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Farina fires up Australia’s most remote underground Bakery

PIC – Farina Restoration Project Group AND (inset) photo by Russell Monson
Abbie Tiller

Next stop, 600kms – Farina Underground Bakery

In an outback ghost town with a population of zip, grey nomads are migrating, armed with flour and ready to roll up their sleeves to fire up the famous Farina Underground Bakery.

In a convoy of caravans, from right across Australia, the grey nomads are reporting for duty as volunteers on the Farina Restoration Group. The groups aim – to rebuild the once bustling outback service town, one loaf of bread at a time.

At the junction of the famous Oodnadatta and Birdsville tracks, Farina was a popular transport route for stock and goods from the outback in the late 1800’s. The name ‘Farina’ is Latin for ‘flour’ – in the hope that the surrounding land could be transformed into a prosperous wheat growing region. The Great Northern Railway line boosted Farina’s economy, and at its peak the population swelled to more than 600, with two hotels, a school a post office, bank, a brewery and several stores.

Being North of the imaginary line of reliable rainfall, hopes of golden wheat crops faded over the years. One by one, businesses closed their doors and the relocation of the railway line in 1980 led to Farina quite literally becoming a pile of ruins on the map. A sad and common story, but miraculously, not the end of the line for the outback wonder.

Farina rises from the rubble thanks to passionate Bakers and volunteers

In 2008, the Farina Restoration Group was formed with a mission to restore some of the town’s crumbling infrastructure and to display the history and lifestyle of an inland Australian township from the 1800’s through to the 1960’s. Volunteers began to descend on Farina and before long they had the town’s old bread oven roaring back into life – a welcome aroma for almost 20,000 tourists who now call in for a taste of the country’s most remote outback bakery.

A huge success and an incredibly satisfying project for the elderly volunteers who return each year, Farina is once again somewhat of a service town. The profits from the booming bakery help with the restoration of more of the town’s historic landmarks, like the railway precinct, recently reunited with an original NSU 62 Diesel Locomotive, to be spruced up with a coat of paint and put on display to highlight the importance of the railway to Farina.

And as the pies and pasties continue to walk out the door, volunteers continue to work on rebuilding Farina, researching the town’s history and it’s people, and ensuring far North Farina is more than a pile of rubble on South Australia’s map.

Farina Outback Bakery
Open –
Sat May 26 – July 21
To book a Bakery Tour
(hurry spots are filling fast) or for more info – click here



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