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The official Farina Restoration Group web site can be found at this address.

Originally called The Gums or Government Gums,[2] 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.
Farina township is located right next to the
Farina Station homestead. A camping ground is only a short (walking) distance away.
Pictured opposite is Robert Moffatt's house before restoration work was begun in 2012.
2012 was my first introduction to Farina. I travelled up there with my good friend Martin MacLennan who is a baker extraordinaire. Whereas many of the volunteers stay for a number of weeks each year, very involved in the exacting task of refurbishing all the old building walls, Martin and I could only spend a week away from other responsibilities.

Because of the remoteness of the new town, the cost to the original settlers of lime for construction was prohibitive. In an effort to keep construction costs down, lime was used only for external plaster, (and even then this was protected by verandahs). Over time, with attacks from white ants and wind, the roofs either blew off or collapsed, allowing water to soak down from the tops of the walls into the cheaper clay internal mortar. This softened, and the walls collapsed.
The walls of all significant buildings are now being re-built using lime mortar.
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Last year we left Farina while work on Robert Moffatt's house was still progressing. Hopefully, when we arrive this year, we'll see considerable improvements in it. We'll track progress for you whilst there. I was hearing rumours that the Exchange Hotel had been earmarked for some new work to stabilise the front wall.
We are supposedly to receive two railway waggons during the time we're in town. It seems that ABC TV intends to carry an article on the arrival of the waggons. They need us to produce some video of the event - so it could be an interesting time!

Ah well… some things were not to be! The image opposite is of Robert Moffatt's house after 2012 work had been completed. It appears that it may not have further work on it this year, as it has effectively been stabilised - while other buildings are in grave danger of collapse. The Exchange Hotel being one. So it looks as though it may be the recipient of some TLC this year! The two stonemasons were not due to arrive until the week after we returned, so no immediate images will be available for a while.

The good news however, is that the promised railway waggons arrived on time!

Breaking News:

On May 21st, the Farina Restoration Group, were named as winners of the Minister's award in the SA Heritage Heroes 2013 presentations. Peter Harris accepted the award on behalf of the group.
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This page is really just a series of images of people involved in the project during the week that I was there (out of a projected 6 weeks activity for the year).

I have not included all of the members of the restoration group that were in Farina at the time. Covering the working teams involved in the rail truck unloading and restoration seemed to keep me from mingling as much as I should have!
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The surrounding country is quite varied: with distant ranges a misty blue on the horizon, and gibber plains suddenly dropping down with cliffs of ochre.

The ever present spiny spinifex and prickly acacia amongst the saltbush sought out by the occasional sheep. There are some 6000 sheep on the Farina property and about 500 head of cattle - spread over 900 square kilometres.

I had trouble spotting any mulga trees (Acacia Aneura). I think they've all been cut down in the past for fence posts!

We took time out in the afternoons after Martin and wife Jo had finished work in the Bakery to travel around a bit, taking in some of the local sights.
One day we drove the 25 km up the road to Marree - snooped around the small town and had a beer at the Pub. I let the cameras cool down that day!

On another occasion we drove another 25 km out West to Witchelena Station. On the way back we had a bit of a wander down a dry creek bed, doing a bit of bird spotting. Saw a few, but most were either too fast, or too far away to score a decent image.

We were so impressed by the Ochre cliffs just outside Lyndhurst that we went back next day for a decent look, driving cross country and entering the big depression under the cliffs from the West. The colours of the ochre varied from white, through yellow to deep brick red, approaching purple in some instances.