Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Lyndhurst SA


Postcode: 5731

Lyndhurst is a town in north-east South Australia, which is at the crossroads of the Strzelecki Track and the Oodnadatta Track. It began as a railway siding in 1878.

Located 606 km north of Adelaide, Lyndhurst is an historic old railway town which is now nothing more than a few buildings at the crossroads of the Strzelecki and Oodnadatta Tracks.It is claimed that the Strzelecki Track was pioneered by Harry Redford’s famous exercise in cattle duffing which started near Muttaburra in western Queensland.

There is very little in Lyndhurst apart from the now famous, thanks to numerous magazine and TV pieces, Talc Alf who, apart from producing some quite interesting, if very stylised, carvings in talc stone, has a highly eccentric explanation for the origins of the alphabet. He has a sheet which explains all his theories but you’ll get the idea by knowing that his explanation for the letter ‘B’ is that it is the second letter in the alphabet and it is the symbol for women. ‘A’ is for man and ‘B’ is for woman – women come second in his pecking order. No sexism here. And that ‘B’ on its side is a visual depiction of a women’s breasts. One presumes that lower case ‘b’ indicates one breasted Amazons. The theory is strong on entertainment value and sexism and rather weak on logic and common sense. Oh, and by the way, when you combine A (man) and B (woman) with ‘original’ you get, wait for it, Aboriginal – the first men and women.

28 km north of Lyndhurst is the ghost town of Farina which is now nothing more than a fascinating collection of ruins with the surrounding countryside littered with old drays, wheels and rusting pieces of equipment. It is strange, while wandering around the ruins, to think that in 1891 the famous French novelist, Jules Verne, wrote a novel titled Mistress Branican in which he depicted a futuristic Farina (the name is Latin for flour) with broad boulevards and gracious squares. Not all of Verne’s science fiction predictions were to become realities.

The town did actually grow to a decent size and in before the copper and silver mine closed in 1927 it had a population of around 600. It was also the northern most point in South Australia where wheat was grown. There is no proper signpost at Farina. The only sign is a mailbox beside the road with Farina written on it.