Lyndhurst
Collage of Lyndhurst.

Lyndhurst is the gateway to the iconic Strzelecki Track, passable by conventional cars in the dry season but often considered a classic 4WD dirt route. The Strezlecki is an old stock route that was used for moving mobs of sheep and cattle down the Cooper Creek. Old bush mythology suggests it was Harry Redford, a notorious stock thief, who developed the track around 1870 and moved 1000 stolen cattle from Queensland into this remote South Australian location. Burke and Wills had perished along a similar route nine years previously.

The Government Gums rail line breathed life into Lyndhurst with a railway siding being established in 1878. Mount Lyndhurst was already named and Lyndhurst Station had been settled for some decades before any real development occurred in the town. The town became an important depot for stock moving down the Strzelecki Track who could detour into Lyndhurst and shorten the overland journey. Today the track is busy with vehicles servicing the nearby Moomba Gas Field.

Prior to European settlement the region was home to the Yantruwanda Aboriginal people who used a quarry 2km from Lyndhurst to mine ochre for ceremonial body painting and rock decoration. It's believed the ochre was also traded with other aboriginal groups. The cliffs are an interesting array of desert colour, the browns, reds and yellows of the 'Flinders Ranges Outback Region' of South Australia.

Unusually, a hotel was a late arrival to to the town of Lyndhurst. Often the first business premises of any new settlement, the Lyndhurst Hotel wasn't officially licensed until 1896. A dapper little building of corrugated iron, it sadly went up in flames in 1988 and was replaced by a building from Moomba.

The outlying country has a wealth of old ruins, abandoned towns and outbuildings that are slowly being reclaimed by the desert. An outstanding example is Farina, now a ghost town and only 25km from Lyndhurst.

This tiny outback settlement of thirty can also be used as a launching pad for the famous Oodnadatta Track or an extended foray into the Flinders Ranges. Scenic flights over Lake Eyre can be organised as can a visit to Lake Torrens - 200km of salt flats that have been filled once in 150 years.


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