Now we have all heard of the devils marbles and probably picture some magnificent, big, red rocks. As we drove into this jointly managed conservation park we quickly realised that it wasn’t several rounded boulders but instead hundreds and hundreds of them spread across 1800 odd hectares. Imagine gigantic rounded boulders precariously perched on top of each other. Now oxidise the boulders similar to how rust works in these iron rich rocks. Now if you think that would look spectacular, it pales into insignificance of the feeling you get from this place. I can’t convey that feeling in words, so I think maybe you should consider a visit – it’s that good!!
John Ross of the Australian Overland Telegraph line expedition in 1870 made first reference to them when he recorded this: “This is the Devils’ country, he’s even emptied his bag of marbles around the place!” That is how this place got it’s name the Devils Marbles and what you decide to call it is a personal choice. For us however it will always be Karlu Karlu. We have a deep respect for Australian history; so for us it makes perfect sense that the traditional owners, in the first Australians, probably had a name for such a sacred place long before it was called the devils marbles. Karlu Karlu is that name, not only has it a rich history dating back tens of thousands of years, with dreaming stories attached but it is also just plain funky to say!! This living cultural landscape has been traditional country for the Warumungu, Alyawarra, Warlpiri and Kaytetye people. We were lucky enough to spend some time with the Kaytetye mob when we visited Ali Curung.
Here is Kady’s account Karlu Karlu:
It was a pretty long drive to Karlu-Karlu but it was well worth it. It was amazing, so so beautiful. They were the reddest rocks I had ever seen! They were really round and sparkling. Some were cottage loaves, some were cheese rings and some were neither. We got a lot of photos, my favourite bit was when we were inside some rocks that were like a house and I really enjoyed myself there.
Our visit to Karlu Karlu left us all a little spellbound and very proud of having made it this far and even prouder of this ancient beautiful country we live in.