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Tennant Creek

Alice Springs Darwin Katherine Ulu r u Kings Canyon

Spend a few quiet days under the blue skies of Tennant Creek. Learn about the indigenous culture, mining history and original cattle kings.

Pull in at Tennant Creek, a friendly hamlet on the main artery between Alice Springs and Darwin, and discover a rich history shaped by gold mining, Aboriginal culture and the NT’s original cattle kings.

A rich, ‘golden’ history

Australia’s last gold rush took place right here in the 1930s, earning the town its title of ‘the Territory’s heart of gold’. Re-live the gold rush era on an underground tour at the Battery Hill Mining Centre, which houses Australia’s last operating ten-head gold stamp battery. Try fossicking for your own gold to take home.

Trawl through gold mining artefacts and memorabilia at the Tuxworth-Fullwood Museum, which was once a camp hospital during WWII.

Explore the stone buildings of the Telegraph Station. Constructed in 1872, the Tennant Creek station was a link in Overland Telegraph Line that connected the outback with the rest of the world.

Strong Aboriginal culture

Listen to the local Warumungu people’s legend of ‘Nyinkka’, the spiky tailed goanna that shaped the town, at the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre. This centre is considered one of the best in the Territory and includes a gallery of Indigenous art from the region, cafe and opportunities to find out more about Aboriginal life, history and land.

Join in a song at the Winanjjikari Music Centre, where contemporary music is produced and performed by Aboriginal musicians. Watch the action at the recording studio and take home a CD of original music.

Sacred site

Visit the sacred women’s dancing site at The Pebbles, a spectacular granite formation north of the town that’s known as Kunjarra to the Warumungu people.

Relax in the natural surroundings

Pack a picnic and follow the walking track through the Honeymoon Ranges to Lake Mary Ann. Your reward is a cool swim in the picturesque reserve.

Stockman in the saddle

Join in the fun of bull and bronco riding, barrel racing, a ‘stockman’s challenge’ and camp draft events at the annual Barkly Goldrush Campdraft Challenge in October.

  • FAQS

    Can Tennant Creek be done as a day trip?

    We don't recommend Tennant Creek for a day trip. The best way to experience Tennant Creek is to incorporate it within a road trip through the Territory.

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    Do I need any passes or permits to visit Tennant Creek?

    You do not need any passes or permits to visit Tennant Creek.

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    How do I get around Tennant Creek?

    Everything is walking distance in Tennant Creek itself. To check out the many sights around the town, you'll need to drive yourself or book a tour.

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    How do I get to Tennant Creek?

    Tennant Creek is easily accessed by car - you can drive north from Alice Springs, south from Katherine, or east from Queensland. Greyhound buses and tour operators also come through town. Air North operates regular flights from Alice Springs or Darwin.

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    How far is Tennant Creek from Alice Springs and Darwin?

    Tennant Creek is the perfect stop-off point when heading north from Alice Springs (4.5 hours' drive or 507 km), or south from Katherine (6.5 hours' drive or 674 km) or Darwin (10 hours' drive or 988 km).

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    What are the major attractions at Tennant Creek?

    Discover Tennant Creek's history at the Battery Hill Mining Centre, or learn about the town's origins at the Tennant Creek Telegraph Station. Just north of Tennant Creek you can cool off at Lake Mary Ann on your way towards checking out Kunjarra (The Pebbles). Karlu Karlu (Devil's Marbles) is one hour south.

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    What should I bring with me to Tennant Creek?

    When making the drive, always carry plenty of drinking water, a first aid kit and be sure the petrol tank is full when setting off.

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    When is the best time to visit Tennant Creek?

    May to October will have cooler days and nights, while there is a greater chance of rain from November to April. You're likely to experience blue skies most of the year, so any time is a good time to visit.

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    Where should I go next from Tennant Creek?

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