Farina, South Australia
Information sign at Farina
|Population||55 (2006 census)|
|Location||55 km (34 mi) S of Marree|
|LGA(s)||Outback Communities Authority|
Originally called The Gums or Government Gums, Farina was settled in 1878 by optimistic farmers hoping that rain follows the plough. The town was the railhead for a time until 1884 before the railway was extended to Marree. During the wet years of the 1880s, plans were laid out for a town with 432 ¼-acre blocks. It was believed that it would be good for growing wheat and barley, however normal rainfall is nowhere near enough to grow these crops. Several silver and copper mines were dug in the surrounding area.
Farina grew to reach a peak population of approximately 600 in the late 1800s. In its heyday, the town had two hotels (the Transcontinental and the Exchange) and an underground bakery, a bank, two breweries, a general store, an Anglican church, five blacksmiths, a school and a brothel. In 1909, a 1143 kg iron meteorite was discovered north-east of the town.
Today nothing but stone ruins and the elevated railway water tank remain of the township. The post office closed in the 1960s and the railway line closed in the 1980s.
The town is no longer inhabited, with the closest residents now living at Farina station, visible to the west of the town. A bush camping area is maintained by the owners of Farina station.
Volunteer efforts have been made to restore the town, including the repair of the bakery and the addition of informational signs.
The town's cemetery is located a few kilometres away via a signposted track. Of interest is the Afghan corner of the cemetery which contains several headstones with both English and Arabic inscriptions, plus several headstones without inscriptions, marking the resting place of former Farina residents of Afghan origin who were involved in or connected to the Afghan camel trains which used to provide transport services before the railway was extended. All the gravestones face Mecca in the Islamic tradition.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Farina (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
- Basil Fuller: The Ghan – The Story of the Alice Springs Railway. Sydney 1975. ND 2003.ISBN 978-1-74110-806-4
- Mike Sexton (2013-06-20). "Grey nomad volunteers are dusting off an outback ghost town". ABC News.
Media related to Farina, South Australia at Wikimedia Commons