local Rodney Carnell talks about the tragic deaths at the Whispering Wall. Picture: Jason Katsaras

Lorraine March called it an "absolute tragedy".

"I think people will be terribly sad and disheartened that this has happened in this little township."

Another local man said he felt worried about those who witnessed the fall.

"To think that there was people there that saw it … that would have just been terrible to see," he said.

The shockwaves of the tragedy were echoed by a cafe worker, who said that she had been to the wall on multiple occasions.

"I always used to look over and think, you wouldn't want to go over that."

Local MP Stephan Knoll, the member for Schubert, said it was heartbreaking, especially on the back of bushfires and a spate of road accidents that recently rocked the area.

"It is just heartbreaking … it does hit everybody hard … and we all do need to band together. But that's the beauty of a community like the Barossa. Whenever these things happen … we do what we can to look after each other," he told ABC Radio Adelaide.

The Whispering Wall is just outside Williamstown at Barossa Reservoir and is the retaining wall of the reservoir.

Built more than a century ago, it is a popular tourist destination because of its ability to carry sound from one end to the other, over more than 100m.

Originally published as 'It's bloody rocked our community'

Police at the gate of the Whispering Wall in the Barossa on Thursday morning. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Kelly Barnes
Police at the gate of the Whispering Wall in the Barossa on Thursday morning. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Kelly Barnes
The Whispering Wall, near Williamstown, in the Barossa Valley.
The Whispering Wall, near Williamstown, in the Barossa Valley.


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