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Parachilna, South Australia facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
South Australia
Selection of meats provided at the hotel
Established 1889
Postcode(s) 5730
LGA(s) Unincorporated area
State electorate(s)
  • Stuart (east of the railway)
  • Giles (west of the railway)
Federal Division(s) Grey

Parachilna is a country town in South Australia. The town was first surveyed in 1863 due to its closeness to a government water well. It is on the railway line and road between Port Augusta and Leigh Creek. Today, the Prairie Hotel, railway station, airstrip and a few buildings remain. The road east into the Flinders Ranges leads through Parachilna Gorge, recognised for its scenic beauty, to Blinman. The town is surrounded by Motpena station pastoral lease.

The town's name is from the Aboriginal patajilnda, meaning "place of peppermint gum trees". The spelling difference is due to an early translation misreading. The railway station was completed in 1881 as part of the line to Leigh Creek through Beltana. The area was one of the set locations for the Australian feature film, Rabbit Proof Fence.

The Prairie Hotel is the only substantial building, dating from the days when the rail was supreme. Away from the highway, the hotel fronts the railway line and the now derelict station building. The old hotel has been in part retained, in part restored and tastefully extended. There are now no passengers on the line that once ran from Adelaide to Marree and connected with the old Ghan line to Oodnadatta and Alice Springs. The hotel's patrons all come by car or bus and find their way in from the highway. The grand old sandstone and limestone building is now replete with fully modern amenities; amenities that are not so frequent in places further north. Local aboriginal artwork decorates the lounges and dining room and there are displays of the nearby Ediacaran fossils, relicts of great significance to the fossil community. Apart from the hotel itself, there are 'spill-over' facilities available across the road, by the railway line, varying from self-contained cabins to Atcos and camping areas.

The outstanding feature of establishment is the dining room menu and the 'feral feast' on offer. Camel mettwurst and camel sausage; goat and goat cheese and feral pork form a feral platter available as an antipasto or main meal. Kangaroo and emu, although not feral, are also on the menu, with smoked roo, roo fillet and emu pâté on offer.

The historic Parachilna Fettlers' Cottages Ruins are listed on the South Australian Heritage Register.

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