Pinnaroo main street, looking east
|Established||17 November 1904 (town)|
2 August 1999 (locality)
|Location||243 km (151 mi) east of Adelaide|
|LGA(s)||Southern Mallee District Council|
|Region||Murray and Mallee|
Pinnaroo is a town in the Murray Mallee region of South Australia, near the border with Victoria, 243 km east of Adelaide. Pinnaroo is on the north side of the Mallee Highway, and on the railway line between Tailem Bend and Ouyen. The roadhouse on the highway at Pinnaroo is the first "food and leg-stretch" stop on the bus route from Adelaide to Sydney. At the 2016 census, the locality of Pinnaroo had a population of 712 of which 547 lived in and around its town centre.
The town's name is derived from a word for "big man" in a local Aboriginal language. The railway arrived in the area in 1906. There had not been any significant development in the area before that, as the remoteness and difficulty of getting supplies in and produce out had made it uneconomic to farm before that.
The railway is not currently available for transport between the states, as the line from Tailem Bend was converted to standard gauge soon after the main Adelaide–Melbourne line was converted, but the line to Ouyen remains as broad gauge. Both sides are used to transport grain from silos along the railway line towards the ports in each state. The town has become a major centre for growing potatoes since around 1990.
Pinnaroo hosts the 'Pinnaroo SpudFest' each year. The SpudFest features a black tie dinner, stalls and games, entertainment, and 'spud wrestling'. Pinnaroo also has a show and field days every year at the start of October. The Pinnaroo Show features dog trials, agricultural tents, competitions, horse events, keg tosses, animal judging and fireworks. The show attracts over 10,000 people each year.
The town has a large variety of sports, such as Australian rules football, netball, cricket, tennis, basketball, volleyball, lawn bowls, badminton, golf and darts. The local football team, the Pinnaroo Supa Roos play in the Mallee Football League.
The Border Times is a weekly newspaper published in the town since 1911.
Pinnaroo Primary School is a public primary school for students in Reception to Year 7, and has approximately 80 students. The school has four composite classes - Reception, Years 1 and 2, Years 3 and 4, and Years 5,6 and 7. It is the only school within 30 km of the town. The school's slogan is Aim High. The school is home to South Australia's first community library, which opened in 1977.
The school regularly takes part in interschool sports with neighbouring schools, Lameroo and Geranium, in swimming and athletics. The school also takes part in SAPSASA with the Murray Mallee team in sports such as Australian rules football, cricket, athletics, swimming, golf, softball, tennis, netball and basketball. The school has four classrooms, a GP room, an art and technical centre, a home economics centre, an FM radio station, a swimming pool, two ovals, outdoor tennis, netball and basketball courts, and a full-size gymnasium.
Pinnaroo is home to the Mallee Tourist and Heritage Centre, which apart from displays on local farming history, has well-maintained and presented collections relative to three distinct topics: history of wheat breeding (featuring the D. A. Wurfel grain collection); an extensive range of restored farm machinery, based on the Gum Family Collection, which includes a replica Ridley stripper; and letterpress printing. The museum, which is supported by the Pinnaroo Historical Society, is situated opposite the large and popular bakery.