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Hookina

Hookina’s position near permanent water and on a relatively easy crossing of the ranges gave it life. Before it was surveyed as a township in 1863, there was a twelve room inn, a stable and blacksmith shop to cater for passing traffic and nearby stations. Up to 130 teamsters camped at Hookina overnight before the railways came. Most of them would have had a meal or two, and a drink or two at the old pub.

Mincham says it was the liveliest of the little townships surveyed along the copper route from Blinman and Yudnamutana through the Hookina Valley to the coast.  The government sank a line of wells between Port Augusta and the mines and surveyed a small township at each well in 1863.

These townships were Yarrah, Mt Eyre, Hookina, Mern Merna, Edeowie and Parachilna along the western plain and through the Hookina Valley. Other townships were surveyed near and named after the Nuccaleena and Oratunga Mines.

Hotels, eating houses and other buildings to service teamsters made up most of these tiny towns.

During the great drought of the 1890s the Hookina pub was almost covered by drifting sand and the owner, George Glass closed it down in 1897. Glass took the roofing iron off and then built a store at Wonoka (Hookina Siding). His wife was post mistress there for some years.

A Catholic church built at Hookina in 1885 was demolished in 1966.  The township has been in ruins for many years.

Stuart Nicol wrote for the RAA in 1998: ‘there is now precious little to show for its brief heyday. A bit of chimney wall and scattered heaps of rubble will be seen. But leave the car… As you walk on to the higher ground, suddenly in view is a great sweeping bend of the Hookina Creek… With the surrounding plain and the Mt Eyre Range as a backdrop, it is a powerful vision’.

  • Mincham, Hans 1980. Hawker … Hub of the Flinders. Hawker Centenary Committee. Adelaide.
  • Nicol, Stuart 1998 Flinders Ranges and the Mid North . Adelaide. Royal Automobile Association of South Australia.

Resources

  • Mincham, Hans 1980. Hawker, Hub of the Flinders. Hawker Centenary Committee. Adelaide.
  • Nicol, Stuart 1998 Flinders Ranges and the Mid North . Adelaide. Royal Automobile Association of South Australia.