Night time screams and day time intrigue are the memories we take from the old Tennant Creek Telegraph Station (1872)
Have you ever stopped there over night? it sure takes on a different atmosphere to the daylight..
Our trek up and down the Stuart Hwy over the years has always found us taking a stop off at the station,it’s only 10km north of Tennant Creek and a fairly easy pull up in a big rig.
If you need, there is a drop toilet,but this isn’t recognized as an official over night stay ,however it’s open 24 hrs for self guided tours and we thought it was awesome.
And for those of you with Telstra we had no dramas with phone or internet reception
It’s not unusual that you’ll find yourself to be the only ones there,not allot tourists stop by!
We had the place all to ourselves by the day and night.
If you have some time up your sleeve stop and take the time to soak up what it must have been like sitting out under the verandah welcoming weary travelers,the station and the buildings are a unique insight into yesteryear.
By day you get the feel of isolation and the harsh conditions early travelers would have faced until they set their sights on the remote station knowing that they could seek refuge from the unforgiving conditions they had no doubt just traveled through.
At the station they were guaranteed a water supply from the stations well plus supplies and a big old fashioned veranda to kick back on in the cool.
From our experience by night it takes on a eerie feel to it!
The batteries on our normal torches being dead we resorted to the kids torches,so equipped with torch light from the kids Thomas the Tank engine torches we undertook our own ghostly tour of the place once dark set in.
To really set the scene the entry gate opens up with a loud creaking noise ,just to get the imaginations going crazy.
But then the creepy silence we experienced quickly turned to laughter when our Thomas torches spoke in that high pitched Thomas voice saying “Toot” “toot” “Thomas will light the way” once all the giggles had ceased it was back to business and what ghostly tour of a night isn’t complete without a walk around a graveyard,it may only be a small one, but yes! there is a graveyard on the grounds too!
From the white fella history side of things,the station was built back in 1872 along the route of The Overland Telegraph Line ,the distance from Adelaide to Darwin 3,600km.
Stuart walked through there in about 1860 on his first go at reaching the top of Australia. He named the nearby creek “Tennant” after a bloke who cashed him up for his expedition.
In it’s day it played a significant role in bridging the gap between Australia and Britain.
The discovery of gold by a linesman in 1925 was what led to the establishment of Tennant Creek and how we know it today