The Barkly Region is located between Katherine and Alice Springs along the Stuart Highway. It‘s real outback country with wide open spaces, long stretches of straight road and some unique points of interest. The clear blue skies by day and shining starry darkness at night gives you a sense of peace in the quiet cattle country.
East of Elliot and some 418km south of Katherine is the Barkly Tablelands. Its vast plains are known for massive cattle country being home to some of the country’s largest stations and historic stock routes.
A further 252km south at the heart of the Barkly Region is Tennant Creek
, Australia’s last goldrush town since 1932. The town is rich in mining heritage and aboriginal culture. The Battery Hill Mining Centre offers underground tours where visitors can gain insight into the early mining history. Authentic sounds, machinery and gold extraction procedures make the experience very informative. Nyinkka Nyunya Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre showcases the history of the traditional land owners, the Warumungu people and their way of life on the land in the outback. Local aboriginal art and crafts are also on offer.
The Devils Marbles (Karlu Karlu) are located 100km south of Tennant Creek. This amazing expanse of rounded granite boulders of all sizes, some surprisingly balanced on others, is a sacred site. A walking track takes you through the shallow valley of red rock formations for a closer look and fantastic photo opportunities. Camping is permitted and pit toilets are provided, be sure to take your own water and fire-wood supplies.
A further 132km south of the Devils Marbles is Wycliffe Well, UFO centre of Australia. This outback roadhouse is famous for regular flying object sightings in the area. The green alien display and effective murals make it all the more intriguing, we dare you to stay the night and spot your own UFO.
Barrow Creek is a further 92km south along the Stuart Highway and consists of an old stone telegraph station built in 1872 and a good old Aussie pub. The pub is covered from wall to wall with autographs, photos, stickers and postcards from passers-by over the years. There’s a Beer and Bull Corner with old trinkets and specimens of scaly, scary Barrow Creek locals preserved in jars for viewing.
From Barrow Creek onwards it is 282km to Alice Springs. The Stuart Highway route from Katherine to Alice Springs totals about 1176km and there are roadhouses (most with campgrounds) well spaced every couple hundred km. We advise you carry spare water and fuel as some roadhouses have restricted opening hours which may not coincide with your travel time.
Click here for climate statistics for Australian locations (provided by the Bureau of Meteorology)
Destinations in the Northern Territory
Elsey National Park
Return from Barkly Region to Northern Territory