Timber Creek – Overview & Things to See and Do
Timber Creek is a small town servicing the local cattle industry and increasingly tourism. Physically located amongst the Newcastle Ranges, it is used as a base for exploring the Gregory National Park and fishing the Victoria River. It is also a convenient refuelling stop on the Victoria Highway between Kununurra and Katherine.
The town is proud of its pioneering days and pays homage to the arduous conditions experienced by both cattle drovers and defence personnel. Most attractions around town are centred around this theme and well worth spending 2-3 hours exploring.
Timber Creek is the base for a geographically a very attractive and rugged area that remarkably sees few visitors. To fully appreciate Gregory National Park requires a four wheel drive and overnight camping. If this is the type of holiday you enjoy you will not be disappointed.
Timber Creek was named by Augustus Gregory in November 1855, when he used timber from the creek to repair his boat. After searching the Victoria River for suitable timber he chanced turning up a small creek and stumbled across a cluster of tall straight Melaleuca trees. Consequently he named the creek, Timber Creek.
In the early days Timber Creek serviced the cattle stations’ in the Victoria River Region which at the time were the biggest in the world. This region was the scene of bitter disputes between the Aborigines and the new landowners. In 1885, a police station was set up at Timber Creek, staffed by two policemen and a black tracker whose task was to patrol the area and pacify the situation.
Things to See & Do
Annual Races : The Timber Creek annual races in September attract visitors from all over northern Australia.
Timber Creek Heritage Trail : This walking trail is 2 km one way and was developed jointly between the Parks & Wildlife, Northern Territory Tourist Commission and Timber Creek Community Government Council. The walk includes the Timber Creek Police Station museum and also takes you through vegetation typical of the area.
The Lookouts : A 4WD recommended road off the highway climbs to the top of the surrounding escarpment. Here the lookouts offer views of the surrounding valley and river. There are four sites, the last one being the town view and the first is a monument to the nackeroos. Travel beyond the fourth lookout is restricted and leads into private property
Historic Police Station : The first police station was built in 1898, the second in 1908 and the third in 1935. There are no remains of the first police station. Both the later stations have been preserved by National Trust and the 1908 station serves as a museum. The museum illustrates police history and all facets of life within Timber Creek. The museum is open daily 1-3pm and and their is a small cost involved, but check in town first. It’s a familiar display of miscellaneous pioneering relics, retrieved from the surrounding undergrowth and used to illustrate a pithy historical commentary about the region.
Parks & Wildlife Headquarters : The HQ offers descriptive signs of the area and history. The Park Ranger will be helpful
Big Horse Creek : Land Based Barramundi Fishing Spot and Boat ramp