Barrow Creek

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.

1.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.

3.wagon shed & blacksmith's hut

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.

4.front door

The telegraph office at the front of the building

5.telegraph office

has views over the barren landscape.

These small windows were apparently for safely firing guns at the marauding aborigines.

8.telegraph office

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

9.back view

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

14.blacksmith's hut15.blacksmith's hut

has a collection of blacksmithing tools

16.blacksmith's hut17.blacksmith's hut

and this magnificent tree is a constant companion.


The wagon shed was constructed in 1875

19.wagon shed

with an open central section

20.wagon shed21.wagon shed

and enclosed room at each end.

22.wagon shed23.wagon shed24.wagon shed

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.

4 thoughts on “Barrow Creek

  1. It’s certainly a lonely spot, but saw a lot of action and media attention when Peter Falconio disappeared nearby quite a few years ago. Love the white trunked gums in the area.


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