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Tennant Creek ~ 20 hours between Greyhound buses

France
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Tennant Creek ~ 20 hours between Greyhound buses

Looking to travel from Alice to Cairns by Greyhound, think it could be an unusual journey for Europeans.

Had a look around and can't find a lot about what we can do for 20 hours in Tennant Creek, or even if there is a regular bus station where we could sit for a portion of our time there.

Is there anyone who has made this journey with the same long layover, or maybe who knows Tennant Creek reasonably well?

Thanks

7 replies to this topic
Darwin, Australia
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1. Re: Tennant Creek ~ 20 hours between Greyhound buses

To be brutally honest there is not a great deal to do in Tennant Creek and it is not what many would refer to as an attractive town (sorry to anyone from Tennant reading this and I caveat this with the information that I have not been there for several years). However this link will give you some of the attractions. http://www.barklytourism.com.au/

The main attraction in town, Battery Hill Mine, is not walking distance. I'm not sure if there is public transport available.

I'm not sure what the bus station there is like, but at a guess it would be pretty basic. Personally I would not choose to spend 20 hours in even the best bus station. You would be better off booking a room or campsite at the local caravan park and relaxing by the pool.

While I agree that this would be an unusual journey for Europeans, I think the novelty of travelling this distance by bus would wear off after the first couple of hours. With a 20 hour stopover in Tennant, the journey must take 3-4 days. I would give serious consideration as to whether this is the best use of your time in Australia (unless you happen to be here for several months or more).

Cheers

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: Tennant Creek ~ 20 hours between Greyhound buses

You will probably meet up with visiting backpackers, as this is the usual backpacker route on Greyhound.

Darwin, Australia
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3. Re: Tennant Creek ~ 20 hours between Greyhound buses

Greyhound have cut back on their services, I was not aware of the changes but for years the three buses - Darwin Alice Springs and Mt Isa would all meet up in Tennant Creek between 1 to 3 am and exchange passengers. There was a six hour wait in Mt Isa for the Brisbane bus, don't know how long for the Townsville one. They must have hired a genius to do the new timetable to have the Mt Isa bus leave at 10pm when the Darwin Alice Springs buses arrive at around 1am.

The Transit Centre is just a large shed, must agree with Shaz on Tennant Creek, has to go there yearly on work years ago. See the local information Centre as to what tours there may be running, There is a swimming pool there or you can go to the Mary Ann Dam 5 kms out on a walking or cycling path. There is a Youth Hostel in Windley Street and they do pick up from the bus depot.

France
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4. Re: Tennant Creek ~ 20 hours between Greyhound buses

Thanks to you all, that gives us a few pointers.

It occurred to me to book into a hotel but a 2am arrival not sure that booking desks would still be open? I guess we would have to leave the room by around noon too, which still leaves 10 hours before the Townsville bus leaves and will have bags to schlep around, therefore the question as to whether there was a full sized bus station.

A few years ago did spend 7 straight days on Greyhounds in the US, that was as hard as any travelling I've ever done but oh so interesting. A little older now and this time my wife is travelling too so a little more concerned about what are our options in what will be a hot outback town next December.

The journey from Alice to Townsville is 48 hours, so not too terrible and I'm sure would be interesting if just for the people you meet on a long distance bus.

Thanks again, really appreciated

Darwin, Australia
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5. Re: Tennant Creek ~ 20 hours between Greyhound buses

It could be worth emailing greyhound or the local tourist information centre to ask what the bus terminal at Tennant is really like.

If you do still want to investigate a room keep in mind most places will store your bags for the day so you don't have to schlep them around, and many will also let you use facilities like a pool (if they have one - not much choice in the way of accommodation). It will likely be very hot in Dec.

I doubt you would find a 24 hour reception there, but many places will have a plan in place for late check in (such as leaving the key somewhere you can get it).

It would be worth emailing anywhere that takes your fancy to check these two things if you wanted to go that way.

France
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6. Re: Tennant Creek ~ 20 hours between Greyhound buses

Thanks Shaz, I'll do just that.

We are hatching a plan B if we can't find a satisfactory solution for us. The idea is to drive from Adelaide to Cairns including a stop at Tennant Creek as it sounds pretty unique. The big drawback is the lost opportunity to meet fellow travellers, first on the Ghan to Alice and then with Greyhound from Alice to Townsville/Cairns.

Thanks again for your help

Sydney
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7. Re: Tennant Creek ~ 20 hours between Greyhound buses

The distance between Adelaide and Cairns is 4,000 km. Yes, part of the drive would be an interesting, but after a while, it would become quite boring. I have done it and would not recommend it to anyone.

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