Site Details
Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historic Reserve
The Reserve is an area of low rugged terrain dominated by small rocky hills up to 40 metres high and is traversed by the Todd River. The Southern parts of the reserve provide a scenic backdrop to nearby urban areas of Alice Springs. The Alice Springs Granite dominates the surface geology of the reserve. It contains numerous Quartz and Pegmatite veins. Sadadeen and Gniess is the other major rock type. Recent Quaternary alluvium overlies these rocks along the Todd River and adjacent terraces. Within the Reserve there are several small stands of the vulnerable MacDonnell Ranges Cycad ' Macrozamia macdonnellii' , occur in the rocky hills of the reserve's south. The reserve also contains a population of the small shrub Plumbago zeylancia , which is found across the northern half of the Northern Territory, but is considered rare in Central Australia. A relatively diverse and abundant native animal population also occupies the Reserve with some of the larger mammals such as Euros, Black-footed Rock-wallabies and Dingo's being commonly sighted. Over 125 species of Birds and 40 species of Reptiles have been documented. Three of the reptiles found on the reserve, The Quartz Gecko ' Diplodactylus galeatus' , The Eastern Brown Snake ' Pseudonaja textile's and the Four-fingered Skink ' Carlia triacantha' , are little known and considered uncommon. Seven of the Station's early main buildings remain today. These are the Barracks, Station Master's Residence, Kitchen, Post and Telegraph Office, Battery room, Blacksmith's and Buggy shed. All are built of local stone. They have been restored and reconstructed to approximate their appearance during the Telegraph Station era, as represented by the decade 1895 - 1905. Some ancillary structures from this era, such as stockyards have been rebuilt. The Reserve also includes the cemetery which contains five early graves, an old timber lined well, the original `Alice Springs' waterhole and several historic trees.
The significance of the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve is derived from its cultural and natural heritage. The Reserve is valued by the community for its historic and social associations with the construction of the Overland Telegraph Line, the subsequent roles it played in the exploration and settlement of Central Australia, and later as the institution known as the `Bungalow', that provided education for Aboriginal children of mixed descent. The Reserve is also important to Arrernte people, not only because of the latter role played by the Telegraph Station buildings, but also because of the important ongoing spiritual associations they have with the area, through the presence of a number of sacred sites recorded across the Reserve. The Reserve also derives significance from its associations with F.J. Gillen who, in collaboration with Baldwin Spencer, made important contributions to the discipline of anthropology. The natural beauty of the Reserve is appreciated and enjoyed by local residents and visitors alike.
s24 notification process instigated
Alice Springs Municipality
Further Reading Clune, F. (1955). Overland Telegraph: an epic feat of endurance and courage. Angus & Robertson Publishers: Sydney. Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory. n.d. Telegraph Stations of Central Australia NT Government Printer: Darwin. Fortowski, Dennis. Henderson, John (1988). . ` The Geological Heritage of the Northern Territory'. Geological Society of Australia. Mills, E.W (1993). ` William Whitefield Mills' , Lutheran Publishing House Mulvaney, D.J (1989). `Encounters in Place', University of Queensland Press. Muriff, J.J (1897). . `From Ocean to Ocean, across a continent on a bicycle', George Robertson and Co. Taylor, Peter (1980). `An End to Silence', Methuen of Australia
NameDescriptionDate Added
ViewASTS 2 web photo.jpgAlice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve08/OCT/07
ViewASTelegraphStn_LR1.jpgTelegraph Room10/JUN/16
ViewASTelegraphStn_LR2.jpgLooking south-east across the buildings10/JUN/16
ViewASTelegraphStn_LR5.jpgLooking north-west10/JUN/16
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NameDescriptionDate Added
ViewInstrument.pdf - 11/FEB/09
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Further Information
NameDescriptionDate Added
ViewP&W Alice Springs telegraph station.pdfFactsheet16/DEC/11
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Approximate Location
LAIS KeyStreet NumberStreet NameSuburbLocation CodeLot NumberLTO PlanPartTenure
000 01927 19155STUARTIRLPME0001927 - - Crown Lease Perpetual
010 00941 87HERBERT HERITAGESTUART010941 - - Reserve
010 00943 0 STUART010943 - - Reserve
010 01686 83HERBERT HERITAGESTUART0101686 - - Reserve
010 02314 75HERBERT HERITAGESTUART0102314 - - Reserve
010 05774 0 STUART0105774 - - Crown Lease Perpetual
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Status Explanations

Nomination Period - a nomination has been accepted by Heritage Branch, but has not yet been accepted by the Heritage Council; OR a nomination has been accepted by the Heritage Council but the place/object has not yet been subject to a heritage assessment.

Assessment Period - a nomination has been accepted by the Heritage Council and the place/object is in the process of being assessed.

Consultation Period - Heritage assessment has been completed and s24 of the Act has been instigated, ie comment has been sought on a proposal to declare the place/object.

Recommendation Period - the Heritage Council has made a recommendation to declare the place/object and the Minister's final decision is awaited.

Not Recommended - a decision has been made by the Heritage Council not to recommend to the Minister that a place/object be declared

Declared - the Minister has made a decision to declare the place/object

Refused - the Minister has refused to declare the place/object