In 1955 Aroona Dam was built to supply the town of Leigh Creek with fresh water. In 1996 the area surrounding the Dam was declared a sanctuary. A colony of Yellow Footed Rock Wallabies has been reintroduced into the area. A spectacular walking trail was established and will so undergo an upgrade. The turn off for the Dam is 4kms south of Leigh Creek, then a 6km dirt road to the viewing and picnic area. Currently no fishing, shooting, swimming or boating are allowed on the dam. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times as (poison baits have been laid).
Arkaroola is situated NE of Leigh Creek on a well-maintained dirt road. In 1967 Reg Sprigg purchased and transformed it from a sheep station into a wilderness sanctuary. A range of accommodation is available. Arkaroola has some beautiful scenery and walks catered to all ages and fitness levels. While at Arkaroola take a spectacular Ridge Top Tour and have a look at the Astronomical Observatory. Arkaroola also offers flights around the region.
32 km south of Leigh Creek is a small township of Beltana. Beltana was formed in the 1870s with Copper mining in the area, the construction of the Australian Overland Telegraph Line and The Ghan Railroad. At Beltana’s height between 1875 and the 1920s the town supported a brewery, two hotels, post and telegraph office, school, police station, doctor, coutr0house, church, baker, blacksmith, hospital, railway station, cricket team, race meetings, saddle maker, carriage maker, mining exchange, several shops and a population of approximately 500 people. The town, adjacent cemetery and railway structures are now part of a designated State Heritage Area declared in 1987.
Robert Blinman found copper in 1859 which was transformed into the highest town at 614 metres above sea level making it the highest town in South Australia. Unfortunately, due to lack of water and the difficulties transporting the ore the towns’ population slowly declined from 1500 to what it is today. The Blinman Heritage Mine Tour is a must on your to-do list.
Copley is situated 5kms north of Leigh Creek. Copley was originally established in 1891 as the railway station for the Old Leigh Creek. Today, Copley boasts an historic pub (the Leigh Creek Hotel is also known as the Copley Pub), a Caravan Park and the Quandong Bush Bakery, plus a Mechanic (Cooke’s Outback Motors) for anything car related.
Farina Station is located 75kms north of Leigh Creek, Farina was surveyed in 1878 and was named Farina which means flour, as it was hoped that it would become a granary for the mid-north. Unfortunately, the rain did not fall. Farina then became the head of the railway and the beginning for all the tracks for the Cameleers and Drovers. Today Farina is a working Station, but you are able to head out and have a wander around the ruins and through the old cemetery. Farina also has a fantastic camping ground with BBQs, tables, toilets and showers. For 8 weeks during winter the Farina Restoration Group fire up the wood-fired bakery and sell fresh baked goods to the public to help raise money for the restoration of the ruins.
Lyndhurst is a small outback town approximately 40kms north of Leigh Creek. Lyndhurst is the last point of sealed roads before all roads north turn to dirt. To the north-east is the Strzelecki Track, the Strzelecki is a remote dirt road with no services for 470kms until you reach Innamincka. 80kms North is Marree. The original inhabitants were the Yantruwanta people until Lyndhurst was gazetted as a town in 1896. Initially, Lyndhurst served as a freight centre for the railways which were connected in 1882. The town has served as a rail outlet for the talc mining operations at Mt Fitton and supported large pastoral properties. Today Lyndhurst has a population of around 10 (if everyone is home) and has two businesses – The Elsewhere Hotel and the Lyndhurst Roadhouse.