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Our Story

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Moolooloo Today

In 2021 Moolooloo and Moorillah Stations were sold to Reece and Tarina Warren who are farmers from the Yorke Peninsula.  The Warren family have been farming in and around Yorketown for five generations. Reece and Tarina have three children, Julia, Lucy and Bailey, who all play a role in the family business. The family business incorporates broad acre cropping  on the Yorke’s along with production of Merino sheep and wool and eco-tourism in the Flinders Ranges. Reece and Tarina spend time at both locations and have dedicated  staff  at Moolooloo and Moorillah. The station business is currently in a building phase and the focus is on increasing lamb and wool production over the next 5 years as well as continuously upgrading infrastructure  and further developing the tourism at Moolooloo. The Warren family choose to share this amazing part of South Australia with visitors because they feel it is important for people to be able to experience the outback in all her beauty and harshness with unique and private adventures. This is why they ensure that all bookings are exclusive, with no shared camping or accomodation, and remote and secluded camp sites so that all visitors can create their own outback memories.  

A Rich History

Moolooloo Station has a rich history for both white settlers and the local Adnyamathanha  people.  Evidence of early aboriginal occupation of Moolooloo can be seen in the ancient rock carvings found in the Oratunga Creek near 3rd Water and several other sites with carvings and paintings throughout the property. 

 ‘Moolooloo’  is an Aboriginal word meaning slippery, rocky, slopes. This name is very appropriate due to the slippery shale covering many of the hills at Moolooloo. 

 

Moolooloo was first stocked with Merino sheep in 1851 by John McKinley and his brother Dr McKinley. Originally Moolooloo was part of a much larger poorly defined area called Oratunga which was later divided in to several stations in the area. The brothers built a stone hut at Howannigan. (the first recorded spelling of Hannigan’s Gap). This was the original site of the homestead  which was relocated to the current location after fire destroyed the original buildings in the late 1850’s. Remains of this hut can still be seen not far from the rusty car at Hannigan’s gap. In 1853 the Oratunga run  was sold to James and John Chambers who engaged John McDouall Stuart to survey it  and in 1857 Copper was discovered south of the present Moolooloo homestead and James Chambers and his partner William Finke established the Oratunga and then the Nuccaleena mines. The ruins of the Nuccaleena Mine are well preserved today and are a popular spot for visitors to Moolooloo.

Moolooloo Station played an important role in a very famous expedition. In 1861, John McDouall Stuart, made his preparations at Moolooloo and embarked on his successful crossing of the continent from South to North. This was the first successful crossing of the continent by white settlers and paved the way for the Overland Telegraph which connected Australia to the rest of the world.

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Since the 1860’s Moolooloo has had several owners. The Rounsevell family (1867-1878) made considerable improvements to Moolooloo. By 1878 the property had been completely fenced and subdivided. It is likely that the old homestead, the woolshed and shearers quarters, were also built during this period. The Shearer’s Quarters is still being used today and visitors to Moolooloo can stay in them. The old stone house is still standing and restoration is underway.. 

By 1902 the large property had been reduced to its present size and was owned by the Lindo family. Next the Sinclair family-owned, managed and lived at Moolooloo from 1922 until 1962. They built the present homestead. The Slade family remained for four generations and were the first to expand in to eco-tourism. The Slade family sold to Reece and Tarina Warren in 2021. 

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