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The Eggs of the mythical Rainbow Serpent

A place of ancient Aboriginal dreaming where legend believes the Devils Marbles are the eggs of the mythical Rainbow Serpent. The Devils Marbles are a must stop experience when driving through the Northern Territory in Australia.

The Rainbow Serpent controls life’s most precious resource in the central desert.  Water.  It’s no wonder the local Warumungu Aboriginal people believe ‘Karlu Karlu’ is a sacred place. 

An impressive landscape stretching as far as the eye can see in the midst of the Australian Outback, the Devils Marbles are one of Australia’s most famous natural wonders.

Where on earth are the Devils Marbles

Karlu Karlu Devils Marbles

This surreal collection of massive granite boulders are seemingly strewn across acres of sparse Northern Territory desert country.

The Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve is 1802 hectares in size and stretches from horizon to horizon.

One of the most impressive natural landscapes in Australia, the Devils Marbles are in the middle of absolutely nowhere.

The Devils Marbles are almost dead-centre of Australia.  Just 410 kilometres north of Alice Springs and 1090 kilometres south of Darwin.  Simply put, approximately 4 hours north of Alice Springs and 12 hours south of Darwin.  The Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory cuts through the Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve.

Stop.  Take a break and wander along the pathways and enjoy this unique landscape.

Read the story boards throughout the park.  Learn about the formation of Karlu Karlu and information about the Aboriginal legends and the mythology of this spiritual place.

The Science behind the Devils Marbles

Devils Marbles

Formed over millions of years these rocks continue to crack and move with time and mother nature.  Erosion has played a significant part in developing this landscape.

Over time, the blocks of granite have developed horizontal and vertical cracks.  Wind and rain over millions of years have eroded into the magnificent boulders that you see today.

Some of the Marbles are up to seven metres in diameter and many appear to be precariously balanced on top of each other.  Every marble is different.  The colours are rich and vibrant and change in intensity with the sunlight.

Walk through this field of ancient spherical boulders

Join a guided walk through these spherical boulders and learn about the ancient Aboriginal spiritual lands of the region.

It’s one of the most spectacular places in the Territory to experience sunset.

The rich golds and reds create a stunning selection of colours against the rich blue evening sky.

Walking through the Devils Marbles in the evening is a surreal experience and one of the ‘must do’ things to do!

It’s fun to watch the tourists photo-pose themselves attempting to push over or lift one the marbles … shhh, I have some of those photos too!

Nature and Wildlife

Frill neck lizard

The Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve offers a variety of habitats for unique desert flora and fauna.  Exposed sunny areas and darkened shady areas provide cool habitats for snakes, lizards, goannas and birds.

The Barkley Tablelands is where you will find vivid blue skies, striking scenery and abundant wildlife.  Expect to see native birdlife such as cockatoos, corollas, ibis and bush turkeys.

Keep your eyes open for wallabies, emus, kangaroos, dingos and marsupials living in this natural habitat  You may also be lucky enough to see goannas, lizards and predatory birds such as kites and eagles as they soar above.

Spectacular Photo Opportunities

Karlu Karlu - the Devils Marbles

A visit to the Devils Marbles early morning and late afternoon will reward you with a stunning range of red and gold colours.

Sunset or sunrise is the time of day when the landscape comes to life.

Take advantage of the golden hour and time your visit to arrive at sunrise or sunset for an amazing display of colour.  Stay nearby at the Devils Marbles Hotel or opt to camp overnight to enjoy the experience.

The Davenport Ranges National Park

The Davenport Ranges is a great way to experience the hidden beauty of the Tennant Creek region but is strictly 4×4 country.  A refuge for fauna with stunning waterholes and spectacular views as you head into the rocky outcrops.

Budding birdwatchers and serious ornithologists head to this national park to catch sight of the vast numbers of rare birds found in the area.

Spending the night sleeping
under the stars for one of
life’s greatest rewards!

Be prepared to pitch a tent or roll out a swag to enjoy this remote haven.  There are no ‘creature comforts’ in the Australian outback.

This country is an amazing ancient landscape!

5 Essential items to take with you into the Australian Outback

  1. A Good Camera: There will be plenty of great photo moments right around Australia so bring along a good camera.  I highly recommend the Sony A6000.  It’s light, compact and takes amazing photos!
  2. Good Walking Shoes:  The outdoor lifestyle of the Australian Outback means you will need good walking shoes.  Be comfortable, and treat yourself to a pair of these – Women’s or Men’s walkers.  Perfect to explore Outback Australia.
  3. An Australian Guidebook:  There is nothing like Lonely Planet Guidebooks so get yourself a copy of their Australia Travel Guide to give you the heads up on the best Aussie spots to visit.
  4. A Stainless Steel Water Bottle:  Stay hydrated in the harsh Australian sun.  Get yourself a Yeti stainless water bottle and refill as you go.  Australian tap water is drinkable … and free!
  5. Good Sun Hat and Fly Net:  Protect yourself against the elements in the Outback. Check out this packable Wallaroo Sun Hat designed in Australia for Aussie conditions.  Don’t forget to take a fly net to keep those pesky critters away from your face!

Where to Stay at the Devils Marbles

Devils Marbles Hotel

The great thing about the Devils Marbles is that you do have accommodation choices.

Stop in for one of their fabulous steak sandwiches!

Just 8 kilometres south of the Marbles you will find this quirky little outback hotel.  The Devils Marbles Hotel has a range of accommodation to suit most people’s needs.  It’s a friendly little place to drop in for a meal and stay the night.

Camp at the Devils Marbles

If you’re a camper, the camp site at the Devils Marbles is a great back-to-nature option – spectacular on a full moon.

Camping at the Devils Marbles is one of the great outback experiences.  The quietness of desert at night is calming and the night skies are full of stars.

If you’re staying overnight the campground offers basic camping facilities with picnic tables and barbecue pits.

Campground Rules

Important: 
The rocks, cultural items and wildlife within the Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve are protected.

  • Camping fees are via an honesty system.
  • Pets are permitted on a leash in the day parking area only.
  • Pets are not permitted in the campground.
  • Generators are not permitted.
  • Bring your own firewood.
  • Use only designated fire-pits.

Tennant Creek

Just 110 km to the north of the Devils Marbles, Tennant Creek is the 5th largest town in the Northern Territory and has a population of approximately 8,000 people.

Tennant Creek is the service hub for surrounding cattle stations, travellers passing through and the local township.   It’s an interesting little town founded in the early days of the Northern Territory gold rush.

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Devils Marbles

Every time I travel through the Devils Marbles, I can’t resist stopping to take another photo.  Just like every other tourist!

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The Devils Marbles – Have you been there yet?  Aren’t they stunning?  Did you stay for sunset or arrive at sunrise?  Care to share your experience below?