Barrow Creek is in the middle of nowhere. 1818km north of Adelaide, 1210km south of Darwin, there is a roadhouse/hotel and a telegraph station.
In 1860, John McDouall Stuart, on the return journey of his first attempt to cross Australia from south to north, named Barrow Creek after John Henry Barrow, the treasurer of South Australia. Dating back to 1871, the historic Overland Telegraph Station was one of 15 morse repeater stations across Australia and linking to Europe.
We spent some time wandering around the site that has been remarkably maintained.
The original roof was destroyed during a gale in 1941 and was subsequently replaced with a lower pitched roof on a steel frame but the original stonework remains.
The telegraph office at the front of the building
has views over the barren landscape.
These small windows were apparently for safely firing guns at the marauding aborigines.
In 1874, two telegraph station workers were killed by Aborigines and their graves are marked by a tombstone surrounded by a wall.
There is a central courtyard at the back of the building
housing an underground cistern which collected rainwater from the roof.
Some of the windows reflect the need for protection from outside elements.
The blacksmith’s hut
has a collection of blacksmithing tools
and this magnificent tree is a constant companion.
The wagon shed was constructed in 1875
with an open central section
and enclosed room at each end.
In 1980, a microwave telecommunications link made Barrow Creek Telegraph Station redundant.
Tom Roberts, the last linesman to live at the Station, came for a week in 1952 and stayed as caretaker until 1986.