This town in Australia's Northern Territory has a population of roughly 3,500. It lies at the point where the Stuart and Barkly Highways meet, 504km to the north of Alice Springs and 978km to Darwin's south. However, despite the outback's reputation as a desert wilderness the Tennant Creek area is not barren. Tennant Creek is considered the most important of the Barkly Tablelands townships and it has an extensive history as an old gold mining town along with a strong Aboriginal culture. This means that there are lots of things to do in Tennant Creek. In addition, the area is known for cattle and has several of Australia's most historic cattle stations.
List of Tennant Creek Attractions
Battery Hill Mining Centre
Here, visitors will find two museum buildings along with a collection of mining equipment. They can take guided tours of an underground mine and of the Government Stamp Battery that was once used to crush the prospectors’ ore. The battery is still in working order despite the fact that it is no longer used.
Mary Ann Dam
The dam gets its name from the daughters of the two miners who owned the lease for the property. It is a park and recreational area located 5km north of Tennant Creek where visitors can find shaded tables and barbecues. It is an excellent spot for a picnic as well for fishing and swimming.
Phillip Creek Settlement
This attraction provides insight into how Aborigines were treated during the middle part of the last century. What remains of the Phillip Creek Settlement is now part of a protected area. The settlement was the site to which 200 Aborigines from the Tennant Creek area were taken in 1945. The goal was to keep them away from mining areas and to preserve limited water resources for mining. They were given huts made of corrugated iron and timber and the children were made to live in dormitories.
Winanjjikari Music Centre
This music centre serves as a house for Aboriginal musicians as well as a training facility. Here visitors can experience Aboriginal culture and interact with the musicians. They will also get the opportunity to see what daily life is like for them.
Nyinkka Nyunyu Interpretive Centre
This is another of the Tennant Creek attractions that focuses on Aboriginal culture. Visitors here can experience unique and distinctive Aboriginal art and can also learn more about the history of Aboriginal people in the Tennant Creek area.
Tennant Creek Camping
One of the more popular things to do in Tennant Creek is to go camping. Tennant Creek camping options include:
Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve
The marbles are large red granite spheres located out in the desert. Even without the marbles, the ancient landscape offers up magnificent views. Camping is an excellent way to enjoy them. Sunrise and sunset are the best times of day to view the Devils Marbles as the light causes them to glow red.
Visiting a cattle station is another worthwhile option when seeking things to do in the Tennant Creek area. The 11,600 square-km Banka Banka Station is one such cattle station and provides a mud brick homestead with a barbecue for campers.
Tennant Creek Travel Resources;