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Published September 26th 2019
In the Middle of the Great Southern Land
Tennant Creek is a popular stop for both north and southbound road travellers on the Stuart Highway. Approximately 500km from Alice Springs and 1000km from Darwin, it's a red-dusted outback town with an almost complete lack of traffic lights and lawns. Whilst the retail strip is not the most beautiful, the town has most of the amenities you could want and plenty to see and do.
Here are some of the top attractions in the town and surrounding areas:
Tennant Creek had a gold rush in the 1930s and if you take a trip North of Tennant Creek, you'll find the declared gold fossicking area of Warrego where rumour has it people have in fact found gold. Certainly, there were a few fossickers out the day we visited. Camping is allowed but note that there are NO facilities – no water, toilets, or rubbish bins, so you need to be self-sufficient and take your rubbish home with you.
About 1.5km east of town on Peko Road, Battery Hill Mining Centre also houses the Visitor Information Centre so it's a great place to start when exploring the town. There are indoor and outdoor displays and underground mine and gold stamp battery tours.
Only a few kilometres north of town, Lake Mary Ann is a recreational area with shelters, tables and toilets. The lake is pretty low on water at the moment, however, it is still a nice spot to picnic and there's plenty of birdlife.
The Telegraph Station was once a part of the Overland Telegraph Line running 3,600 km from Adelaide to Darwin and linking Australia to Britain. Wander through the yards of the old buildings and read the amazing stories of the self-sufficient and innovative bunch of employees that lived and worked there.
Tennant Creek Telegraph Station information board amongst the termite mounds
Yep, it's a desert course. That would be sand. Located on Peko Road, about 7km to the east of Tennant Creek, visitors are welcome. Enquire at the Visitor Information Centre at Battery Hill Mining Centre for details.
The Bill Allen Lookout (turnoff is located just past the Battery Hill turnoff on Peko Road) gives you an idea of just how vast the countryside really is. Plaques provide information on points of interest and history around the compass. In town, you can get a more urban view from Anzac Hill.
Showcasing the work of Warumungu and Barkly region artists, the gallery has permanent and changing exhibitions and displays of the history and culture of the Warumungu people. Upcoming exhibitions and events are listed on their website. Artworks and artefacts can also be purchased from the website.