Barrow Creek – Overview & Things to See and Do
This tiny township nestles at the foot of a table top range and consists of the oldest roadhouse on the track, and the historic Barrow Creek Telegraph Station. The pub has the quirky character you’ll only find in the outback and is worth a visit. Its walls are full of humorous artwork including a wall full of bank notes.
Barrow Creek has accommodation, swimming pool (guests only) and a bush golf course. Mechanical workshop and tyres available. Nearby Telegraph Station buildings have been well preserved and there is a memorial to two telegraph station operators killed by local aboriginals.
The pub became infamous on July 14 2001 when it was caught up in one of the outback’s most mystifying crimes. On the night of 14 July 2001, Bradley John Murdoch stopped a VW Kombi van driven by English traveller Peter Falconio, and persuaded Falconio to go to the back of the vehicle, where he shot him. He proceeded to tie up Falconio’s girlfriend Joanne Lees in the back of his utility. As Murdoch went back to the Falconio’s body, Lees managed to escape, hide in the scrub along the highway, and eventually ran out in front of a truck that picked her up and took her 13 km south to the Barrow Creek pub where police were called.
Things to See & Do
Davenport-Murchinson National Park & Hatches Creek
This recently declared 1120 sq km National Park protects a relatively unspoilt wilderness area important for its environmental qualities. The ranges were the site of wolfram mines at Hatches Creek early this century, but the remains of these lies on Aboriginal land, which is surrounded on three sides of the park. The main attraction is the Old Police Station Waterhole, which can be reached by 4WD from the Stuart Highway via the Kurundi/Epenarra stations track which leaves the highway at Bonny Well, 90 km from Tennant Creek. Alternatively, it is 156km via Taylors Creek track (Murray Downs Station track), which heads east from the Stuart Highway near Taylors Creek crossing, 43 km north of Barrow Creek. This area is subject to flooding from December to March so please check with authorities before proceeding.
Barrow Creek Telegraph Station
The beautifully restored Barrow Creek Telegraph Station is set against the backdrop of the picturesque Forster ranges. This historical reserve is one of 15 telegraph stations that formed the network from Port Augusta to Darwin and has considerable historical value. The stone buildings were originally constructed in 1872 and there is a memorial to two telegraph station operators killed by local aboriginals.