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Middleback Station

Middleback station is run as a joint venture between the University of Adelaide, the South Australian Government and Middleback Investments.

Middleback was originally a working sheep station set in the north-west pastoral district of South Australia. It has accommodation in shearer's quarters with kitchen and dining areas. There is also a well-equipped field laboratory, originally set up by Dr Bob Lange of the University of Adelaide and now maintained by the University.

Middleback House

Middleback station, Iron Knob Road, 14 Km from Whyalla, 390 Km by road NW of Adelaide via Pt Augusta.

  • A Brief History

    MiddlebackIn the early 1980's Dr Bob Lange from the former Department of Botany with the support of BHP mining set up the Middleback Field Research Centre.

    The site was ideal for rangeland studies looking at how grazing impacts on an arid system landscape. The area has an interesting historical perspective given that adjacent Roopena lease and Middleback were the first properties to manage sheep grazing by fencing small area and controlling grazing by access to watering points. This was achieved by piping water from the reliable Whizzo Well on Roopena and distributing it through metal pipes that were imported from Scotland.

  • Research at Middleback

    Mt Whyalla MiddlebackIn recent years the Rangeland focus has moved to a broader look at the ecology of terrestrial plants in this landscape headed by Jose Facelli from the School of Biological Sciences.

    The field station is also used for other work including mammal population studies and Honours student projects

  • Facilities

    Middleback Style LectureThe field station comprises of two buildings. Within these there is a laboratory, lecture room and basement darkroom. There is also a large storage barn with mezzanine floor. The property has an independant rainwater supply.

    There is a self contained unit available that includes 4 beds, heating & cooling, kitchen and bathroom facilities. In addition to the unit there is also the shearers quarters which can accommodate 30 people in bunk beds plus swag area on verandas. These quarters have access to large kitchen and catering facilities, toilet and bathroom blocks.

  • Enquiries and Maintenance

    Middleback TruckDavid Ladd
    Field Operations & Infrastructure
    Faculty of Sciences
    Telephone: +61 8 8313 4558

    Jose Facelli
    Associate Professor
    Department of Ecology & Environmental Science
    Telephone: +61 8 8313 4559

School of Biological Sciences

School of Biological Sciences


T: +61 8 8313 5352
F: +61 8 8313 4362

Student Enquiries

Call +61 8 8313 5673

(Monday - Friday: 9am – 5pm)

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