From its rugged droving and gold mining days, Tennant Creek has blossomed into an exciting regional centre. The town has a population of 4,000 and is the main service centre for the Barkly Tablelands, situated 507 kilometres north of Alice Springs on the Stuart Highway.
Tennant Creek, an important supply and service centre for the cattle stations in the outlying Barkly Tablelands, offers a range of accommodation, attractions and facilities. Affectionately known as the Northern Territory’s ‘Heart of Gold’, Tennant Creek has a rich gold mining heritage and a warmth and friendliness.
Tennant Creek was at one point the third largest gold producer in Australia. The gold rush here in the 1930s contributed significantly to Australia’s economy, and today travellers can take a tour through an underground mine tunnel, pan for gold and watch ore being crushed at the renovated Government Gold Stamp Battery and Mining Museum. The Museum also houses a fascinating collection of rare minerals from all over the world.
Nyinkka Nyunyu is a unique indigenous art and cultural centre. Travellers can learn about Aboriginal life and history in the region. The centre is considered one of the best of its kind in the Northern Territory, beautifully presented and maintained by the local people. Nyinkka Nyunyu’s café is also one of the best spots to eat in town.
Lake Mary Ann, five kilometres from Tennant Creek, is a great place for a swim and a picnic. Barbeque facilities, safe swimming areas, bushwalking tracks and wildlife watching areas are all available.
Built in 1872, the Tennant Creek Telegraph Station is a collection of historic stone buildings that functioned as an important part of the Overland Telegraph Line that linked Australia with the outside world. The Station, 11 kilometres from town, has a self-guided walk with interpretative signage on the region's telegraph communications and pastoral history. The Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve is also located within easy reach of the town.