Tag Archives: tennant creek

I found my long lost Devils Marbles!

Time for another trip back in time and another old travel story. This time we travel back to January 1998 and to a place where I finally found my long lost Marbles; lost by me sometime in the early eighties I believe! I found my marbles at a weird and wonderful place in the middle of the red centre of Australia.

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Devils Marbles
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

It’s a large area of huge granite boulders precariously balanced on top of one another and is known as Devils Marbles. The Warrumungu name is Karlwe Karlwe and is a sacred site for aboriginals believing it to be the eggs of a rainbow serpent. I don’t know where the “Devils” name originated from, but I prefer the aboriginal story, a giant serpents egg is food for the imagination as you’re running around this big playground of massive boulders! The Rainbow Serpents Eggs as I like to call them are easy to find. On one hand they’re in the middle of absolutely nowhere but on the other hand they’re right next to the only road going through central Australia – the Stuart Highway! 400 km north of Alice Springs, 100km south of Tennant Creek and you almost run straight into this surreal landscape:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Devils Marbles Panorama
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

The boulders are on average 3-4 meters tall and there are thousands of them spread over a large area. We arrived late afternoon and setup bush camp. This is an interesting experience and basically involves driving tent pegs into metal! The soil is red and hard as nails from the rusting metal and hammering tent pegs into this takes some force! After a lot of hammering we started exploring the ‘marbleous’ marbles.

The colours, shapes and shadows are a photographers dream and you have endless fun running around finding an endless supply of compositions! I have a weird love relationship with desolate places featuring red rocks so I was a man possessed as I climbed the boulders shooting photos constantly. Just remember it’s a lot easier to climb up than down! I got stuck on top of more than one 4 meter tall boulder not quite sure how I managed to get up and very unsure of how to get down (well there’s gravity but that’s a bit rough)!

As the sun sets the rocks turns a burning deep red colour and you get some great and funny contre-jour opportunities:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Sunset at Devils Marbles Panorama
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

 

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

The face of Devils Marbles
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

These old photos are like an old invaluable treasure chest of memories for me and I love how I now have high quality digital archival versions of these faded slides. The 3 photos here were shot on Fujichrome with a Canon EOS1000 SLR and scanned on a Konica Minolta slide scanner. They’re basically snapshots as I was just beginning to get into photography in 98 and learning the ropes and shot an awful lot of crappy photos with an awful lot of bulls-eye compositions! Every once in a while I would get a good shot and wonder how on earth I managed that! Fortunately experience is a good teacher.

If you have lost your marbles (means having lost your mind, being slightly mad and crazy) like me – anyone who knows me would agree – then I certainly recommend looking for them amongst the Rainbow Serpents Eggs at Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve!