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The 2024 Week 3 Restoration Works

To document the activities of the Farina Restoration Group (FRG) each week during our 8 week programme in 2024 we have chosen to ask for contributions of stories and photos from Volunteers and Visitors. We hope you enjoy looking at the activities and events through the eyes of our volunteers and visitors.

During the annual work programme, a special dinner is usually held every Wednesday night at Patterson’s House to allow the volunteers to get together in a relaxed environment and have some fun. It’s all part of what we often call “the Farina experience”.

This week was a special day for George who celebrated his 70th Birthday with a special cake amongst friends.

Kylie Bartley has also provided some more photos taken from around Farina.

These photos from Farina were sent to us by Elizabeth Kearton.

Farina volunteer Ray Thornhill took this photo near the volunteers campfire site where the daily meeting is held at the end of each day.

Ray said “One of a pair of tawny frogmouths who roost close to the camp-fire. During the nightly briefings they fly off for their nightly hunt, passing head-high through the assembled volunteers.”

In week 3 the great bakery food kept coming. The photos below were posted on our social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram) and had huge positive responses.

Peter and Colin were on duty as part of our “Essential Services” team. In the photos they’re refuelling the generator that provides power for the bakery and our workshop. For around four years we’ve had a large solar system with batteries in use which reduces our diesel usage. The guys also service the public toilets, cut firewood for the underground oven and collect garbage and recyclables around the site. In the photo where they’re studying the generator, apparently the were debating how to correctly use the timber fuel guage.


This year we seem to have had many people making a special journey just to visit Farina, which is fantastic. In a photo below, Kerry is shown handing over some food to Danielle who travelled with her partner all the way to Farina from Coober Pedy. We also found out via Facebook that many people had made special journey ever further than than.

The other photo shows Maria handing over a heavy fruit loaf at the Birdsville Visitor Center. Gerry and Maria were travelling that way after their time at Farina so offered to deliver. After posting this on Facebook we had many enquiries about delivery and even online ordering. As we all know, whilst we might make a couple of special deliveries, Farina is all about being there and experiencing the township and getting fresh hot food directly from the bakery.


Kevin led a team of volunteers to clean up old Fence Wire south of Farina where the Mulga posts had previously been collected to use a firewood for the Underground Oven. They picked up around 4 big trailer loads of wire.

They also had a look at the old outstation building, a mysterious circle of posts and the remains of a pump which would have been powered by a horse or donkey.


It was great to have a couple of lovely RFDS personnel drop by to sample the wares at the Cafe.

The Farina Restoration Group have for several years made a donation to the RFDS to support the great work they do in the remote parts of Australia. In fact a couple of our volunteers have had to call on their services, and all volunteers find comfort in knowing that in a time of need, the RFDS are there with world class medical services and fast transport to take care of us.


Of course while everything else was going on around the site, the dedicated gang of Stonies were working on the Gangers cottage. 


It was fantastic to see kids completing the activity sheets that we have available in Cafe. The completed sheets below were sent to us by Vasso Zangalis, mother to Aris aged 7yo and Georgia aged 9. Well done Aris and Georgia.


Volunteer Tony Heinen sent in these photos of some work he did down at the Railway precinct. Our resident rail expert Rob Ball asked Tony to investigate better securing the NSU 62 Locomotive  as it had been recently broken into.  With the help of volunteers Brad and Tom, they cut a new head light cover and secured it in place. He then arranged for volunteers Bruce and Colin to fabricate and complete a rear door with chain to secure the back of the locomotive. The Restoration Group are in the process of designing a building to put in place of the original Goods Shed, which will provide protection for NSU62 and better security.
Tony and the team then turned their attention to the locomotive Ash Pit. They removed all the weeds and salt bushes from around and in the pit, leveled of the dirt in the pit then arranged for Kevin Dawes to drag down some rail with his loader to the pit and place it in the original location. Four lengths of rail were used in total were. Then Tony and Brad plated the rails together and with help from Bruce secured the rail in location by welding. Then they built a 6 iron dropper fence around the pit to prevent any visitors falling in.