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Newcastle Waters, Northern Territory

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Newcastle Waters township is located 282 kilometres north of Tennant Creek just off the Explorers Way. It is part of the vast, historic Newcastle Waters Station in the Barkly Tablelands. The explorer John McDouall Stuart reached the area in 1861 and was excited to find a large body of water in Lake Woods nearby and named it after the Duke of Newcastle, the then Secretary for the Colonies. Stuart established a base camp near the present site of the station. With the development of the pastoral industry, a small township sprang up and thrived as a supply point at the junction of major droving routes. The introduction of the road train in the 1960s however rendered droving obsolete and Newcastle Waters quickly became a ghost town and is no longer inhabited. The National Trust has preserved several buildings and created the Drovers Memorial Park (its centrepiece being a life sized bronze statue of a drover). It is a worthwhile stop for those travelling the Explorers Way as an insight into a way of life long past. Elliot is 25km away and has a roadhouse, post office, police station and medical clinic.

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