We Visit Tennant Creek Telegraph Station
We visit Tennant Creek Telegraph Station and it was a great experience. A few days previous we visited the Alice Springs Telegraph Station and we were interested in a comparison between the two.
The Tennant Creek Telegraph Station is a lot more basic in it’s construction and is situated further out of town so it seems to be more rural and rustic in it’s appearance and construction than the one in Alice Springs. Tennant Creek township however was never really intended to exist so I get why the Telegraph Station seems to be a long way out of town. If it wasn’t for the telegraph station being where it was then they would possibly have not found gold near where the current Tennant Creek town is situated so the town may never have existed. Bit of a catch 22 situation.
There has been some restoration work done on the Telegraph Station at Tennant Creek and it has been done very well. Signs around the reserve explain things clearly and there are some really good displays of artefacts to be found inside some of the buildings.
Our visit to Tennant Creek Telegraph Station was a very worthwhile experience. It was both educational and at the same time made us reflect on just how hard the pioneers of our country had it. We highly recommend that if you are in the area that you check it out for yourselves.
About The Tennant Creek Telegraph Station
From Adelaide to Darwin the Overland Telegraph Line was constructed along a route that had been successfully traversed by John McDouall Stuart in 1862. The colonial telegraph system was Australia’s first connection to Britain completed in 1872.
A temporary bush timber building was erected in 1875 followed by a permanent building made from stone quarried nearby. Telegraph Stations provided early explorers, pastoralists, and travellers with water and supplies in addition to operating the line.
Tennant Creek township was established in 1925 as a result of the discovery of gold by a linesman. The old Telegraph Station was closed in 1935 when a post and telegraph office opened in the thriving town of Tennant Creek. Although the station closed in 1966 it continued to play an important role in the development of the region. Supplying meat and water to the new town.
A Long Aboriginal History In The Area
The region was first occupied by Warumungu people. There was a major upheaval in their lives as a result of the Overland Telegraph line being developed and pastoral activities commencing. Aboriginal people used the well as a water source during the severe droughts of the 1880s. The Telegraph Station was transformed into a rations store in 1890 when flour, sugar, tea, and blankets were distributed.
A mining permit over the Warumungu Aboriginal Reserve was issued in 1934, after the reserve was established by 1892. “The Warumungu people at Telegraph Station perform such a variety of ceremonies that both researchers are quite exhausted keeping records,” said Spencer and Gillen, who set up a dark room to process photographs at the station.
Access To The Tennant Creek Telegraph Station
A 10-km drive north of Tennant Creek on the Stuart Highway leads to the Reserve. Visitors can borrow keys from the Battery Hill Visitor Centre on Peko Road in order to gain access inside the buildings at the Tennant Creek Telegraph Station. Identification and a deposit are required.