Tennant Creek is a town located in the Northern Territory of Australia. It is the fifth largest town in the Northern Territory and it is located on the Stuart Highway, just south of the intersection with the western terminus of the Barkly Highway. At the 2011 census, Tennant Creek had a population of 3,062.
Tennant Creek is approximately 1000 kilometres south of the territory capital, Darwin, and 500 kilometres north of Alice Springs. The town is named after a nearby watercourse of the same name. At the 2001 census, Tennant Creek had a population of 3,185, of which 1,176 identified themselves as indigenous. Tennant Creek is near well-known attractions including the Devils Marbles, Mary Ann Dam, Battery Hill Mining Centre and the Nyinkka Nyunyu Culture Centre and is the hub of the sprawling Barkly Tableland, vast elevated plains of black soil with golden Mitchell grass, that cover more than 240,000 square kilometres.
The Barkly Tableland runs east from Tennant Creek towards the Queensland border and is among the most important cattle grazing areas in the Northern Territory. Roughly the same size as the United Kingdom or New Zealand, the region consists largely of open grass plains and some of the World’s largest cattle stations. It runs as far south as Barrow Creek, north above Elliott and west into the Tanami Desert.
The region encompasses the junction of two great highways, the Barkly and the Stuart, also known as the Overlander and Explorer’s Ways. The Overlander's Way (Barkly Highway) retraces the original route of early stockmen who drove their cattle from Queensland through the grazing lands in the Northern Territory.
Tourism is a growing industry emphasising its location, history, scenery and cultural attributes and provides tourists with an opportunity to experience the outback. The mineral collection at Battery Hill is a must see, although the stamp battery ceased working in 2005. The exhibition 'Freedom, Fortitude and Flies' in the social history museum at Battery Hill tells the story of mining in Tennant through the eyes of women and children. It was designed by award winning artist Alison Alder, a former Tennant Creek resident.
Aboriginal enterprise and organisations generate economic activity for Tennant Creek by providing a range of services to the urban and rural communities of the town. Nyinkka Nyunyu Arts and Cultural Centre opened in July 2003, offering visitors and the community an opportunity to learn about aboriginal life, history and the land in the region. The centre promotes Arts and Cultural activities for the whole Barkly Region.