In the creation story of the Dreaming, the Rainbow Serpent fashioned the earth and then returned to a spot east of the Kimberleys at a place where the rainbow meets the earth. The Rainbow Serpent's eggs fossilised and became what non-Aborigines now call the Devils Marbles. The Aborigines know them as Karlukarlu.
Because of this, the Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve is a spiritually significant and sacred site to the Aborigines.
What comprise the Devils Marbles?
The Devils Marbles are a collection of huge, round, red-colored boulders found in the Tennant Creek region of Australia's Northern Territory.
- Why Devils Marbles? Why not Devil's Marbles? Australian geographical naming convention decrees the omission of the apostrophe in official place names such as Princes Highway, Mrs Macquaries Point, Kings Park, Devils Marbles.
The Devils Marbles are described as granite rocks of volcanic origin eroded over time into the form and formation they are today.
Individual boulders have diameters of up to 7 metres.
Where is the Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve?
The Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve lies on each side of the Stuart Highway near the town of Wauchope in the Northern Territory (not to be confused with identically-named Wauchope in New South Wales), about 114 kilometres south of Tennant Creek, 1092 kilometres south of Darwin and 390 kilometres north of Alice Springs.
How large is the Devils Marbles Reserve?
The Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve comprises 1828 hectares on either side of the Stuart Highway about 10 kilometres north of the Wauchope settlement.
What facilities are available in the Devils Marbles Reserve?
Camping facilities, including toilets and barbecue areas, are available.
How do you get to the Devils Marbles?
If driving, go north on Stuart Highway from Alice Springs or south from Darwin. It's a long, long way from Darwin and best visited as part of a Northern Territory tour which includes Litchfield National Park, Katherine Gorge, then Alice Springs and, possibly, Uluru.
If going by air, fly to Alice Springs, then rent a car or join a tour.
Organised daytrips are available from Tennant Creek.
Tennant Creek would be your best bet, although Wauchope does have some quite limited accommodation.
How's the weather up there?
In the harsh desert landscape, temperatures can plunge to below 0°C at night and rise to more than 40°C during the day.