We left Alice Springs on the first leg of our journey to Darwin toward our first stop, the Devil’s Marbles, traditionally known as Karlu Karlu.
Not far into our drive we saw a few handcrafted signs on the side of the road for ‘Red Centre Farm!’ ‘Mango Ice-cream -Yum!’. Enough incentive for me to stop! A tiny little shed amongst the red red dust, and hot hot sun, with the best mango ice-cream I’ve ever had!
We had to stop at Wycliffe Well along the way. Not only to refuel but also to see Australia’s self proclaimed “UFO Capital”. I’m not so sure that is accurate, but they have put in a lot of effort! Fuel prices also kept going up…
Lunch was had outside of the Wauchope Pub, which I only entered to buy a beer. From there, Devil’s Marbles is only 8kms away.
The English name of Devil’s Marbles is said to come from John Ross of the Australian Overland Telegraph Line expedition, “This is the Devil’s country; he’s even emptied his bag of marbles around the place!”. These incredible rock formations are a sacred spiritual and cultural site to the Aboriginals.
Below is the Dreaming Story for how Karlu Karlu was made:
Arrange, the Devil Man, came from Ayleparrarntenhe and travelled through the area. During his journey, he was making a hair belt (as worn by initiated men). Twirling the hair into strings, Arrange dropped clusters of hair on the ground.
These turned into the Karlu Karlu boulders that can be seen today. On his way back, Arrange spat on the ground. His spit also turned into the granite boulders which dot the central part of the reserve. Arrange finally returned to his place of origin, Ayleparrarntenhe.
Despite being one of the most visited sites in the Northern Territory, we were the only ones in the area when we arrived, my favourite way to visit tourist sites! Even more so out in the outback
Our intended camp site for the night was Banka Banka Station, however, as we were making good time, we kept driving and ended put at Renner Springs, a basic campground and motel accommodation, with pub attached and a family of peacocks.