Devils marbles near Tenant Creek

Tennant Creek 

Headed North, everyone will pass through this skid mark. A dive of epic proportions, Tennant Creek is 5 decades past a facelift and a century behind the rest of civilisation. Due to there being just a handful of places to stay, price fixing is in full force and nothing shy of $150 will get you a rusty bed in a shady, condemnable room with dodgy air con that stopped working a fortnight before it was invented.

The whole town was sold out, not a shout out for quality, more a geographical necessity. Between Alice Springs and Katherine the choices are limited.

Tennant creek is a nod to the struggles and issues of the indigenous population. Alcohol laws are in full force, loitering prohibited and crime levels high. It came as no surprise therefore that Tennant Creek was also the place we were robbed.

Sat relaxing, I heard something outside, I went to the window and saw a shadow. I bolted out of the door ready to unleash some Jackie Chan and all I heard were footsteps. I checked the car, the passenger door was locked, the boot was unlocked. I looked inside and saw all our boots and thought I must have left it unlocked. I went back inside and chilled. A little later I went to phone the wife and on the way back, checked the drivers door and it was open. I couldn’t understand it. Our hire car didn’t have a key, just a fob with an open and close button. Inside, to start the vehicle you press a button. Turns out that when next to the car, a proximity sensor opens the drivers door and the boot. Because we were parked so close to the cabin, even when inside, the key was close enough for the car to decide to open. Ive gone outside, realised the sat nav was still in the glove box, glanced in the boot and then chilled. It wasn’t until the following day, when we arrived at some hot springs that I realised we had been robbed. I’d asked my girls to empty the boot whilst I was doing something else. All our swimming things had been in a green bag, they’d decided there was no point taking these inside and had left them in the boot. Just so happens that the idiot that robbed us must’ve grabbed the only bag in the boot and then tried the car door. I had spooked him and he’d been off.

The most annoying thing is that probably, the thief got to a safe place and realised he’d robbed a families swimming things and then dumped them. Meanwhile I’m left with a $100 bill trying to replace them all in the outback. Scumbag.

A woman in Alice Springs advised me to drive the whole way to Katherine, and I toyed with the idea. Not just because we got robbed, but also because we didn’t really sleep due to fights, shouting, arguments and at times a real fear that our car itself was to be vandalised.

Tennant Creek really is the arse end of Australia, a shit hole filled with thieves, noise and dust. I wish I’d have driven through the town, farted outside the general store, emptied my car and continued onwards.

Just before Tennant Creek is the Devils Marbles, a weird yet wonderful collection of huge sphere shaped rocks. Definitely worth a stop, and if you have the time a BBQ. It was at this place I really wished we’d hired a camper van. To wake up in the campsite next to the devils marbles would be amazing.


Read the full trip…

We drove from Sydney through Canberra, Melbourne and along the great ocean road to Adelaide, the full journey can be read here: The Great Ocean Road

We then drove through the Australian Outback to Coober Pedy, Ayers Rock, Alice Springs got robbed in Tenant Creek and the finished up at the top end in Darwin. The full journey can be read here: The Outback


Just a dad trying to live the dream with my kids.

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