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Devil's Marbles

Bring on Binns Track

It’s time to talk 4-wheel driving destinations, and this week we’re going to take a look at the Binns Track. The track is packed with interesting places to explore, but we’ve narrowed it down to our top 3.

 

Taking on the track

The Binns Track, named after NT Park Ranger Bill Binns, is 2190 kilometres of creek, sand, rock and grassland that stretches from Timber Creek in the Territory to Mt. Dare in SA. The track has been challenging intrepid 4-wheel drivers since its opening in 2008, and it hasn’t lost any of its allure.

Tackling the track will take you through dust, sand, tropical vegetation, rock and gravel. That’s all on top of the odd river crossing. But you’ll also see some of the lesser-known but immensely beautiful bits of the NT landscape.

A conservative estimate of how long you’ll need to travel the track is around 10 days. That’s from go to whoa, and doesn’t include the time it takes you to get to your starting point. There are plenty of things to see along the way, so if you can extend your trip out to at least 14 days, we recommend it.

Do the Binns backwards

Although the track ‘officially’ starts over the border in SA, we think it’s just as exciting in reverse. Getting to the NT ‘start’ of the Binns Track at Timber Creek is about a 7 hour jog from Darwin, along the Victoria Highway. The town lies on the Victoria River at the entry to the Judbarra/Gregory National Park. Remember that the Victoria River is prone to flooding during the wet season, so check conditions before leaving Darwin.

The track’s top 3

The Alice Springs Desert Park

For anyone who thought that the desert was just sand, sun, and more sand, then this is the place for you. The Desert Park will reveal to you the true wonder and vibrancy of the desert ecosystem. Learn about the spiritual and cultural connection to the desert from the local Aboriginal guides, and witness the magnificence of birds of prey as they soar inches above your head. Enter the secret world of the Nocturnal House and learn about some of the endangered desert species.

The Devil’s Marbles

About 90km south of Tennant Creek on the Stuart Highway, you’ll arrive at Karlu Karlu, the ‘round boulders’ known as the Devil’s Marbles. The Marbles are rounded granite boulders, precariously balanced on top of each other. The Marbles’ conservation area is a site of cultural and spiritual significance to the local Aboriginal people, and is a sanctuary for a variety of reptiles and birds who hide in the crevices of the boulders. There are camping sites available for a fee, but you must bring your own water and firewood and remember to leave no trace!

Fossicking fun at Gemtree

Everyone loves a bit of bling but nothing shines as brightly as the rocks you dig up yourself. The Gemtree Caravan Park can be found on the Plenty Highway, 140km of beautiful bitumen NE of Alice Springs. Here you can book a place on a fossicking tour where you will visit the fossicking fields in search of red garnets and the Mud Tank zircon. It’s certainly a welcome change from the outback cattle stations of the Davenport Ranges.

If you’re planning to tackle the track, be sure to check out these gems along the way. Remember you will be travelling through some remote landscape, so pack properly for your trip particularly water and fuel. If you need any advice then check out our post on 4-wheel driving remote style, or just pop in to the store and speak to us!

Happy (and safe) travels.

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16 Jessop Crescent, Berrimah Business Park, Berrimah, NT, Australia

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