Central Australia, also known as the Alice Springs Region, is one of the five regions in the Northern Territory that centres on Alice Springs. Sometimes referred to as Centralia, the region is located in the southern part of the Northern Territory spanning from the west on Western Australia Border and to the east on the Queensland border.


Rich in aboriginal culture and home to Australia’s most iconic natural landmark, Uluru, the Central Australia region is a must see destination for anyone wanting to experience true outback culture. Our Central Australia travel guide helps you discover some of the best things to see and do while there.

Tennant Creek & the Barkly

The Barkly Region spans the Stuart Highway north of Alice Springs from Barrow Creek to Newcastle Waters and streches east to the Queensland border. The Barkly is an area characterised by golden grassy plains and clear blue skies.


The region is steeped by European history from the Overland Telegraph Line, to Australia's last Gold Rush and the pioneering time sof the big cattle drives; it also hosts some amazing natural attractions including Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles) and is rich in Indigenous culture and tradition.


Things to see and do in the Barkly Region & Tennant Creek

Arlpwe Art and Cultural Centre at Ali Curing is comprised of an Aboriginal Art Gallery, two Art Centres and a Pottery Training Studio located 350km North of Alice Springs, Australia, in Ali Curung, a remote Aboriginal Community.


Devils Marbles/ Karlu Karlu is a remarkable site, and is a sacred place to Aboriginal traditional owners. An enigmatic place of breathtaking scenic beauty, the precarious piles of huge granite boulders wide open skies and golden sunlight make Karlu Karlu an unforgettable place to visit.


The Battery Hill Mining Centre has magnificent views overlooking township and the surrounding Honeymoon Ranges. It echoes the soul and spirit of the early miners and is named after the original ten-head stamp battery. Make Battery Hill Mining and Information Centre your first stop in Tennant Creek, so Roddy and her team can share the wonders of the region and make sure you don't miss anything.


A stop at Nkynkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre is a must in Tennant Creek. Nyinkka Nyunyu (pronounced ny-ink-a ny-oo-ny-oo) is a unique art and culture centre which offers visitors an opportunity to learn about Aboriginal life, history and land in the Tennant Creek region.


Kelly's Ranch Riding School offers the ultimate outback experience for horse riding lessons, trail rides and pastoral skills training. Owner, Jerry Kelly, is an Indigenous Australian and a Traditional Owner of the Barkly Region who takes pleasure and pride in providing his visitors with an experience and understanding of his traditional culture, the stockman's life and life in the bush.


Enjoy a picnic at Lake Mary Ann Dam located to the north of Tennant Creek. Lake Mary Ann offers an oasis of refreshing waters, lush green lawns and large shady trees. Popular with both locals and visitors alike, the lake is a prefect picnic spot; you can walk right around the shore or just sit and marvel at the array of birdlife that come in to enjoy the water.


If you stoped at the Devils Marbles (Karlu Karlu) to the south of the town, then ensure you stop at The Pebbles (Kunjarra), a sacred site to the local Warumungu women, this granite outcrop resembles a smaller version of Devils Marbles (Karlu Karlu) and shares similar songlines and spiritual dreaming stories. Interpretive signage allows visitors to gain a basic understanding of the significance of this site, before enjoying the walk through the rocky outcrop.


Travelling tip - If you're on the move, be sure to fuel up at BP Tennant Creek, and stop for a bite to eat at Red Rooster!


History and Heritage

The traditional owners of the area surrounding Tennant Creek are the Warumungu people and their culture is very much alive and well. Their stories are showcased in one of Australia's finest cultural centres, Nyinkka Nyunyu, situated in Tennant Creek. The Aboriginal culture, cattle stations and mining shaped the people and lives of those that reside in the Barkly, and it’s the people that will make your journey such a memorable one. Stay a while and discover the local’s passion for this special place.


Mining is another large contributor to what makes this area unique. It all started in the 1930’s when gold was discovered, setting off Australia’s last gold rush. The history of this area remains and is encaptured at the Battery Hill Mining Centre. There is still plenty of gold to be found, and mining remains an vital part of the region’s economy.


Battery Hill Mining Centre doubles as the Visitor Information Centre in Tennant Creek and is located on Peko Road, with magnificent views overlooking township and the surrounding Honeymoon Ranges. The site echoes the soul and spirit of the early miners and is named after the original ten-head stamp battery.


The centre has a wide variety of options available to the individual visitor and coach groups. Get hands on with a underground mining tour, dedicated tour guides conduct an excellent mining experience. Witness working machinery and hear the stories. Parking is caravan and coach friendly and facilities include public toilets and a covered picnic area.