Pine Creek Things to Do

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    Alex Gory Park
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  • Main Terrace Road by Alex Gory Park in Pine Creek
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Best Rated Things to Do in Pine Creek

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    What to do in Pine Creek?

    by aussirose Written Jun 26, 2008

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    Well there's not really a lot to do in Pine Creek. But if you are travelling through then it's worth a stop for a feed, beer and check out the Railway Museum and Miners Park.

    Just look for this windmill and you've found the spot :o)

    Here, we are walking across the road for our first junk food meal in 9 days.....check out my restaurant tips. And across the road, you can fill up your car with gas.

    In the distance is the Railway Museum and Miners Park.....but we didn't walk there. After our big meal....we drove ;o)

    Pine Creek Northern Territory
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    Pine Creek Railway Museum

    by aussirose Written Jun 26, 2008

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    Ok...it's small, but quite interesting.

    If you enjoy a trip down memory lane (well I did with the old typewriter ;o) or perhaps if you are a little bit interested in Australian history....gold rush and early settlers etc, then this place is worth a squiz. It doesn't take up much of your time and even if you only read one or two signs like I did....you can get a feel for what it was like in the old early settler days in Australia.

    Pine Creek Railway Museum Northern Territory
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    Miners Park Pine Creek

    by aussirose Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Forever more remembered as the place we lost poor OH_DK...
    Anyway, Miners Park is across the road from the rRailway Museum.
    With a stack of signs to read and loads of ancient equipment to check out, Miners Park is an ideal place to have a wander around.

    It is interesting to note that Miners Park is where the Goldpanning Championships and Didjeridoo Festival are held in June every year.

    Miners Park Pine Creek Northern Territory
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    Pine Creek races

    by aussirose Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Well I'm not really into horse racing, but we passed the local Pine Creek racetrack and there was a race meet on at the same time as our big weekend coming up in Darwin.

    I thought....what a great idea! .....and pitty that we had already got plans, because if not, then I would have liked to have attended a day at the races in this little town whilst on holidays :o)

    Anyway, I have included it as a 'must see' because I do think it's an interesting thing to do whilst on holiday in the outback. ....Great chance to have a chat with the locals, few laughs at backing a donkey ;o) ....and in general an enjoyable day out :o)

    So now that you know this place exists....why not check out the link below to see if there's a race event happening when you visit next :o)

    Pine Creek races Northern Territory
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    Mine Lookout

    by skatzcatz Updated Dec 31, 2005

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    Only a short drive or slightly longer walk is the Mine Lookout offering nice views of the now filled with water mine and surrounding areas.

    The mine (Enterprise Pit) is now filled with water to a depth of 135 metres. The Pit commenced as the Enterprise Shaft in 1906 and was worked intermittently until 1985 when it was turned into an open cut mine. Between 1985 and 1995 764,000 ounces of gold was extracted.

    Near the lookout can be viewd old chinese mine shafts.

    Pine Creek MIne Lookout Pine Creek MIne Lookout Pine Creek MIne Lookout Pine Creek MIne Lookout Old Chinese Mine Shafts
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    Water Gardens

    by skatzcatz Updated Dec 31, 2005

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    On the main stret entering town, the Water Gardens are a nice place to take some pictures and sit and read a book. Ample shade and picnic tables provides a relaxing location for a respite from the top end heat. Also if the season is right an assortment of wildlife and birdlife may be seen.

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    Walk Through Time Walkway

    by AlbuqRay Updated Aug 28, 2012

    The Katherine Town Council web page tells us that the Walk Through Time Walkway heads south from the railway station and locomotive display. The footpath is made up of nine bays of tiles painted by local artists. The tiles form a timeline along the footpath, commemorating people who have made a contribution to Pine Creek, from the Aboriginal people to the miners and pastoralists of the 1960’s. More tile bays will be added in the future. When I was there on 26 Aug 2010, I saw the marker but did not realize that there was an associated footpath. The NT Nomads Blog for 20 Feb 2011 has some pictures of the tiles and mentions that unfortunately some of the Aboriginal stories had been vandalized.

    Walk Through Time Marker Walk Through Time Marker by Historical Locomotives
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    Pine Creek Railway Station Museum

    by AlbuqRay Updated Aug 30, 2012

    The original Pine Creek Railway Station (198 meters above sea level) opened on the North Australia Railway in 1889. The Railway served mainly the mining industry. The line was extended to Katherine in 1917 and eventually as far south as Birdum. Although during World War II the Railway carried troops and equipment from Larrimah to Darwin, mining is what made it profitable. In 1976, when the Francis Creek Mine closed, the Railway became uneconomical and shut down all its stations. The Pine Creek Railway Station is now a museum with historic photos, maps and memorabilia about the North Australia Railway. It still includes the original restrooms, parcel office and waiting room.

    Pine Creek Railway Station Museum Pine Creek Railway Station Museum Railway Station Museum & Historic Steam Engine
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    Historic Locomotive Display

    by AlbuqRay Updated Aug 31, 2012

    A large shed near the old Railway Station Museum houses an operational 1877 Beyer Peacock steam locomotive and carriage. It was restored as a “Centenary of Federation” project by the Pine Creek Community Government Council, and is believed to be the oldest restored locomotive in Australia. The locomotive was built in 1877 at Manchester, England. It was used on the Port Augusta and Eyre Peninsula Railways until it was purchased in 1915 at a cost of 1000 GBP, shipped to Darwin on the SS Tasman, and reclassified as North Australian Railways (NAR) Unit NF5. It operated between Darwin and Pine Creek from 1915 until it was decommissioned in 1945 and placed in the yard of the Darwin Infant School. The locomotive was acquired by NT Museums in 1977. It was taken to Pine Creek in 1983 for the film "We of the Never Never" and brought back again on a permanent loan in 1994. The title was transferred to the Pine Creek Council and restoration work started in November 2000. One year later at a cost of ~120,000 AUD, the restored locomotive carried passengers for the first time in 57 years at the official opening on 17 Nov 2001.

    An operational former Western Australian Government Railways TA class diesel-electric shunting engine and open carriage are also housed in the shed. They were given to Pine Creek by the Larrimah Progress Association.

    1877 Beyer Peacock Steam Locomotive 1877 Beyer Peacock Steam Locomotive and Carriage TA Class Diesel-Electric Shunting Engine TA Class Diesel-Electric Shunting Engine Historic Locomotive Information
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    Miners' Park

    by AlbuqRay Updated Sep 2, 2012

    Established in 1988 as part of the Australian Bicentennial activities, Miners' Park is located next to the present-day Pine Creek Railway Station Museum and the station master’s residence. It has many pieces of historical mining equipment with interpretive signboards, which describe the equipment and explain how it was used. The self-guiding interpretive signs and displays give a comprehensive view of the technology and life in the goldfields in the late 1800's and early 1900's. There are two kiosks which record the history of mining in the Pine Creek area and the South Alligator River Valley. There are also some spectacular looking Boab trees in the Park. The Pine Creek Goldrush Festival is held each year at Miners' Park and includes gold-panning championships. See also three travelogues.

    Miners Park Gold Mining Equipment & Boab Trees in Miners Park Boab Trees in Miners Park Gold Mining Equipment in Miners Park Back Side of Miners Park
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    Pine Creek Station Master's House

    by AlbuqRay Updated Aug 31, 2012

    The historical Station Master's House was built at the same time as the old railway station when the North Australia Railway (NAR) reached Pine Creek in 1888 and was officially opened on 30 September 1889. Both buildings were designed in South Australia and use easily transportable corrugated iron for the exterior walls. For some reason, the windows and doors are shut and it is not open for touring. I took a picture of the signboard, but it is very difficult to read. Some things that I can discern include: it has two brick-lined underground water tanks; it was was not just a residence for the station master; the building originally had three rooms (kitchen, bedroom and living(?) room; the windows were originally enclosed with woven bamboo and palm matting; the building remains largely unchanged except for its external appearance; and it has been used as a private residence, a youth-hostel, shop, and craft center.

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    Pine Creek Amenities

    by AlbuqRay Updated Aug 28, 2012

    It was about 15:45 and we wanted to get some takeaway for dinner. Zig (1+1) said that Mayse's was the best place in Pine Creek for a steak sandwich. Mayse's is located downtown between the Pine Creek Hotel-Motel and the post office, next to the tennis courts. However, they had closed at 15:00. The deli in the BP service station across the street had good steak sandwiches too (see a separate tip).

    Hotel, Mayses, Post Office and Tennis Courts Pine Creek Post Office and Tennis Courts Mayses Entrance Pine Creek Hotel-Motel Pine Creek Tennis Courts
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    Pine Creek BP Service Station & Deli

    by AlbuqRay Updated Sep 2, 2012

    The Pine Creek BP Service Station is across the street from Mayse's and the post office. When we could not get a steak sandwich takeaway for dinner at Mayse's (it was closed), we went to the deli in the service station. They make excellent steak sandwiches (10.50 AUD with the "works," i.e., salad, egg and bacon) too. A Solo lemon drink was 4.50 AUD. There is also a mini-market at the service station.

    Pine Creek BP Service Station Pine Creek BP Service Station Deli Counter Pine Creek BP Service Station Mini-Market Pine Creek BP Service Station Deli Menu #1 Pine Creek BP Service Station Deli Menu #2
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    Ah Toy's Store

    by AlbuqRay Updated Aug 29, 2012

    Ah Toy's Store was opened in 1935 by Jimmy and Lily Ah Toy. It is now run by their son, Eddie, who was selected as Territorian of the Year in 2005. This is an amazing family. Eddie's sister, Joyce Chin, although now retired, was a famous educator in Northern Territory. Zig (1+1) and I did not stop at the store at 35 Main Terrace in Pine Creek, but I took a couple of pictures as we passed by. Had I known all this history then, I would have stopped for sure. It reminds me of the historic neighborhood store, Manuel's, in Albuquerque, NM, where I live. BTW, Ah Toy's is where you check in if you stay at the Kakadu Gateway Caravan Park. The Pine Creek Diggers Rest Motel (32 Main Terrace) is nearby.

    Ah Toys Store Turn to Kakadu Gateway Caravan Park Sign at Ah Toys Store Pine Creek Diggers Rest Motel
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    History of Mining in Pine Creek Area

    by AlbuqRay Updated Sep 1, 2012

    A small kiosk in Miners' Park has signboards that explain the history of mining in the Pine Creek area. Pine Creek began as a small camp set up by an overland telegraph wiring party in August 1871. One of the party, S. W. Herbert, reported that workers found gold in post holes and Acting Goldfields Warden, George McLachlan, reported gold in the creek itself. Gold was discovered at nearby reefs in 1872. The first major reef was the Priscilla, and the Union, Howley and others followed. A rush began and diggers arrived by the hundreds, but most were unprepared and conditions were harsh. Food was short and expensive, lodging was virtually non-existent, and diseases such as malaria and dysentery were rife.

    The major finds were reef gold which required heavy machinery and individual miners had little luck. European labor was generally hard to employ, unproductive and costly. Reef mining operations were also inefficient and by May 1874 operations had virtually ceased. The companies decided to use Chinese workers, and Bloomfield Douglas was contracted to acquire 200 Chinese from Singapore. On 5 Aug 1874, 186 Chinese "coolies," a word derived from the Chinese K'u li meaning "bitter strength," arrived at Port Darwin and were sent to the goldfields. The impact of the Chinese was dramatic. They were hard working and enterprising. Some grew extensive gardens and sold the goods. Others introduced new methods of mining that resulted in increased returns.

    The gold mining boom collapsed in 1874, because of exaggerated claims, high labor costs, a decline in gold, and a shortage of water. The railway came in 1889 and ensured Pine Creek's survival. However, the production of gold declined steadily from the late 1890's until tin and wolfram replaced it in 1907. By 1917 only a dozen miners remained.

    Uranium was discovered in 1953 at Coronation Hill, and El Sherana began in 1956 with treatment plants being constructed at the South Alligator River and Moline. Eleven uranium mines operated in the area before mining ended in 1964. Further finds east of Pine Creek in the Alligator Rivers area saw mining at Narbarlek and Ranger during the late 1970's.

    The 1960's and 1970's brought new hopes for Pine Creek. Iron ore, silver, lead and zinc were discovered and again the town became a service center for the miners. However, by 1973 the companies had ceased operations. Iron ore mining at Frances Creek only lasted seven years and closed in 1975. The town of Pine Creek declined until an increase in gold prices in the 1980's saw several companies increase exploration, start an open cut mine, and rework old mines with new technology.

    Pine Creek Area History of Mining Kiosk The Beginnings The People The Industry Rebirth of the Mining Industry
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Pine Creek Things to Do

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