The ruins are of two separate settlements in the Aroona Valley, between the Heysen Range and the northern peaks of the ABC Range, so named because it has as many peaks as letters of the alphabet.
With a permanent spring and spectacular views of the Heysen Range, it seems the ideal place for a home, but drought ended the hopes of permanent settlement here.
Shortly after the discovery of the permanent water source, John Frederick Hayward arrived with 3300 sheep in 1851. He had a five-roomed homestead built for him in 1854, with a continuous supply of running water from the spring. Hayward sold the house in 1862 and it was a ruin by the 1880s. The house foundation and stone garden borders are all that remain of the buildings, and a willow and mulberry tree beside the spring are the remnants of a large, irrigated garden.
In 1925 the Aroona Hut was built for Eddie Pumpa near the former homestead and using the same spring. The four-roomed hut was of 'pug and pine' construction: native pine logs cut from the area were erected vertically side by side, chicken wire was nailed to the wood and the gaps filled with mud. The hut has recently been restored.
Well known South Australian artist, Sir Hans Heysen (1877-1968) is known to have stayed in the hut on one of his many visits to the ranges.
Nice camping ground nearby and good walking tracks, part of the Heysen trail.