Today, the Pekina area is dotted with place names and natural landmarks known quite intimately to the locals. 


Pekina is located in between the Pekina Range and what is referred to as the Narien Range. As with Orroroo, Pekina was originally inhabited by Aboriginals belonging to the Ngaduri Tribe. Their tribal grounds covered a large area of the country South of Orroroo. The first European settlers were in 1839 to establish sheep grazing properties, in particular renowned early arrival Mr Price Maurice in 1840 at the age of 22 who had purchased the Pekina Run. Today Pekina’s farming lifestyle is prominent and the community welcoming. An extract from an early publication ‘Pekina Century and Beyond’ captures it well:

In today’s age, the accent is entirely on speed. We choke with chagrin if we are late, or if we are losing time, but in doing this we have lost what the ancestors of Australian today had. It was a harsh existence, yet there was time to think, to ruminate upon things. A man could look upon the world about him and drink in what he saw and smelt and felt upon his skin.

Today, the Pekina area is dotted with place names and natural landmarks known quite intimately to the locals. To a traveller its worth stopping to feel that existence at the serene recreation grounds or checking out the ‘Hogshead’, hulking, piece of rock ‘hill’ along the picturesque Price Maurice Road, particularly at twilight or on cloudy days when it becomes ethereal.

Its worthy to note the Pekina Hotel was built in 1877 and is still operating. The community also welcome free camping at the sports recreation ground.


The Foreword of ‘Refl ections’ the story of the Morchard district and the Hundred of Coomooroo captures the essence of this small but enriching community, nestled just beyond the westward slopes of the hills surrounding Orroroo.

… a small town situated outside of Goyder’s line of rainfall, its fi rst industry, the Boiling Down Works, being brought about by the harshness of the droughts in the early 1860’s. This weather pattern of good years and bad has followed throughout the first 100 years of Morchard’s existence. The gum trees lining the main street and the solid stone buildings seem to convey a sense of the strength and purpose of the early pioneers.

The monument on the side of the road is a perpetual reminder of the loyalty and courage of the people of the district. The up-to-date homesteads dotted throughout the district… (modern improvements), all speak of a recent period of progress and good seasons.

The population, now about a quarter of the number of early settlers, still face the problems of agriculture in marginal areas, but with the aid of modern technology, larger farm areas, fast and efficient farming plant, wheat growing remains the district’s most successful industry.

Written by Raymond McCallum