Tennant Creek is the only town of any size between Mount Isa and Katherine if your crossing the top of Australia from Cairns, or between Katherine and Alice Springs if you’re heading down through central Australia between Darwin and Adelaide. It sits about half way between these larger towns making it a convenient stopping off point to break up those long drives. Almost half of the population is of Aboriginal descent and there are opportunities to see some Indigenous art while you are here. There's an IGA supermarket in Tennant Creek so stock up.
Devil's Marbles are 95 km (1.5 hr) to the south, on the way to Alice Springs. It's worth making the detour for. Hundreds of red granite boulders are scattered across the plain. The best time to visit is at sunrise and sunset to get the best colors. You can learn about the Dreamtime story of the boulders on an interpretive walk through them.
Explore the region on horseback at Kellys Ranch. Local Aboriginal landowner and horseman Jerry will share stories of a stockman's life over tea and damper.
RATES: $50 for an hour.
Devils Marbles. Photo: ben_et_titi via IG
Devils Marbles. Photo: pixellandysr via IG
Devils Marbles. Photo: s.w.a.t_sj_fx1 via IG
Outback Caravan Park, Tennant Creek
Attack Creek Rest Area is 72 km (1 hr) north of Tennant Creek. Facilities include toilets, fireplaces, picnic tables, shady trees, and rainwater (not suitable for drinking).
If you're heading north for Darwin, and you leave Tennant Creek by 8 am, you’ll reach Daly Waters Pub by lunch time. It’s an iconic outback pub from the 1930s. It’s draped in bras and the walls are lined with all sorts of items from visitors who want to leave their mark.
The pub has seen murders, shoot outs, cattle stampedes and drunken brawls in its past. The bath tub and rail are still there to hitch your horse to, so your horse could enjoy a drink while you did.Haunted
Heavy objects sometimes fly about in the kitchen and it isn’t the chef. The owners believe it is Sarah, the woman who was murdered at the pub. Her husband was pardoned because he said she was having an affair with the gardener. Or maybe it is the postmaster, who was murdered here and his takings stolen. The suspect moved away and committed suicide many years later.
Thy have won awards for their food if you fancy stopping for lunch, or just grab a cold beer or glass of wine. They have a reasonable selection.
Daly Waters iconic outback pub
Inside Daly waters Pub. Photo: emi.sherwood via IG
This is part of the Savannah Way road trip across the top end of Australia. Zoom in on the map below for the highlights and caravan parks listed in this article.
1678 Shute Harbour Rd, Cannon Valley, Queensland 4800 Phone: 1800 216 223
40 French Street, Eagle Farm, Queensland 4009
Phone: 1800 216 223
440 Sheridan Street, Cairns,
Queensland 4870 Phone: 1800 216 223
2/11 Northview St, Mermaid Waters QLD 4218 Phone: 1800 216 223
273 Elizabeth Street, Coburg,
Victoria 3058 Phone: 1800 216 223
23-25 Erskine Rd, Caringbah,
Sydney, NSW 2229 Phone: 1800 216 223
167 Mount Low Parkway, Townsville,
Queensland 4814 Phone: 1800 216 223