Barrow Creek

A small settlement at the foot of a slope among the red mesas of the Watt and Forster Ranges.

Location: 221 km south of Tennant Creek, 284 km north of Alice Springs and 1198 km south of Darwin on the Stuart Highway.

Places of interest: Watt Range; Forster Range; Barrow Creek; Taylor Creek; Aboriginal communities of Tara (12 km north-east) and the Pmatajunata down at Stirling Station (35 km); Overland Telegraph Repeater Station (1872); Barrow Creek Hotel (1926); cemetery

Besides being the local watering hole, Barrow Creek Hotel is noted for the vast array of currency notes of all denominations which cover its walls. The entry key to the historic Telegraph Station next door is available from the hotel for visitors wishing to enter the historic building.

The Overland Telegraph repeater station was built in 1872 beside a spring. When the spring was fenced off, the local Aborigines killed two of the station staff in retribution for being denied access to their water supply. The whites retaliated with vengeance at Skull Creek, killing up to 60 Aborigines.


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When an old dingo trapper was killed by Aborigines on Coniston Station in 1928, a posse led by Const. William George Murray killed an estimated 70 Aborigines in a series of bloody reprisals. When Murray was called to Darwin to explain his actions he was greeted like some conquering hero. When asked why he had taken no prisoners he told the Darwin court, 'What use is a wounded black feller a hundred miles from civilization?' He was totally exonerated of all charges.

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