In the book Empire (a most entertaining historical account "How Britain made the Modern World"), the author (Niall Ferguson) outlines the extensive network of telegraph connections with which London kept in close communication with all of its Dominions. The 3,000 km long NS line between Adelaide and Darwin, established in 1875, was an important segment of this network. Several of the original telegraph posts have been preserved including the one just North of Tennant Creek (left) and at Barrow Creek (right) 250km farther South.
The Alice Springs telegraph station, completed in 1871, was the first white settlement in the region. When Shortly after, gem stones and gold were discovered in the area, prospectors would follow the telegraph line from Adelaide North, then set up camp at 1he Alice Springs telegraph station. When this became too crowded, a street network was layed out nearby which became the present Alice Springs township.