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Top Things to do in Tennant Creek

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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:

* Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles and Kunjarra/The Pebbles

Some of the Devils Marbles

To the south of Tennant Creek are Karlu Karlu/the Devils Marbles, huge granite boulders scattered across the valley creating a wondrous and eerie landscape particularly at sunrise and sunset.

To the north of Tennant Creek, off the Stuart Highway and down a gravel road, you can find a smaller relative of the Marbles, known as Kunjarra/The Pebbles.

Stop and admire these rocky marvels and read about their significance to Aboriginal people.

* Go Gold Fossicking

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.

An old water bore at Warrego fossicking site

* Battery Hill Mining Centre, Tours and Visitor Information Centre

Battery Hill Mining Centre

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.

* Go Four Wheel Driving

The 1120 square kilometre Davenport Ranges National Park has some good tracks along with beautiful scenery, waterholes and wildlife.

* Tingkkarli/Lake Mary Ann

Lake Mary Ann - waiting for the wet season

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.

* Tennant Creek Telegraph Station

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

* Tennant Creek Golf Club

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.

* Lookouts

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.

* Nyinkka Nyunyu Art & Culture Centre

Nyinkka Nyunyu Art & Culture Centre

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.

* Events

Check out Barkly Arts for a variety of exhibitions and events including art, music, comedy and theatre throughout the year. Annual events in Tennant Creek include the Tennant Creek Races, Desert Harmony Festival, Barkly Rodeo and Campdraft and the Tennant Creek Show.

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Why? A taste of the outback
When: Anytime but Winter is the popular season
Where: Tennant Creek, Northern Territory
Cost: Varies, many are free
Your Comment
I would love to visit Tennant Creek
by Gayle Beveridge-Marien (score: 4|10118) 1170 days ago
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