Tennant Creek

Tennant Creek was our first main stop in the Northern Territory. It had been signposted for hundreds of kilometers along the road from Townsville,

yet was only a small place with a population of 3000. We arrived on Monday 4th May - Labour Day - so most things were closed. We did find a

supermarket which was open (the only one in town) where we paid $35 for dollars yet left with very little to show for it. The cheapest loaf of bread

cost $5.00 and 2 litres of milk was $5.50 !! (that's 2 pounds 70 in UK brass). Incredible.


We called in at the historic Tennant Creek Telegraph station. Its 7km out of town and all locked up. But the Tourist Information centre had the

key for a small deposit, the key was yours ! So paid the $10 deposit and away we went.


This telegraph station is one of 11 repeater stations which are to be found along the telegraph line which runs North - South right through the

centre of Australia, from Adelaide to Darwin. The 3200 km telegraph line was completed in 1872, taking less than 2 years covering some of the

most remote and harsh countryside in Australia. Click here for more info.


On one of the doors was this huge praying mantis. We'd seen a few on our travels, but this was the longest so far.

Then we went to The Pebbles (below left, with Kaya looking on) which are granite rocks scattered over an area of different colours depending upon

which minerals they're made of.

The Aborigines revere The Pebbles because they believe they are the eggs of the Rainbow Serpent.


Whilst in Tennant Creek, we also went on an underground mine tour (above right) - mining was the big industry in Tennant Creek. Gold mining.

We looked, but sadly we couldn't find any.

On the highway outside Tennant Creek was this sign...who are you calling a to**er??

There was just one high school in Tennant Creek where I enjoyed teaching science there on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The students

and the staff were great and hey! all staff had drinks on Friday after school so it must be good. 

On the Friday eve, after I'd staggered home, we went to Mary Ann Dam, just a few km outside TC which was very picturesque and peaceful....until

Joseph broke the silence with his yelling....

"A snake!! A Snake!! "

So of course we did what any sensible people would do. We all turned and ran! But hey, it was small, quite small, probably harmless, it wouldn't

hurt to go back and have a quick look surely, just 1 photo....

It was only small (1 - 2 feet long) but it sure was a fast mover and wriggler. So we took the 1 photo then backed away...quickly.


So it was on the Saturday that we waved Goodbye to Tennant Creek and continued on our way to Darwin, but stopping at Katherine for a while


Cairns in December Back to home