Nuccaleena Cottage

Moolooloo History

A breif overview...

Evidence of early aboriginal occupation of Moolooloo can be seen in the ancient rock carvings found in the Oratunga Creek near 3rd Water and some more recent ochre paintings discovered by a bush walker on Moolooloo in 1994.

Aboriginal ochre paintings on Moolooloo, location unknown.

Aboriginal Carvings at Moolooloo

The European discovery of historic Moolooloo Station was made in the early 1850’s by John McKinley. In 1851 John McKinley  and his brother Dr McKinley stocked Moolooloo (originally called Oratunga) and built a stone hut at Howannigan.  (the first recorded spelling of Hannigan’s Gap). Remains of this hut can still be seen.

In 1853 he sold the Oratunga run to James and John Chambers. Moolooloo or Oratunga as it was still known was a big run, ill defined and extended far beyond its present boundaries.

Remains of McKinley's Hut, Hannigan's Gap
In 1854 the Chambers Brothers engaged John McDouall Stuart to survey it. 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.Nuccaleena Copper Mine
Towards the latter half of 1861, after assembling his plant of horses in the Moolooloo yards, John McDouall Stuart set out from Moolooloo on his final and successful crossing of the continent from South to North.John McDouall Stuart Plaque at MooloolooJohn McDouall Stuart Plaque at Moolooloo

Moolooloo has had many owners between 1853 and the present day. Worthy of mention are:

          * 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 original homestead, woolshed and shearers quarters, were also built during this period.

          * By 1902 the large property had been reduced to its present size and was owned by the Lindo family.

          * The Sinclair family owned, managed and lived at Moolooloo from 1922 until 1962. They built the present homestead.

1920's - 1930's Car at Hannigan's GapMoolooloo Homestead1930-40's Loading Wool at Moolooloo

          * The Slade family arrived from England in the 1850’s. Sometime in the 1870’s some of the family moved to the north of South Australia. After helping his father manage donkey teams to cart provisions and wool to the station properties in the northern Flinders, Dudley Slade purchased Moorillah in 1946 and Moolooloo in 1962. From 1962 until 1971 Dudley and Mildred Slade lived at Moolooloo with their sons, Keith and Frank.

Slade's Donkey Team1920's Wool Leaving MooloolooLoading Wool

In 1971 a new woolshed was built. Dudley, Millie and Frank Slade moved on and Keith & his wife, Lesley remained to live at Moolooloo with their two children, Alison & Keith.  

Keith & Lesley helped establish a program for disadvantaged and problem children known as Operation Flinders. This ran on Moolooloo for 12 years and many young people took part in the four exercises that were conducted every year.

Moolooloo Cemetary

When Keith junior married in 2000 Keith and Lesley moved to Moorillah and Keith and his wife Lisa now live at Moolooloo with their children, Isabella, Millie and Henry. Millie and Henry are the fourth generation of Slades to live at Moolooloo.

Slade Family


Link for historical Moolooloo photos Picture Australia website