Sunday, 3 August 2008

The Devil’s Marbles in Central Australia – the eggs of the Rainbow Serpent?

In Australia’s Aboriginal culture, the Rainbow Serpent is thought to be responsible for carving out much of the landscape, as well as creating water sources and replenishing supplies. Many a story involves this great snake, which supposedly protects its people and punishes law-breakers. According to the indigenous Kaytetye people, it will have children too. They believe that the Devil’s Marbles, a scattering of huge mysterious boulders 114km south of Tennant Creek, are the Rainbow Serpent’s eggs.
The rocks still have a certain magical presence about them – and they’re one of the underrated highlights of Australia’s vast outback.
At sunrise, in particular, the lighting makes for incredibly atmospheric photography, whilst they’re great for scrambling over during the rest of the day. Just make sure you get there before the Rainbow Serpent’s eggs hatch.

Getting to the Devil’s Marbles, Northern Territory, Australia

Nearest international airport: The nearest international airport is Darwin, the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory. It acts as a hub to those wanting to fly into Australia on budget airlines. But that’s a good day’s drive away from Tennant Creek, let alone the Devil’s Marbles. Best to get a connecting flight to Alice Springs and drive up – but it’s still 375km.

Getting there by public transport: The Devil’s Marbles are in the middle of nowhere. Even if you can persuade the Greyhound bus to stop off there on the long road between Alice Springs and Darwin, it’s a long wait in the desert for the next one. The best option is to book onto a tour, or hire a car.

More information: Northern Territory Government website

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