Part 10 – Tennant Creek to Alice Springs

Day 25 – Tennant Creek to Alice Springs

Only minutes after we left the caravan park we stopped at this historical marker at the old Telegraph Station.

Engineers Australia maintains a database of these historical markers Australia wide.  It is an interesting listing of more than 200 very diverse, historical engineering projects.

Next stop was one of the icons of the trip – Devils Marbles.

Camping is allowed at Devils Marbles but it is bleak proposition.  Better to see this unusual and dramatic display of million of years of erosion on the way through to somewhere else.

As one would expect of this icon of the Outback it gets very busy.


It is posited that the Devils Marbles were formed when an upsurge of molten rock cooled and became solid beneath a layer of softer sandstone. Vertical and horizontal fractures formed in the solidifying granite, creating rectangular blocks. Over many millions of years water in the fissures and fractures broke down the sandstone, and then the granite. This resulted in the rounded granite boulders perched on top of each other that can be seen today.

The push south continued – nine kilometres to Wauchope. This small settlement was established in 1917 to service the new nearby wolfram mining operations and to provide a pub for the workers at the various Barkly Tablelands cattle stations in the area.

Eighteen kilometres down the track is the self proclaimed UFO capital of Australia – Wycliffe Well. If it was intention of the promoters of this legend to go over the top they succeeded.

There is a wonderfully restored Telegraph Station at Barrow Creek. John McDouall Stuart named the creek in 1860 during one of his early exploratory expeditions after John Henry Barrow who was, at the time, a member of the South Australian parliament.

We were getting close to the centre of Australia.

The 500 kilometre drive from Tennant Creek to the capital of Central Australia was, by now, a simple matter. We had time to get an overview of the town from Anzac Hill before we booked into a caravan park. The park was inundated, muddy and uncomfortable.  Tammy was run down and needed more comfortable surroundings.

Go to Part 11 – Alice Springs