Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve
The Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve marks the original site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. Established in 1872 to relay messages between Darwin and Adelaide, it is the best preserved of the twelve stations along the Overland Telegraph Line. The site was first recorded by surveyor William Mills in 1871, while in search of a suitable route for the Overland Telegraph Line through the MacDonnell Ranges. Construction of the Telegraph Station began in November 1871.
The township of Alice Springs obtained its name from the waterhole a short distance to the east of the station buildings.
The Telegraph Station operated for 60 years, until 1832 after which time the buildings served as a school for Aboriginal children. During WWII parts of the station were used by the Army.
The Station was protected as a Historical Reserve in 1963, and a number of stone buildings have now been restored. These buildings, house furnishings and artifacts from early this century, are preserved as an historic interpretive display. Set against the MacDonnell Ranges, the Reserve also offers opportunities for waking, picnicking and wildlife observation.
By vehicle, the Reserve is situated 4 km north of Alice Springs along the Stuart Highway. Alternatively, there is a walking or cycling track into the Reserve from the Stuart Highway via Schwartz Crescent, and along the west bank of the Todd River (Riverside Walk).
A fee (which includes a colour brochure and guided tour) is payable for access to the historical precinct. Access to the remainder of the Reserve is free.
When To Visit
The Reserve is accessible all year round. The cooler months (April to October) are the most pleasant. The Reserve is open between 8am and 7pm May-Sep inclusive, and between 8am and 9pm Oct-Apr inclusive.
What To Do
Protect Your Park And Heritage
Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory