Pack up the car and head six-and-a-half hours north of Adelaide, just beyond the Flinders Ranges, and you’ll find yourself in the town of Farina – home to Australia’s most remote, underground bakery.
Fittingly dubbed Farina Bakery – ‘farina’ meaning ‘flour’ in Italian, as well as the township name – the outback bakery is a bit of a state secret, only opening to the public eight weeks of the year.
From now until Friday 23 June, Farina Bakery is whipping up everything from classic bakery sweet treats, famed 1-kilogram fruit loafs, eight-hour slow-cooked beef pies with bacon and cheese, and no doubt, swoon-worthy artisan bread loafs.
Said loafs are crisping up in Farina Bakery’s recently rebuilt, wood-fired oven fed by burning Mulga Wood – a recycled product sourced from old fence posts from across Farina – taste that freshly baked difference.
Run solely by 40 volunteers hailing from all corners of Australia, Farina Bakery is one of the town’s major fundraising pursuits with beginnings in 2013, after the bakehouse’s demise in the 1930s.
Once a flourishing rural town in the late-1800s and turn of the century, Farina was a centre point for the Ghan train line, as well as the starting locale for camel trains used to deliver goods to other towns around the Lake Eyre Basin.
But the arrival of the standard gauge line in 1955 saw the downfall of Farina, and once the 1980s came around, the town had reached its expiration date.
The Volunteers of the Farina Restoration Group strive to continue the preservation and exhibition of the old Farina Town – and in the bakery’s eight weeks of operation, an estimated 12,000 visitors make their way through with a pitstop at Farina Bakery.
Open bright and early from 8am until a sensible 4pm every day of the week, Farina Bakery entices road-trippers and baked goods-lovers alike for a bushy respite away from the crowds with a glutenous treasure in hand.