Introducing Tennant Creek
Servicing a vast region of cattle stations and remote Aboriginal communities, roughly the size of the UK, Tennant Creek is the only town of any size between Katherine, 680km to the north, and Alice Springs, 511km to the south. It's a good place to break up a long drive and check out the town's few attractions.
Local legend speaks of Tennant Creek being founded on beer: first settled when the drivers of a broken-down beer-laden wagon settled in to consume the freight in the 1930s. The truth is far more prosaic: the town was established as a result of a small gold rush around the same time. While it was short-lived, gold-mining ventures have operated discontinuously depending on metal prices, and exploration continues in the region today.
Tennant Creek is known as Jurnkurakurr to the local Warumungu people and almost half of the population is of Aboriginal descent. When the town is in the news, it's often for the wrong reasons – mainly alcoholism and violence – but there is a lot that is positive happening here and it's worth a stop to experience the wealth of Aboriginal art and culture on offer.