Welcome to the
Alice Springs Telegraph Station
NOTE: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are currently only open for takeaway coffee, cakes and toasted sandwiches. Our revised opening hours are 8am-1pm, though we will be open 7 days a week. The historic precinct is closed until further notice. We hope to be able to return to normal service later this year.
Located within the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve, the Telegraph Station is the birthplace of the Alice Springs township. It is an excellent value and must see destination to add to your itinerary while visiting the Northern Territory.
Situated 4km north of the Town Centre, the Alice Springs Telegraph Station is easily accessible for a visit. You can visit the Alice Springs Telegraph Station by car along the Stuart Highway and Herbert Heritage Drive. Alternatively, the Riverside Path along the Todd River provides either a scenic short walk or cycle along the sealed path.
The Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve marks the original site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. It was stablished in 1871 to relay messages between Darwin and Adelaide along Australia’s Overland Telegraph Line. This not only connected Australia’s population centres with the north of the country, but it also connected Australia up with the undersea telegraph network of the British Empire. Prior to 1872, a message back to England would travel by boat and take 3 to 4 months each way. However, after the telegraph line was built, morse code messages travelling through Alice Springs could reach London in as little as 5 hours – slow by today’s standards, but revolutionary for people of the 19th century!
Time your visit with one of our daily guided tours (included in the price of your entry). From March til November our guided tours run at 9:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm, but in the hotter months (Dec – Feb) only the morning tours are available. Our guided tours will immerse you in the history of the Telegraph Station and the township, the lives of the early telegraphers and their families, as well as discussing the Stolen Generation history of the site in the Bungalow era of the 1930s.
NOTE: Because the Telegraph Station Historical Reserve is a national park, dogs or other pets (other than guide dogs) are not allowed on site. We apologise for any inconvenience.
The Trail Station Cafe
Not only the gateway to the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, the Trail Station Cafe also boasts friendly staff. They are ready to enhance your experience while visiting, and share their local knowledge! The Trail Station Cafe offers an outdoor seated area and a great selection of gifts, souvenirs and books (on a wide range of subjects, ranging from Stuart’s exploration of the NT to Stolen Generation stories). The Cafe also serves ice-creams, snacks, hot and cold drinks, NT roasted coffee and delicious homemade light lunches. Also be sure to try out the famous “secret recipe” vanilla slice!
There are also many options available within the surrounding national park. Picnic areas and facilities are well appointed with BBQs and Toilet amenities available. Check out the signposted walking tracks to explore the local area by foot. There is also an elaborate network of mountain bike trails for you to see the outback on 2 wheels. Bikes are available for hire from Outback Cycling in Alice’s Todd Street Mall.