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Pekina is a small town in the Mid North region of South Australia. The town is located in the District Council of Orroroo Carrieton local government area, 270 kilometres (170 mi) north of the state capital, Adelaide. At the 2006 census, Pekina and the surrounding area had a population of 172. The name of the town is thought to derive from the Aboriginal word for "creek water".European settlement in the Pekina district began in earnest in 1846 when Price Maurice brought 3000 sheep to the district. The Pekina Station, "one of the most profitable sheep runs" in South Australia, became a stopping-point for coaches on the run between Blinman and Burra. In 1871, Pekina Station was resumed and broken up for closer settlement. The region was settled by German and especially Irish migrant farmers. Problems with drought, rust and locusts in the 1880s meant the town grew slowly with only around 75 residents at the beginning of the 20th century.Pekina's Irish Roman Catholic heritage has seen the district nicknamed "Vatican Valley".The historic former Pekina Animal Pound is listed on the South Australian Heritage Register.