Torrens Creek, after which the town is named, rises in the Great Dividing range and runs southward to the Thomson River system to eventually run into Lake Eyre. William Landsborough discovered it in 1862 while searching for Burke and Wills. He named the creek after Sir Robert Torrens, Premier of South Australia.
The Great North Railway reached Torrens Creek in 1885 and from then on it became the supply centre for a large district. Mailmen rode out to the north and south to various stations delivering mail along routes which are still used today. The district’s most famous mailman, Jack Blunt, who served from 1931 to 1954 is honoured with a cairn and plaque erected by Torrens Creek residents.
Torrens Creek had its place in history associated with the Coral Sea battle. In 1942 this little town was nearly blown apart when a huge allied ammunition dump exploded. Torrens Creek was in a vital position for a supply dump when the threat of Japanese invasion was apparent. Australian and American troops were in charge and carried out regular controlled burns to create firebreaks. One summer day in 1942 a fire that was not properly extinguished caused a terrific explosion, which hurled men from their trucks. There were 12 major explosions in succession, sufficient to leave craters 20 feet deep.
South of Torrens Creek is Moorrinya National Park. This park offers a dramatic impression of the harsh beauty and open expanse of the Desert Uplands. White Mountains National Park offers short walking tracks for those who wish to explore this magic spot a little further. A lookout on the Overlander’s Way gives an indication of the amazing colours and textures of the rock and the large variety of vegetation and wildlife of these surrounds.