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Top 7 Historical Experiences in the Red Centre

While the limelight is always on the natural beauty of the Red Centre, this place also has a deep and rich history, full of interesting places to visit and learn from for the whole family. From the Women’s Museum & Old Gaol and Megafauna Central, all the way to the National Road Transport Hall of Fame, there’s something interesting and historically significant that all members of the family will find exciting.

Here’s our list of 6 of the most historically interesting experiences & places you can visit when you are in the Red Centre.

 

Museum of Central Australia

A collection of incredible artifacts and accounts located within the Araluen Cultural Precinct, the Museum of Central Australia is exactly as its name suggests. With everything from the traditional land owners & their culture to European settlement and beyond, you and the kids will find plenty here to educate and interest you.

The Museum is located at 4 Memorial Ave, just off Larapinta Drive, and is open Tuesday to Friday from 10am - 4pm and Saturday to Sunday from 10am - 2pm. 

Telegraph Stations 

Alice Springs, Barrow Creek & Tennant Creek

Ever wondered how communication across the great expanse of the Red Centre happened before satellite phones? You and the kids will be amazed to learn the story of the telegraph lines and how important they are to the history of Central Australia. Alice Springs Telegraph Station is the most well known, but there’s also Barrow Creek & Tennant Creek Telegraph Stations, which both hold their own sites of historical importance and are well worth visiting.

The Alice Springs Telegraph Station runs guided tours daily at 9:30am and 11:30am (April to November only). It’s worth noting too the Trail Station Cafe is just nearby too for a great cup of coffee.

Battery Hill Mining Centre

This one might make the kids’ eyes glimmer as it’s all about gold mining! Tennant Creek’s Battery Hill Mining Centre is the home of Central Australia’s 1930s gold rush, and an experience the kids will love as they take the tours and learn all about finding gold in the desert!

The museum has 3 unique exhibits to walk through with a $15 entrance fee. If they’re super interested, you can also contact Battery Hill and book a tour of the mine itself! Battery Hill Mining Centre is open from 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday and from 9:30am - 4:30pm on weekends. It’s located just outside of Tennant Creek, 2 minutes drive off Peko Road at the Tennant Creek Visitor Information Centre.

Alice Springs Gaol & Women’s Museum

For the perfect combination of inspiration and education, the old Alice Springs Gaol & Women’s Museum is a historically significant and incredibly interesting visit for everyone. With exhibitions like Women at the Heart, What’s Work Worth, Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives as well as the museum of the Old Gaol itself, there is more than enough here to excite and educate all members of the family.

The museum is located within the old Gaol itself at 2 Stuart Terrace. The museum is open from Sunday to Friday from 10am - 3pm and the whole site is wheelchair accessible with free parking. 

Megafauna Central

Everyone loves dinosaurs! Make a visit to Megafauna Central in Alice Springs and give your kids the chance to meet and learn about all the wildlife that roamed the lands of Central Australia up to 8 million years ago. From giant birds to even bigger crocodiles, you’ll get the chance to see exhibits, discover fossils and even witness paleontologists working in the laboratory!

Entry is free and Megafauna Central is open Mondays and Wednesday to Friday from 10am - 4pm and Weekends from 10am - 2pm. It’s located at 21 Todd Street Mall, right in the centre of Alice Springs.

Hermannsburg Historic Precinct

Located around 125km from Alice Springs, just off Larapinta Drive west of Alice Springs is arguably one of the most interesting historical sites in the Red Centre. Home to the famous Albert Namatjira and the last Germanic Lutheran Mission in Central Australia, the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct is stunningly beautiful and overloaded with interesting history and art.

The precinct is open from 9am to 4:30pm Wednesday to Sunday. The area has plenty to wander around and read about, as well as art & history tours and the Kata Anga Tearooms for a nice cup of tea or a cold drink.

National Road Transport Hall of Fame

Opening in 1995, the National Road Transport Hall of Fame is an absolute must visit for anyone with an interest in things which move on wheels. Here you’ll learn all about the history behind road travel both across Central Australia as well as internationally with vehicles kids can explore, touch and tour to get a glimpse of where road transport has come from, including the only remaining example of what is recognised as Australia’s first motorised road train.

The museum is open daily from 9am to 3pm with the last entry permitted at 1:30pm. Entry fees apply and since it’s located directly adjacent to the Ghan Museum, you can even take a mini-Ghan train ride for just $5! You can get to the National Road Transport Hall of Fame by traveling south from Alice Springs on the Stuart Highway and turning off once you reach Norris Bell Ave - the signs will then take you to the front door.

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