Tennant Creek Tourist Attractions
Tennant Creek (pop. 3500) is the only place of any size except Katherine on the 1500km stretch between Alice Springs and Darwin.In 1860 John McDouall Stuart named the river 10km north of the present town after the South Australian cattle-owner John Tennant.
In 1872 a repeater station on the Overland Telegraph Line was established here, and this was followed by a few houses. Local people like to tell another story about the origin of the town. It is said to have been founded when a camel caravan broke down on the site of the town. The real reason for the development of the town, however, is likely to have been the discovery of gold here in 1932. Tennant Creek was thus the scene of Australia's last gold rush. After the yield of the gold workings declined, large deposits of copper were found, as well as silver and bismuth; there is also still some gold-working.In Schmidt is the Museum of the National Trust, housed in a former military hospital.The Roman Catholic church in Windley Street, originally built in Pine Creek in 1904, was taken down in 1935, transported to Tennant Creek and rebuilt.
The best view of Tennant Creek is to be had from One Tank Hill Lookout (2km east on Peko Road).
Devil's Marbles Conservation Reserve
1828ha.These huge granite boulders, worn down and split up by weathering, lying tumbled on the ground or piled on top of one another, are a striking landmark in a featureless sandy plain. In Aboriginal mythology they are the eggs of the rainbow serpent. The shade they provide and the dew which settles round them provide a habitat for low-growing plants and many birds. The Devil's Marbles are a favorite subject for photographers; they are seen at their best just before sunset.
Address: Box 2130, South Stuart Highway, Alice Springs, NT 0870, Australia
Entrance fee in AUD: Family $7.70, Adult $3.30, Child 15 & under $1.65
Useful tips: Access on Stuart Highway (which runs through the Reserve). No facilities for visitors. Fees are for camping only and apply per night.
The Devil's Pebbles are a smaller edition of the famous Devil's Marbles: a jumble of rounded granite boulders scattered over a considerable area, in colors varying according to the minerals in the rock. The Aborigines revere them as the eggs of the rainbow serpent.
Connells Lagoon Conservation Reserve
The Connells Lagoon Conservation Reserve covers 256sq.km and protects Mitchell Grassland communities. The land in the reserve is quite flat. The area is rich in both flora and fauna.
Mary Ann Dam
Mary Ann Dam, an artificial lake, is a favorite recreation area (swimming, water sports, boats for hire).
Nobles Nob Mine
Nobles Nob Mine was discovered in 1934, later closed down, reopened in 1967 as an opencast mine after the collapse of the roof and finally closed down in 1985.
Tennant Creek Battery Hill and Mining Centre
The Government Stamp Battery (built 1958), where hematite quartz ore is crushed, is a working museum.
At Three Ways there is a tall column commemorating the Rev. John Flynn, founder of the Flying Doctor Service.