One of the 12 stops along the Australian Overland Telegraph Line, the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve is a great place for a picnic. The reserve has walking paths, swimming holes, a bicycle path, and shady spots to rest. There are also free electric barbecues. The Basics
Explore the buildings in the old telegraph station, many of which have been restored, to see how messages were sent across Australia in a time when the trip took weeks by horse. In the Post and Telegraph Room you can still post a letter and send a telegram to a friend. Tours through the Telegraph Station typically run 30 minutes or you can self-guide with a provided map.
In the cooler months (May–October) the wood-fired oven is lit, and damper (Outback bread) and scones are served. Signposted paths allow visitors to explore the area on foot or head into the surrounding national park via a network of mountain bike trails. Several colonies of rock wallabies share the reserve with other native wildlife and some pet camels.Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Time your visit with one of four daily guided tours (included with admission).
- Snacks, ice cream, beverages, and sandwiches—in addition to books and souvenirs—are available at the cafe.
- It’s wheelchair and stroller accessible; service animals are permitted.
- Bathroom and BBQ facilities are available.
The park is about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) north of central Alice Springs on Herbert Heritage Drive via the Stuart Highway. You can drive, catch a cab, or walk or cycle the Riverside Path from Wills Terrace and Undoolya Road.
When to Get There
The reserve is open daily from morning through late evening. The Historical Precinct is open during general business hours, as is the Telegraph Station and Trail Station Cafe. Tours run from March through November, with only morning tours offered in summer (December through February). Bridging the Distance
The Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve was established as a telegraph hub in 1871. It sent messages between Adelaide and Darwin via morse code and telegrams to Britain through an undersea network, which shortened the prior 3- to 4-month distance to London to just three to four hours.