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Innamincka is a small settlement in north-east South Australia, with a population of only 12. It is 821 kilometres north-east of Adelaide and 365 kilometres north-east from the closest town, Lyndhurst. It is also 66 kilometres north-east of the Moomba Gas Refinery. The town lies within the Innamincka Regional Reserve and is surrounded by the Strzlecki Desert to the south and the Sturt Stony Desert to the north. The township is situated along the Cooper Creek, apart of the Lake Eyre Basin.HistoryThe area was the traditional home of the Yandruwandha, Aborigines. The first European to visit the area was Charles Sturt in 1845. He was followed by A C Gregory in 1858 and then Burke and Wills. A monument to Sturt and Burke and Wills was erected in Innamincka in 1944.In 1882 a police camp was set up that allowed a small settlement to develop. Commencing 7 April 1889, a Royal Mail coach ran fortnightly from Farina, operated by merchants Davey and Pilkington. Originally called Hopetoun, Innamincka was proclaimed a township in 1890. Hopetoun was named after the Governor of Victoria, the Earl of Hopetoun but it was never popular with locals. The town was never very large, but had a hotel, a store and a police station which, until Federation in 1901, acted as the customs post for collecting duties on cattle brought overland from Queensland into South Australia. In 1928 the Australian Inland Mission (a part of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia) built a hospital here, the Elizabeth Symon Nursing Home. Severe drought and poor access to the settlement resulted in the closure of the hotel and the hospital. In 1951 the police post closed and the town was abandoned.
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