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TENNANT CREEK & BARKLY REGION THREE DAY ITINERARY

 

Discover the Explorers Way and head to Australia’s heart of gold, Tennant Creek. Here you will discover a town rich in history and culture with lots to explore. During your three days you will be able to meet local Aboriginal artists and learn about their craft, ride across the land on horseback and follow the course of the Overland Telegraph Line to the ancient rock formations of the Devils Marbles.

DAY 1IT1T

Rise early this morning and pack your vehicle ready to embark on your great Central Australian adventure! Travelling north, today’s first stopover is the Tropic of Capricorn, just 30 kilometres north of Alice Springs. Be sure to get your photo taken next to the unique marker which was designed by a local Alice Springs man to mark Australia’s bicentenary.

Back on the road again, take in the beautiful desert scenery as you travel north. Approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes later you will come to your next travel break, the Central Mount Stuart Historical Reserve. Stop a while and stretch your legs – you are standing in the dead centre of Australia! Visit the historical reserve that commemorates John McDouall Stuart’s discovery of the Centre of Australia.

Continue on to Wycliffe Well, a very unique outback town well worth the pit stop. Known as the UFO Capital of Australia for its hundreds of reported UFO sightings - look to the skies to see if you can spot anything unusual. Hang out in the roadhouse and enjoy some refreshments as you read about the details of paranormal sightings across the shop walls and from the Wycliffe Well Guest book, where many visitors document their encounters. It is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or two.

Drive on to the Wauchope Hotel, where you will stay tonight. Chill out this afternoon at the hotel beer garden or cool off with a dip in the swimming pool. The Wauchope Hotel offers a variety of accommodation options from motel style rooms to caravan and camp sites.

Just before sun down tonight make your way to the Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve to witness a spectacular Central Australian sunset over the mysterious giant boulders. These ancient rock formations seem to have dropped from the skies, appearing to defy gravity. They hold a great significance for the Aboriginal people and are the subject of many Dreamtime stories. Head back to the Wauchope Hotel tonight to enjoy an excellent meal at their restaurant. Be sure to check out their extensive wine cellar and indulge in night cap before bed.

IT2T

DAY 2

Enjoy a delicious cooked breakfast from the Wauchope Hotel before you hit the road again. Tennant Creek is now only just over an hours drive away. Tennant Creek has a rich gold mining and cattle droving history and has been shaped by its strong Aboriginal culture. It is a town that truly represents the real outback Australia. Apart from there being lots to learn about the Central Australian town, there is also plenty to see and do. If you are feeling lucky today, Battery Hill Mining Centre is the place you want to go, where you can even noodle for your own gold! Learn all about the outback gold rush of the 1930’s and get a glimpse of what it was like living in Tennant Creek during that era. Check out the world class minerals display and also the museum display ‘Freedom, Fortitude and Flies, which looks at social life at the goldfields throughout that time. Join an underground mining tour where you will get to see the machinery in action, as well as the Gold Stamp Battery, which has been fully restored and operates during tours.

Relax with lunch today down at the popular man-made lake, Tingkkarli/ Lake Mary Ann. This spot is a cool oasis just 5 kilometres north of Tennant Creek and provides a great area for swimming or canoeing. If you are feeling active, check out one of the walking paths around the lake, one of which winds its way through the beautiful Honeymoon Ranges.

Check out one of the local bakeries or café’s for breakfast this morning before making your way to the Tennant Creek Telegraph Station. The historic building played a significant role in the late 1800’s when the Overland Telegraph Line was being constructed and provided a refuge for linesman and travellers alike from the harsh surrounds. If you want to explore inside the historic buildings make sure you ask for the key from the Battery Hill Mining Centre.

Check into your accommodation and wind down for the evening. There are plenty of options to pick from, including motel style rooms, cabins and caravan parks. For dinner, head to the popular Tex’s Schnitzel House at the Eldorado Motor Inn where you will have a choice of 29 different Schnitzels – you will not be disappointed.

DAY 3

Immerse yourself in local Aboriginal art and culture this afternoon with a visit to the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art & Culture Centre. Here you can learn all about bush tucker and traditional medicines, as well as Aboriginal life and history in the Tennant Creek region. One of the main highlights is the audio tour which will take you through arid zone gardens, interpreting plants and landscapes through Aboriginal eyes. As you wind up your tour, relax with afternoon tea at the on-site café, which is well known for its great food and coffee. Check out local arts & crafts and other great souvenirs that are for sale in the retail area and take a piece of Central Australia home with you.

Today, get in touch with your inner jillaroo or jackeroo and saddle up for an adventurous horseback ride at Kelly’s Ranch. Your instructor and guide is owner Jerry Kelly, an experienced stockman and local Warumungu man. Sign up for a 1 hour riding lesson, or really get in touch with your adventurous side with a two and a half hour trail ride. Jerry will share with you stories about the life of a stockman over a cup of billy tea. Everybody is sure to have a great time, and no prior riding experience is required.

This afternoon, pack a picnic dinner and head north to Kunjarra/The Pebbles to see the sun set over these mysterious granite boulders. Also known as the smaller relatives of the Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles, this is a sacred site and where the women’s dancing and healing rites of passage take place for the Warumumgu people. The changing colours of the boulders as the sun sets are a sight to behold. Raise a glass to a fantastic trip exploring Central Australia as you watch the colours vary from a glowing red and orange to a deep purple and grey as the sun fades over the horizon.