Australian Overland Telegraph Line

Australian telecommunication circuit

The Australian Overland Telegraph Line was a 3200 km telegraph line that joined Darwin with Port Augusta in South Australia. Completed in 1872 the Overland Telegraph Line allowed fast communication between Australia and the rest of the world. It was one of the great engineering feats of 19th century Australia.[1] It followed the route discovered by the explorer John McDouall Stuart in 1862. It was probably the most important milestone in Australia's telegraphic history.[2]

The Adelaide-Darwin railway follows the route of the Telegraph Line, using the easternmost (yellow) path. The railway reached Alice Springs on 6 August 1929, and Darwin in 2003.
Tennant Creek repeater station

Because of the limits of technology, the telegraph messages could only travel about 300 km along the line.[3] Repeater stations were built at regular intervals so that the messages could be resent. Some of the stations became the start of cities such as Alice Springs or Tennant Creek, while others became forgotten ruins, such as the Peake Repeater Station built near Freeling Springs in South Australia.[3]


  1. W.A. Crowder’s diary: the Overland Telegraph Line National Library of Australia.
  2. Wendy Lewis, Simon Balderstone and John Bowan (2006). Events That Shaped Australia. New Holland. p. 66. ISBN 9781741104929.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Peake Overland Telegraph Repeater Station". Friends of Mound Springs Newsletter, 7 July 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 February 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2011.

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