Parachilna and the Flinders Ranges
Parachilna has an official permanent population of just two, but its remoteness adds to the character.
The word Parachilna comes from the Aborignal patajilnda, meaning “place of peppermint gum trees”, and was an area prized for its red ochre by the Aboriginal people.
The Parachilna township was surveyed in Feb 1863, – a mere 24 blocks pegged out near a government well, which supplied water to the nearby copper mining settlement of Blinman.
The town moved 10km to its current position when the Great Northern Railway was built in 1881 when Parachilna became both a maintenance station on the rail line, as well an important railway siding for supplies to Blinman.
Cattle yards were constructed shortly after, and in 1888 the government actually considered an irrigation scheme at the siding! By the 1890 elections the government had to open a polling booth in Parachilna, and a new town was surveyed.
Today, the Prairie Hotel, The Overflow, Parachilna airstrip, Community Campground and a few buildings remain, and the permanent local population is fairly stable at two. Seasonally adjusted for the influx of Prairie Hotel staff numbers may swell to about 12.
Flinders Ranges National Park is at our doorstep, Arkaroola and the Gammon Ranges, the Leigh Creek coal mine and Lake Torrens are ‘next door’.