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Tennant Creek And The Territory
 
devils marbles tennant creekTennant Creek is our country's golden town and is literally surrounded by large cattle properties, rocky outcrops and vast outback tablelands that stretch for as far as the eye can see. Alice Springs is within a day’s drive south, and Darwin is just a few easy days north. These are ideal places to pick up your campervan and start your exploration of this amazing area, because you really need to take your time to discover this rugged Australian terrain.

Tennant Creek is home to some striking natural landmarks, with Devil's Marbles perhaps the most famous of these. This landmark is located just over an hour's drive south of town and is a must-see while in the area. These massive round boulders seem to be suspended in space, and are impressive at dusk when they glow a burning red with the sunset. The nature walks here will take you to the best viewing spots and there is a great campground if you want to stay a while longer to enjoy all this region has to offer.

While in the area, you should definitely take the short drive out to the Davenport Range National Park, which displays stunningly beautiful scenery, which attracts visitors from across the world. The Old Police Station Waterhole is one of the most well known features of the Park, and is easily accessible from the main road. Come here for a picnic and soak yourself in the cool waters while enjoying the hidden treasures of the central territory.

Just east of Tennant Creek, you will come across the the Barkly Tablelands, which are known for their rich cattle grazing land. For a journey of history, take a trek along the Overlander’s Way which spans towards the Queensland border. This trail is the same trail that the stockmen, who first drove their herds into the Territory from Queensland, trekked along. Be sure to stop at the Barkly Homestead for a coffee and chat to the locals. This is essentially the ideal way to enjoy the remoteness of central Australia at its best. There are a number of caravan parks in town, but if the real outback experience is what you are after, head out to one of the many camping grounds further out of town. Make sure you bring all your own supplies as this will allow you to experience some incredible nights under a canopy of stars, camp fires and fun filled days either exploring the surrounding terrain or simply relaxing in a deck chair reading a book.

The Threeways Tourist Park is a great place to stay for the night and is easily accessible. It was named because you can travel in three different directions – north, south on the Stuart Highway or east onto the Barkley Highway. It is perfect base to visit the local attractions and has some excellent facilities.

You can’t visit Tennant Creek without panning for gold; its a local right of passage. You may not strike a big nugget, but who knows, you may just get lucky. Battery Hill Mining Centre is just a few minutes away, and is home to an interesting museum which has informative guided mine tours. A visit here will give you a greater appreciation of the local industry and history of the area. The Peko and Eldorado Mines are the most famous, and are a huge reason why Tennant Creek was put on the map during its famous gold rush.

For a quick getaway from the town centre, head to the Mary Ann Dam which is located only five kilometres north of town. Be sure to bring a picnic lunch to fill you up after a refreshing swim or spot of fishing. There is also plenty of wildlife and birdlife here for your pleasure and entertainment. Continue on further north to visit the Pebbles, which are often referred to as a smaller version of the Devil's Marbles. These large boulders offer amazing scenery, and being so close to town are worth visiting to capture the spirit of the outback.

Tennant Creek is a great place to base yourself for exploration of the surrounding territory. The horizon in every direction with rewards you wish stunning views of rugged mountain ranges, and the whole region seems to typify the Australian outback at its best. Its vast stretches of grassy plains and long, dusty roads beckon you to explore what lies beyond the horizon. This truly is the best place to visit for your ultimate outback experience of the territory.

Christine Barton




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