In the mid-1800s, many people in South Australia made their living raising cattle and sheep. Some came out to the Flinders Ranges to make a go of it because land was very cheap. One of these cattlemen was Hugh Proby, and he established Kanyaka Station in 1852.
After his sudden death, Kanyaka Station began to grow under its new ownership. It supported an entire community of workers and their families. Because the area was so isolated, the residents at Kanyaka were self-sufficient. They built their homes using rocks from the area because they had limited access to transportation for wood and other supplies. They grew and raised the food that they needed and even had a cemetery for their dead.
Unfortunately, the Australian landscape was, and continues to be, harsh and unforgiving. The area was extremely dry and susceptible to droughts causing many of their animals to perish. After a while, the residents had to abandon their homes and Kanyaka Station was left in ruins.