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Beltana and Umberatana stations

In 1860 South Australian pastoralists Thomas Elder and Samuel Stuckey conceived a plan to import camels and cameleers from northern India. Two years later Samuel Stuckey visited Karachi and was assisted by Morad Khan to purchase camels and hire cameleers. Unable to charter a ship, the deal lapsed until 1865. On this occasion Stuckey returned with 124 camels and 31 cameleers from Kandahar, Kabul, the Sindh and neighbouring regions.
On three-year contracts, these men established depots on Elder and Stuckey’s stations at Beltana and Umberatana in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges. From there they soon established a network of supply routes linking outback stations and towns with Port Augusta and with the railhead as it advanced northwards from Beltana (1881), Farina (1883) and Hergott Springs or Marree (1884).

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