The vast Barkly Tablelands stretch east of Tennant Creek into Queensland and, at more than 280,000 square kilometres, cover about 20 per cent of the Territory’s land mass.
The Barkly is known for its golden grasslands and wide blue skies that give it that distinctive sense of the space and freedom of the outback. Vast cattle stations are located on the Tablelands, some as large as European countries, and this region is well known for the epic cattle drives of yesteryear that passed through en route to Queensland.
One of the biggest events on this region’s calendar is the Brunette Downs Races, a bush race meet held in June on a station 350 kilometres north east of Tennant Creek. Visitors fly in from all over Australia for the four-day bush race meet that has a distinct outback flavour.
The Barkly Homestead at the junction of the Barkly and Tablelands highways is the only service centre in the tablelands and provides a welcome respite on the long drive to or from Queensland.