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Beltana is an old railway town on the western fringe of the Flinders Ranges. Today, it is a historical reserve off the main Hawker-Leigh Creek road.
The detour is worth it. Many of the town's buildings are being or have been restored, making Beltana a time-capsule of the I9th century. These include the original Beltana Homestead (1855), Police Station (1881), Post Office and Telegraph (1875), Bush Hospital (1898) and School (1882).
The "Smith of Dunesk Mission Church" was opened in 1895 and was the base from which Rev. John Flynn pioneered the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Australian Inland Mission.
Beltana was also the base for pastoralists Thomas Elder and Robert Ban-Smith, co-founders of Elders. In the early days it was a camel breeding station. When the railway was replaced in 1956, Beltana slowly fell into disuse. Note: the buildings in Beltana are privately-owned and are generally not open to the public.