"Pine Creek Northern Territory" Pine Creek by AlbuqRay

Pine Creek Travel Guide: 30 reviews and 147 photos

Historical Mining and Railway Center

The Sydney Morning Herald (8 Feb 2004) and the Pine Creek Railway Resort each have good writeups on the area. The latter tells us that:

"Pine Creek is situated at the junction of the Stuart and Kakadu Highways and is the ideal base to access everything the Top End has to offer.

An easy 2 hour drive south of Darwin and only 1 hour north of Katherine, Pine Creek is the gold mining capital of the Northern Territory. Pine Creek is the only town remaining from the gold rush days of the 1870’s.

Pre European settlement the Pine Creek area was home to the Wagaman, Asgicondi, Arigoola and Jawoyn peoples. Aborigines used the local rock as a source of tools. Surveys have indicated that the largest known complex of Aboriginal quarries in the Northern Territory was established in the region. There are also a number of recorded Aboriginal sacred sites within the area.

Pine Creek is one of the Northern Territory’s oldest towns. It is tough resilient community that has faced a cyclical history of boom and bust. Over the past century, Pine Creek has been a significant player in the economic life of the Top End, with housing and community service infrastructure in the town expanding in step with mining activity.

Pine Creek owes its existence to the Pine Creek Geosyncline, a giant intrusion of mineral rich ore seams. It extends northwest from Pine Creek to just south of Adelaide River. This rich ore body has been slowly eroding over the aeons, depositing traces of alluvial minerals throughout the region, in creeks, rivers and flood plains. It was the discovery of alluvial gold in these deposits by construction workers of the Overland Telegraph Line in 1870 that led to the development of Pine Creek.

Pine Creek’s location at the intersection of the Kakadu and Stuart Highways makes tourism a key component of the local economy. Visitors are drawn by Kakadu National Park, Umbrawarra Gorge, historic railway and mining exhibits, heritage listed buildings, a rich cultural history, the area’s unique natural landscapes, flora and fauna and man-made lakes, accommodation and food supplies."

Historic Railway Precinct

The Pine Creek Historic Railway Precinct is the most complete remaining example of infrastructure associated with the old North Australia Railway (NAR). The Pine Creek Railway Station (198 meters above sea level) was on the NAR line and opened in 1889. The Station is located 235 km from the original Darwin station, and was the southern terminus of the line until 1914. A museum with photos, maps and memorabilia is now located in the Station. A nearby shed houses an operational 1877 Beyer Peacock steam locomotive. An operational TA class diesel-electric shunting engine is also housed in the shed. A number of the original railway buildings were removed following the closure of the line in 1976; however, the Precinct still has the goods shed, loading bank, weighbridge, crane, water tank, and the station master's house. See also separate Things to Do tips.

Miners' Park

Miners' Park is located northwest of the Historic Railway Precinct, next to the Railway Station and the old station master’s house. It has many pieces of historical mining equipment with interpretive signboards, which describe the equipment and explain how it was used. There are also two kiosks which record the history of mining in the Pine Creek area and the South Alligator River Valley. See several tips and travelogues here for more details. Australia Day festivities and local goldpanning championships are held each year at Miners' Park.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Interesting park area about railways and mining
  • Cons:Museum and old locomotive shelter were not open
  • In a nutshell:Quiet place to learn about historic NT railways and mining
  • Last visit to Pine Creek: Aug 2010
  • Intro Updated Sep 7, 2012
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AlbuqRay

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