Maintenance begins as the sun sets on the Tennant Creek campdraft arena. The Creek was the site of Australia’s last significant gold rush and was founded in 1934.

    Photo Credit: Heath Holden

    The town’s population of around 3000 is growing in recent times, as newcomers are lured by the creativity and spirit of this small community.

    Photo Credit: Heath Holden

    There are plenty of cowboy hats in the crowd as spectators take in the atmosphere of the Tennant Creek rodeo.

    Photo Credit: Heath Holden

    Local Mitchell Albert is shaken-up but happy to not have any major injuries after being thrown off and trampled by the bull during his ride at the rodeo.

    Photo Credit: Heath Holden

    The underground mineshaft at Battery Hill Mining Centre, where guided tours give a flavour of working conditions during the 1930s gold rush. Altogether, the Tennant Creek goldfields produced 210t of gold, making it one of Australia’s richest fields.

    Photo Credit: Heath Holden

    A small sample of the amazing rock and land formations found at the Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, 105km south of Tennant Creek.

    Photo Credit: Heath Holden

    A cowboy riding a bareback bronco almost makes a full circle of the arena at the rodeo.

    Photo Credit: Heath Holden

    Built in 1875, Tennant Creek’s Telegraph Station was used by early settlers as a shelter from the harsh weather conditions in the Territory.

    Photo Credit: Heath Holden

    Cowboys and helpers prepare for another bull ride at Tennant Creek rodeo.

    Photo Credit: Heath Holden

    Traditional Owner Jerry Kelly talks about his time in Tennant Creek and the Northern Territory. On his ranch he offers all levels of horse riding lessons, trail riding and a genuine Australian bush experience.

    Photo Credit: Heath Holden

    An evening campsite scene at Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, south of Tennant Creek.

    Photo Credit: Heath Holden

    Local indigenous entertainer and gold prospector, Jimmy Hooker works his way through some ore to extract any gold, which is currently worth around US$35 per gram. 

    Photo Credit: Heath Holden

    Jerry Kelly from Kelly’s Ranch on the trail with a group of visitors near his ranch in Tennant Creek.

    Photo Credit: Heath Holden

    Longtime resident Samantha Konidaris relaxing in a favourite section of her lush irrigated garden in Tennant Creek. An immigrant from Greece, Samantha has lived in the town since 1969. 

    Photo Credit: Heath Holden

    Resident indigenous artist Phyllis Walden at Nyinkka Nyunya Arts and Cultural Centre.

    Photo Credit: Heath Holden

    A large wall is painted with an indigenous art mural along the main street of Tennant Creek.

    Photo Credit: Heath Holden

GALLERY: The golden heart of Tennant Creek

By AG STAFF | October 27, 2015

Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory has a population of just 3000 people, and is found 1000km south of Darwin and 500km north of Alice Springs. This outback town is as gritty as it’s charming, and with its swag of multicultural locals and a zealous community spirit, it’s a place that’s now luring newcomers with more than just gold dust. Find the full story in the Nov/Dec issue (#129) of Australian Geographic.