When we began planning our Red Centre getaway, we decided we could probably head as far north as Alice Springs, and then head back south slowly. However, when close friends highly recommended heading to the Devils Marbles we then had to rethink our plan – clearly this was a sight we did not want to miss! (Read more about our Red Centre Adventure here)
We pondered the decision. Was it going to be worth travelling an extra 4 hours north just for one night and one attraction?
After much deliberation we bit the bullet and decided to go the extra 400km past Alice Springs and stop for the night at Karlu Karlu. And guess what?! It ended up being a highlight from our adventure and the best 4-hour detour we made… Let me tell you about it!
To all those travellers who are planning on just stopping through on your way to another destination, we highly recommend you stay for the night. You will then get to experience the most incredible sunset and sunrise right there at the Marbles. This is definitely an experience not to be missed.
We had not booked a campsite, we knew there was a caravan park somewhere nearby and we were going to wing it. We are always thankful for bumping into fellow travellers on the road who share valuable information. In this case we met a family at the Marla fuel stop… knock knock on the car window “Hello, you don’t know me, but we have your Travel Journals and LOVE them…!” (Wow, what a great surprise, blow me down!) We started chatting and they were heading to the Devils Marbles too, they were meeting friends there and were planning on staying at the national park campground behind the Marbles! WOW…that sounded incredible we decided we’d follow their lead and do the same.
However there was a catch! Apparently, if you didn’t get there before 4pm, chances are you won’t get a spot as it fills very quickly. Good advice no doubt! We looked at the clock and high tailed it up the highway determined to make the site before 4pm!
We passed the caravan park as it was getting later, and thought, let’s risk it and keep going, not far past this, and we would be there…we turned a corner and there they were…massive boulders in the middle of nowhere…the first of many jaw-dropping experiences this trip.
Around the back is a small campground, no power, no water…a couple of information boards, two drop loos and a clear welcome and respect notice. This National Park had a check in box, with envelopes to pop in your fee. $7.70 for the whole family…whoa, bargain! We popped a little extra in there to help the ranger with upkeep, put out our solar panels and headed off to explore.
We wandered around the Marbles, breathed in the calmness, respected our surroundings and immersed ourselves into the fabulous NT. This truly is a remarkable part of Australia and we knew our holiday had well and truly begun. Our girls skipped, walked and were very impressed with their surroundings. “Gee Mum, the Devils Balls are huge…” hahaha – nothing awkward about a small child saying that!
Back to our caravan and we enjoyed a BBQ, chatted with the other travellers and waited for the sun to set. As the sun dropped we truly took the time to appreciate the surroundings and appreciate where we were. This is a breathtaking experience not to be missed!
Now it’s your turn…Marvel & ENJOY!
Tips for visiting the Devils Marbles in a caravan:
- If you are planning on staying at the campground, try and get there well before 4pm to ensure you are not disappointed, especially in peak season.
- Remember, there is no power or water and strictly NO generators allowed – you will also need to take in your own firewood if you are planning a fire.
- When you roll in, please back your rig up to the fence line to allow for as many people as possible to experience the area. (Wikicamps had suggested this and we read many comments from frustrated travellers who encountered rigs set up horizontal along the fence taking up lots of room)
- Pay the park fee! $7.70 is an absolute bargain and helps with the upkeep of the site!
- Read the signs – they clearly ask visitors to respect their surroundings, to not climb all over the boulders/rocks and to NOT collect firewood (all things that we saw people doing… we like to think that you can leave a place as untouched as when you arrived. A good motto for all! Safe travels! )