The Wandering Tops

The Wandering Tops

11 September, 2014

Farina, SA

We had passed Farina ruins on several occasions when travelling north but can't recall stopping to look at the historic town or stay at the camping area. So on this trip after 3 days travelling along the Birdsville track we decided to spend time at Farina.

Farina was proclaimed a town on 21/3/1878 - originally called "Government Gums", but later called "Farina" (Latin for flour) by Governor Jervois.  Original plans was to grow wheat but the climate proved unsuitable. Farina was the railhead from Pt Augusta from 2/5/1882 to 1884 when the line was extended first to Marree and then to Alice Springs.  The line closed in 1980's & was removed in 1993. Afghan camel drivers lived on Afghan Hill (eastern side of the town).  They brought in wool from the stations and delivered supplies to them.  Chinese came to Farina as construction workers on the railway and some stayed on as gardeners.  A School opened in 1879, Hotels "Transcontinental" &  "Exchange", Post Office, savings bank, telegraph station, police station, Anglican & Catholic churches, general stores, bakery, brewery, blacksmith, saddlery, hospital & butchery - the town was finally deserted in the 1980's but in its heyday the population reached approx 300 residents.

Several groups have taken on restoring the ruins and have established information boards and signposts which shows interesting history on the town and is thoroughly worth the visit.

The New Police Station 1935 to 1950


Farina Cemetery - quite detailed information boards giving info on pioneer families buried in this cemetery. The cemetery was last used in 1960. 

Chimneys are the site of  Patterson's House and Butcher Shop 1915-1989 with the underground Bakery in background

Underground Bakery - volunteers have restored this Bakery and has become operational during some of the restoration projects


Transcontinental Hotel (1878-1928)
Bush Nursing Hospital (1928-1945)
Boarding House (1945-1955)

Back of Transcontinental Hotel ruins

 Farina Cricket Ground - the resident ghost batsman! 

Another view of Transcontinental Hotel

The owners of the station run the camping ground which has recently had shower and toilet upgrades and provides hot showers when the donkey boiler is fired up.  Lovely spot to camp with plenty of space and trees.

Camping area approx 1km from Farina Ruins

Local chicks!



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