The town was established in 1934, after one of Australia's last gold rushes and is also known as the Territory’s heart of gold; a reference to the friendliness of its people and the area’s gold mining history.
Tennant Creek is a major regional centre located on the Stuart Highway 505kms north of Alice Springs, the traditional owners are the Warumungu. East of the town is the Barkly Tablelands - a huge expanse of land that supports some of Australia’s premier outback cattle stations.
According to Warumungu legend, the town grew up around the home of a spiky tailed goanna called Nyinkka – a powerful ancestral being. Tennant Creek takes its name from the nearby watercourse, named in 1860 by explorer, John McDouall Stuart, in acknowledgement of the financial help he received for his expedition from John Tennant, a South Australian pastoralist. In 1872 a telegraph repeater station on the Overland Telegraph was erected near the Tennant Creek watercourse.
The Tennant Creek General Practice is a Health Facility of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), and they provide primary health care services.
The Tennant Creek General Practice operates Monday to Friday and consultations are by appointment. There is also a Rural Woman’s General Practitioner who visits for two days each month.
Tennant Creek Hospital is a 20-bed facility located in the town on Schmidt Street. There is an Accident and Emergency Department, Outpatient Department and Patient Travel facility. Aero Medical Services provides coordination for medical aviation transport including inter-hospital transfers, evacuations, and retrievals. St John Ambulance also provides local area transport for patients.