Owen Springs - Places to Visit - The West Macs

Owen Springs is the country of the first European influence in Central Australia. Owen Springs was named by the first white explorer John McDouall Stuart as he made his way through the MacDonnell Ranges and it was Stuart that first recommended the country for cattle. The Owen Springs Reserve was formerly the Owen Springs cattle station - location of the first station homestead built in Central Australia and site of some major battles against drought and the development of the cattle industry. You can follow the fascinating 4WD track through the Reserve and you'll be following in the footsteps of the first European explorers to penetrate this region.

Owen Springs

The Owen Springs Reserve was formerly the Owen Springs cattle station - location of one of the first station homesteads built in Central Australia. The area protected within the Reserve is rich with Northern Territory history. Follow the main access track through the Reserve and you are in the footsteps of the first European explorers to penetrate this region and open it up for white settlement. Mounting an expedition in 1860, John Stuart and his companions William Kekwick and Benjamin Head were making their way northwards along the Hugh River when they discovered a large waterhole that Stuart named Owen Springs. Connecting a route via reliable water sources was vital to the ambition of establishing a north-south route and one of the immediate results of Stuart's explorations was construction of the Overland Telegraph Line. But even before this was completed, the cattlemen were moving in. When the first arrival, William Gilbert, founded the Owen Springs station he set in motion the settlement process.


Key features:

  • The chance to get off the sealed roads and slow down and experience the countryside
  • Abundant wildlife 
  • Early European heritage
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