Devils Marbles

The Devil's Marbles are located 105 km south of Tennant Creek and 393 km north of Alice Springs on the eastern side of the Stuart Highway. The closest facilities to the reserve are Wauchope some 9 km to the south or Wycliffe Well, the Northern Territory's UFO capital, 25km south of the reserve.

The Devils Marbles is a stunning place with a rich history, both geologically and anthropologically. The area got its name from being referred to as "Devils Country." This was due to a plant that was killing a large number of livestock that traveled through the area. The plant is commonly known as the Wallflower Bush.

The local Aboriginal People refer to it as Karlwekarlwe or Karlu Karlu which when literally translated means round rocks. However, for the Warumungu, Kaytetye, Alyawarra and Warlpiri people it is a rich dreamtime place where special events happened and are passed down by way of stories.

The first recording of the Devil's Marbles was in 1872 during the construction of the Overland Telegraph Line. It was then that John Lewis wrote about "extraordinary shaped stones in the Davenport Range..."

The timeline for the Marbles started some 1700 million years ago when the Granite as molten magma squeezed through the sandstone layers beneath the earths crust, cooled and solidified. It was during the cooling process that shrinkage occurred and coupled with the earth's pressures right angled patterns of cracks were formed known as joints.

As the earth weathered the granite came closer to the surface and ground water started to get into the cracks which then reacted with some of the minerals in the granite and clays began to form. After this initial weathering the wind and surface effects began to erode away the clays in the cracks and the square corners became rounded. Overtime this rounding of the corners joined up and the spherical shapes seen today took shape.

Camping is permitted at the Devil's Marbles in the camping ground at the rear of the formation and fires are permitted in the fire pits provided but wood needs to be collected outside the reserve. Dogs are permitted in the area but they must be on a lead and are not allowed to enter any buildings or water in the area.