Tennant Creek

Battery Hill Mining Complex, Tourism NT

Population 2922

Tennant Creek is midway between Alice Springs and Katherine and according to legend, emerged when a beer truck broke down here. Gold was found in the area in the early 1930s and the town grew rapidly in the wake of Australia's last great gold rush. Gold exploration still continues in the Barkly Tableland, an area larger than Victoria.

Visitor Information

Battery Hill Mining Centre, Peko Rd; (08) 8962 1281 or 1800 500 879

www.barklytourism.com.au

Nearby national parks

Nearby towns

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In Town

Nyinkka Nyunyu Cultural Centre This centre was built near a Warumungu sacred site and its name means 'home of the spiky-tailed goanna'. Dioramas illustrate the history of the area, an Aboriginal art gallery showcases the Tennant Creek art movement, and bush tucker, dance performances and displays explain the Aboriginal people's relationship with the land. The centre is set in landscaped gardens, featuring plants used for bush tucker and medicine. Paterson St; (08) 8962 2221.

Tuxworth Fullwood Museum: housed in an old WW II army hospital (1942) and listed by the National Trust, this museum has a photographic collection and displays of early mine buildings and equipment, a 1930s police cell and a steam tractor engine; open May–Sept, check times with the visitor centre; Schmidt St.

Purkiss Reserve: pleasant picnic area with swimming pool nearby; Ambrose St.

Julalikari Arts: Aboriginal art centre; (08) 8962 2163.

Winanjjikari Music Centre: resident Aboriginal musicians; (08) 8962 3282.

Self-guided tours: scenic drives and heritage walks including an old Australian Inland Mission built in 1934 of prefabricated corrugated iron, and the catholic church built in 1911 and relocated from Pine Creek in 1936; brochures and maps from the visitor centre.

Nearby

Battery Hill This comprises of an underground mine, a 10-head stamp battery and 2 museums. There are daily tours of the underground mine with working machinery highlighting gold extraction. Bill Allen Lookout, just past the battery, offers panoramic views, with plaques identifying significant sites. Off Peko Rd; 3.5 km E.

Tennant Creek Cemetery: pioneer graves with plaques reminding us of the hardships of pioneer life; 2 km S.

Lake Mary Ann: man-made dam ideal for swimming, canoeing, windsurfing and picnics; 6 km NE.

Juno Bush Camp: bush camping; contact visitor centre for details; 10 km E.

Telegraph Station: restored stone buildings (1872), once the domain of telegraph workers, whose isolated lives are revealed by interpretive signs; key is available from Tennant Creek Visitor Centre; 11 km N.

The Pebbles: spectacular in their quantity, these are miniature versions of the Devils Marbles (huge balancing boulders found north of Wauchope). The site is sacred to the Munga Munga women; 16 km NW (6 km of unsealed road).

Memorial Attack Creek Historical Reserve: a memorial marks the encounter between John McDouall Stuart and local Aboriginal people; 72 km N.

Karlu Karlu Devils Marble

s Conservation Reserve: a must-see phenomenon of huge red granite boulders; bush camping is available; 106 km S, and a 2 km sealed loop. 

Cafes & restaurants around town

Anna’s Restaurant

Part of the Bluestone Motor Inn, in the main street, this comfortable restaurant is an ideal place to spend the evening after a hard day exploring the old goldfields around Tennant Creek. There is a choice of a large,... Find out more


Fernanda’s Restaurant

This intimate, family-run restaurant, a block from the main street, specialises in Mediterranean cuisine. Unusually located in the Tennant Creek squash courts, the venue has been used as a restaurant for many years and... Find out more


Jajjikari Cafe

This cafe is a standout, not so much for its food or ambience but for its location in the Nyinkka Nyunyu cultural centre and art gallery. In the main street of Tennant Creek, the cutting-edge building is a terrific art... Find out more


Memories Restaurant

Part of the Tennant Creek Memorial Club, two blocks back from the main street. There are specials every day but it is the roasts that are most popular here. The kitchen produces good home-style cooking with large... Find out more


Campsites around town

Outback Caravan Park 1 km

Explore the region’s 4WD tracks and experience Aboriginal and European history. This park is renowned for its tropical gardens, shaded swimming pool and spa. The park has cabins as well as powered and unpowered... Find out more


Threeways Roadhouse and Tourist Park 23 km

Threeways was the winner of the NT 2008 Roadhouse of the Year. There are powered sites and the tent areas are shaded by trees. The facilities include a camp kitchen and laundry. From the roadhouse it’s just a 3 min... Find out more


Caravan parks around town

Outback Caravan Park 1 km

This large, well-appointed park is just 1 km from the town centre in a convenient off-the-highway position. We find it an ideal base for a few days while exploring this interesting area. The extensive facilities include... Find out more


Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Barkly Homestead

Around 200 kilometres east of the Stuart Highway, this is a welcome stop for people travelling to and from Queensland, particularly during the summer months. There’s a refreshing pool, and accommodation includes... Find out more


Bluestone Motor Inn

A short walk from the centre of Tennant Creek, this is a good place to relax when travelling or exploring the region. The rooms are spacious, air-conditioned and modern, and the motor inn boasts Anna’s Restaurant,... Find out more


Eldorado Motor Inn

On the northern side of town, the Eldorado has a range of rooms, a refreshing pool, a licensed restaurant and free wireless internet. It’s close to MaryAnn Dam, the largest body of water in the region and an ideal... Find out more


Threeways Roadhouse

An institution in the Northern Territory, this roadhouse at the junction of the Stuart and Barkly highways has been fuelling up and feeding travellers for 50 years. It is 15 minutes’ drive north of Tennant Creek,... Find out more


Rest areas around town

Lake Mary Ann park area 5 km

T/O 4km N of Tennant Creek (R) or 21km S of Three Ways (L)

At the lake, 1.7km off the highway.


Attack Creek rest area 69 km

47km N of Three Ways (R) or 89km S of Renner Springs (L)

Just off the highway at the Stuart memorial.


Forty-One Mile Bore rest area 78 km

116km W of Barkly (L) or 71km E of Three Ways (R)

Well off the highway surrounded by scrub.


Bonney Well rest area 87 km

24km N of Wauchope (L) or 90km S of Tennant Creek (R)

Adjacent to the highway at a windmill site.


Banka Banka Homestead camping area 96 km

76km N of Three Ways (L) or 60km S of Renner Springs (R)

Just off the highway near the homestead.


What's on around town

Drag Racing: May.

Cup Day: horseracing; May.

Show: cooking, craft, exhibitions and a big dog show; July.

Desert Harmony Festival: arts and culture; Aug/Sept.

Brunette Downs Races: campdrafting, bronco branding and more; June; 360 km NE.

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