Karlu Karlu-Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve
Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve is one of the most iconic outback destinations in the Northern Territory, where massive red and orange boulders sit atop each other in a broad, desert playground. The original granite blocks from which the marbles were shaped had three main sets of join planes at right angles to one another that broke into large slabs. Over millions of years, flaking and erosion along the joints gradually rounded the corners so many of the boulders are now spherical or egg-shaped. Animals, birds and plants of the arid zone are found in the area and the shadows and nooks of the boulders provide a cool refuge in summer months. Attached to the underside of overhanging rock there are clusters of bottle-shaped mud nests, home to fairy martins, and small dragons and lizards live in the crevices. Local Aboriginal women often visit the reserve to gather wild figs.
The best time to experience the park is at sunset and sunrise when the rocks and boulders are bathed in magnificent orange light. A short self-guided walk (15 minutes return, easy) leaves from the carpark, with signs giving geological information. A network of informal tracks meanders through the rock formations and people often climb some of the more accessible boulders for an excellent view of the surrounding desert.
A simple bush camping area with fireplaces and pit toilets is located at the southern end of the reserve. No water or firewood is provided and visitors are expected to bring their own.
Campsites with basic facilities
390 km north of Alice Springs; 100 km south of Tennant Creek; via Stuart Hwy
- PWCNT Alice Springs (08) 8951 8250
- PWCNT Tennant Creek (08) 8962 4599
Tennant Creek 1800 500 879