The Devil’s Marbles

Did the devil play with them – or is this where he lost his marbles? Here’s how this incredible rock formation apparently got its western name!

The road in to Devils Marbles

The photo above doesn’t give a true indication of the size of these gigantic boulders – some reaching 6 metres in diameter! They are the result of millions of years of erosion that wore away the sandstone to reveal these large granite outcrops. Here’s how it works

Sunrise colours
Evening colours

Like many Australian landscape features Anglicised names are being replaced with indigenous names and The Devils Marbles is also known as Karlu Karlu. Many of the traditional stories about the origin of Karlu Karlu can’t be shared by the indigenous elders but the following one can.

Karlu Karlu is managed jointly by the Northern Territory government and local indigenous land councils. To camp there you book through National Parks and it is $4 per person per night. The booking system is atrocious, there is no caretaker on site and people just drive in at all hours of the day and night and camp wherever they like, squeezing into any available space. I’d love to see it manned by a local indigenous person who could not only monitor the camping but offer information about Karlu Karlu and the local area and really make it a fabulous experience for all visitors.

Meanwhile it is a spectacular sight and a destination not to be missed as you travel along the Stuart Highway between Darwin and Adelaide.

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