Devils Marbles (Karlu Karlu)
Travellers wishing to take in a truly unique natural sight should make a detour to the Devils Marbles, Northern Territory. The incredible granite boulders and rock formations strewn alongside the territory’s Stuart Highway are perched at incredible angles and seemingly defy the laws of gravity.
The rocks are called Karlu Karlu by Aborigines and the whole valley in which they are located has been sacred since ancient times. The significance of the valley to Aborigines was commemorated with a formal return to traditional ownership in 2008. It is easy to see why the valley was so important as the red-tinged formations set against skies that are perennially blue is a magical sight.
The Stuart Highway is a trans-Australia route that runs for almost 3,000kms from Darwin down to Port Augusta in the state of South Australia. The Devils Marbles are in the Northern Territory and close to the tiny township of Wauchope. From Tennant Creek it is 100kms south to Karlu Karlu. Alice Springs is another 400kms farther.
The campsite at Devils Marbles, Northern Territory makes a lovely overnight stop for tourists on overland trips. Camping allows people to enjoy sunrises and sunsets over the land that time forgot in relative solitude. The campsite is basic with just toilets and fire-pits. Travellers can buy groceries, fuel and other necessities in Wauchope. Park rangers collect fees from campers for the use of the camp site at the Devils Marbles.
There is a separate parking area which is close to the start point for a short hiking trail. Posters on this path explain the history of Karlu Karlu and how it was formed. There are also lots of other tracks through the valley for those spending time here to fully get to grips with the satanic boulders. The area endures the territory’s arid climate and the only vegetation is found under boulders or in shaded nooks.