Devils Marbles and Tennant Creek Telegraph

Devils Marbles view
(Click on the image above to see images of the Devils Marbles and Daly Waters Pub)

Jude was up very early this morning so we were away by 7.30am which is extremely unusual. Because of this we got to the Devils Marbles before 8am when the light was great for photos and there were very few people around. We still had to leave Boof in the car as it was a National Park. As the temperatures have been climbing during the day, it was good to have him in the cool of 14 degrees.


One of the photos shows one of the Devils Marbles split in half as if done with a knife. The explanation of how it happens comes from Wikipedia:- "The boulders are affected more deeply by the extreme temperature differences between day and night in the arid desert region where the reserve is located. During daylight hours the rocks expand slightly and after nightfall they contract slightly, repeating the process every 24 hours. These repeated cycles of expansion and contraction, called thermal stress weathering, create cracks which sometimes go so deep that the boulder is completely split in half.[9]".

Wikipedia has a full article you can read by clicking the link to the Devils Marbles.

One disappointing aspect of our visit was the arrival of a Contiki Tour Bus while we were visiting.  When we arrived back at the carpark, there were a number of young tourists climbing all over the Devils Marbles despite all the signs requesting people not to climb them.  Worse was that this was in full view of the driver who seemed more intent on cleaning his windscreen. We pointed out to him what his charges were doing and he asked them to come down. Mind you, there was no action from the young tourists that we saw before we departed.  People should remember that many of these places are sacred sites to the aborigines and it is good of them to share them with us.  It only takes the complete disregard of requests by people and tour operators that may see these places locked up because of the foolish and inconsiderate acts of a minority.

Our next stop was Tennant Creek, but as it was the Queens Birthday holiday, everything was closed. Fortunately the hardware store was open so we were able to fill our empty gas bottle and get a new plug for the sink.

As we drove out of town I could hear a bit of a rattle from the caravan so stopped to check it out. Of course it would have to be coming from underneath the van, so once again into the dust we went sliding under the van to try and find what was loose. It turned out to be a bit of metal sitting in the bottom of the brake drum that looked like the magnet on the caravan brakes that has been dislodged from somewhere. It couldn’t go anywhere, so I just decided to leave it as is because it meant a hell of a lot of work to remove it.

Just outside of Tennant Creek we came across the old Tennant Creek Telegraph Station.  This was one of the major relay points in the Overland Telegraph and consisted of several buildings apart from the telegraph office itself.  There was even a blacksmith so it would of been a major stopping off point for people travelling both north and south.  In this country, with the distances between towns, pretty much every town is a stopping off point even now.  You can go to Wikipedia to read more about the Tennant Creek Telegraph Station.

Our next stop was to be Renner Springs, but read the next entry to find out what happened.

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