Fact 91 / 100 – Station Names
Amongst the station names on the Trans-Australian Railway there were:
16+ derived from aboriginal words or place names
10 after Prime Ministers – the first 7 plus a few later on including the only PM from Tasmania
2 Field Marshalls
2 Governor Generals
1 Minister for Shipping, Fuel and Transport
1 WA State Premier
and a Melbourne Cup Winner *
* This one is a bit complicated actually. Tarcoola, the place, is named after Tarcoola the race horse who was born on Tarcoola Station on the Darling River in NSW. Tarcoola won the 1893 Melbourne Cup. Tarcoola is a local aboriginal word from the Darling River area and it means “River Bend” which is something Tarcoola (SA) doesn’t have – a river or a bend! An even more obscure fact is that Tarcoola had 22 starts in its career for 7 wins, it never finished lower then fourth place (that’s Tarcoola the horse, not Tarcoola the place!)
Even more obscurely in 1882 Tarcoola Station in NSW covered over a 1,000,000 acres. However when the Tarcoola lease expired in 1918 the property was divided into 10 separate leases. Burke and Wills passed through Tarcoola Station in 1860 on their ill-fated expedition to the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Tarcoola in South Australia began with the discovery of gold in 1893. However there was no real commercial production until 1900. Tarcoola was proclaimed a town in 1901. Between 1901 – 1954 over 77,000 ounces of gold were mined in the area.