Barkly Region – Tennant Creek

About Barkly Region

Barkly region is located between Katherine and Alice Springs, with its main town being Tennant Creek. Tennant Creek is a culturally rich community. It has developed from its rough, tough droving and gold mining days into a modern town with shops and a supermarket, accommodation, bars, clubs and restaurants, a regional hospital, schools and banking facilities. The town today is situated on a stretch of the Stuart Highway known as Paterson Street. As it is a regional centre, it contains government services, local business and a developing tourist centre. There are a number of restaurants and tourist activities to complement its friendly relaxed lifestyle. The people of Tennant Creek enjoy modern facilities including reserves, sporting venues, galleries, a civic hall and library. It is also home to Australia’s premier go-karting event, held on a street circuit through the town.



51% Indigenous Australians (census 2016)


19°38’50”S 134°11’25″E


989kms south of Darwin

507kms north of Alice Springs

Indigenous Languages spoken:

Main indigenous language is Warumungu, Walpiri, Kaytetye & Alyawarre are also commonly spoken languages.


Tennant Creek has two distinct seasons:

Winter/dry season (May-September) Cool & dry average temp 15-33°C, Humidity 20-50%

Summer/Wet season (October-April) Hot & humid average temp 22-35°C, Humidity 30-95%


Local Government – Barkly Regional Shire Council

Federal electorate – Lingiari

Permit Information

A permit may be required when visiting the Barkly region and traveling through Aboriginal land. Tennant Creek township does not require a permit, however if travelling to a remote community in the Barkly please see the following map. The Regional Coordinator will be able to assist you with the permit application process.

Which roads require transit permits?

Please check the CLC Permit Requirements Map here as the following roads are not public roads and require a transit permit:

  • Tjukaruru Road (between Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park boundary and WA border). The transit permit allows access to Tjunti (Lasseter’s Cave) for sightseeing during the day. Camping is only allowed at the Docker River campground
  • Gary Junction Road (between Papunya and WA border)
  • Sandy Blight Road (between Kintore and Docker River). As this road also crosses into WA a permit is also required from Ngaanyatjarra Council
  • Glen Helen-Papunya Road. Note: this permit does not allow you to enter Haasts Bluff (Ikuntji)
  • Mereenie Loop Road (between Kata Pata Pass and Watarrka National Park boundary). Note: The Mereenie Tour Pass combines your transit permit with a full colour tourist information booklet and map free of charge if obtained from the Central Land Council. The Pass is also available from Tourism Central Australia, Hermannsburg (Ntaria), Glen Helen, Kings Canyon (Watarrka) at a fee determined by the individual company.

Aboriginal Health Controlled Organisations

Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation 

Pulkapulkka Kari flexible aged care service 


NT Government Services

Tennant Creek Hospital – 45 Schmidt St

A 20-bed acute care hospital provides acute care needs for the whole of the Barkly region.

Hosts an emergency room, general ward, paediatric ward and a 16 chair nurse-run renal unit (currently at capacity, patient backlog waiting in Alice Springs for chair availability).

General x-ray and ultrasound facilities.

There are no birthing facilities in the Tennant Creek Hospital. For pre/post-natal care information, see Midwifery Group Practice information below.

T (08) 8962 4399 F (08) 8962 4311

Community health services accessed through the Tennant Creek hospital:

  • Immunisation clinics
  • Continence
  • Visiting specialists
  • Aged care assessment
  • Internal medicine
  • Drug and Alcohol services
  • Thoracic medicine
  • Health promotion and prevention
  • Anaesthetics
  • Palliative care services
  • Paediatrics
  • Women’s health
  • General surgery
  • Men’s health
  • Public Health
  • Mental Health

Tennant Creek Health Centre (Department of Health) – Leichardt St

The NT Department of Health facilitate the GP clinic in Tennant Creek. A community based primary health care service promoting wellness and addressing illness, injury and impairment. This clinic is a bulk-billing service with access to general practitioners, dentist, audiology and telehealth services.

Hours of service: Monday to Friday – 9am to 5pm

Midwifery Group Practice services

Pre-natal/pregnancy care is provided by the Midwifery Group practice in Tennant Creek in collaboration with the GP clinic, Anyinginyi and Alice Springs Hospital based obstetric services. Ultrasounds can be performed in Tennant Creek. Telehealth consultations are available for pregnancies that are more complex.

All birthing, other than emergency, take place in Alice Springs. Pregnant women are transferred to Alice Springs around the 38 week of pregnancy to remain until after the birth before returning to Tennant Creek. The patient is entitled to travel support through Patient Assistance Transport Scheme. All travel, accommodation and pregnancy appointments are organised prior to the expected mother leaving Tennant Creek.

MGP office/clinic located on Schmidt St next to the hospital

T 08 8962 4214




Other Services

Tennant Creek Pharmacy – United Discount Chemist – 123 Paterson St

Opening hours: Mon to Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm Saturday 9am – 12pm

Services available include but are not limited to the following:

  • Absence from Work Certificates
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring
  • Bowel Cancer Screening
  • Distance Supply
  • Dose Administration Aids (eg. Blister Packs),
  • Medicine Information
  • MedsCheck
  • Minor Ailments Support
  • ProjectSTOP
  • Return of Unwanted Medicines Program
  • Staged Supply
  • National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) Access Point

T 08 8962 2616 E

ITEC Health and Safe Pathways – T2 141 Paterson St

ITEC Health provide age, gender and culturally specific and appropriate support services to people with a disability and older people. These services include Disability Support Services, Aged Care Nursing, In-Home Support, Respite Care, Residential Care, and Community Access and Social Inclusion. ITEC also provide staffing solutions for a wide variety of health facilities of Registered and Enrolled Nurses, and Nursing Assistants through respite services and brokered agreements.

Opening hours: Mon to Friday – 8:30am – 4:30pm

T 08 8963 0300 E

Safe Pathways

Safe Pathways delivers Services for Children and Families. They focus on providing care to children in the Out-of-Home Care System through Foster and Kinship Care Services, Family Intervention Services, Residential Safe House Services and supported-Independent living through the ‘Our House Program’ for young people aged 15-17.

Staying overnight and Local Attractions

Nyinkka Nyunyu Art & Culture Centre

An Aboriginal art and culture centre for the Barkly region of the Northern Territory opened in July 2003. Nyinkka Nyunyu is near a Warumungu sacred site, the home of the Nyinkka or spiky-tailed goanna, on Paterson Street in the town of Tennant Creek.

Karlu Karlu Devils Marbles

Believed by the Warmungu Aboriginal people to be the fossilised eggs of the Rainbow Serpent.

Lake Mary Ann (Mary Ann Dam)

Located five kilometres north of the township, just beyond the Honeymoon Ranges. It can be accessed by road, (clearly marked off the Stuart Highway). Home to many water birds, the dam is a cool and shady spot for a picnic or a swim.


NTGPE acknowledge and thank NT Primary Health Network (NTPHN) for providing the content for this community profile.