Visiting Tennant Creek
Tennant Creek in Central Australia sits on the Explorer’s Way, 500 kilometres north of Alice Springs and 1000 kilometres south of Darwin.
The town is surrounded to the east by the Barkly Tablelands - a huge expanse of land that supports some of Australia’s premier outback cattle stations.
Tennant Creek is also known as the Territory’s heart of gold; a reference to the friendliness of its people and the area’s gold mining history. Australia’s last gold rush took place here in the 1930s, and there are plenty of opportunities to learn about it at attractions around the town. Visitors can even try fossicking for their own gold.
Prior to the gold rush era, Tennant Creek’s first European residents were workers on the Overland Telegraph Line, which established a communication link between Australia and the rest of the world. The Telegraph Station was built in 1872, and this historical collection of stone buildings can be explored today.
Aboriginal culture is strong in Tennant Creek. The traditional land owners of this area are the aboriginal Warumungu people, and they recognise a number of sacred sites in the area, including the region’s most famous landmark – the Devils Marbles – about 100 kilometres south of the town. They believe that these are the eggs of the Rainbow Serpent – a creature of a Dreamtime story. The Nyinkka Nyunyu Culture Centre in Tennant Creek is an award-winning aboriginal attraction that showcases the people’s stories and art.