Devil’s Marbles Conservation Reserve: is situated in the Northern Territory, about 390 kilometres north of Alice Springs. The nearest settlement is Wauchope, nine kilometres to the south.
Devil’s Marbles Conservation Reserve has an area of 1800 hectares (4000 acres) and extends along both sides of the Stuart Highway, the route through the Northern Territory.
The Devil’s Marbles are a collection of gigantic, rounded granite boulders. Some are scattered across a shallow valley whilst others are balanced on top of each other.
The “marbles” were formed from an original granite mass that had joint planes at right angles to each other. These joints broke away creating large rectangular blocks. Erosion and flaking away of thin slabs from their surface rounded the corners. This formed the present day egg-shaped or spherical “marbles”.
There is both a day use area and basic camping area with pit toilets and fireplaces. No water or firewood is provided. A camping fee applies. We camped there some years ago and found the camping area to be windswept, dusty and rocky (not surprising). From memory there is a more pleasant camping area down the highway at Wauchope.
There is an easy, short self-guided walk that starts from the day use area. The walk has signs that explain the formation of the “marbles”. There is also a network of informal walking tracks that allow visitors to wander around the site.
Devil’s Marbles Conservation Reserve is a photographer’s paradise with plenty of opportunities to capture dramatic images, especially at sunrise and sunset.
Vegetation is a trifle scarce but we do remember a blue-flowered Isotome growing at the base of one of the “marbles”. This was probably Isotoma petraea.
Access is possible all year round.