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Marla in South Australia (highlighted in red)

Marla is a service town in South Australia situated on the Stuart Highway at the junction with the northern end of the Oodnadatta Track.


The name "Marla", is derived from the Marla Bore which is located to west of Marla and whose name is reported as being ultimately "a corruption of the Aboriginal marlu - ‘a kangaroo’".

Geoffrey H. Manning, the South Australian historian, reports that the town was proclaimed as a place for "the provision of essential services to travellers crossing the continent" and to act as an administrative centre for the north-west part of the state including the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands and the Mintabie Opal Field to the town's west.

The town includes a health centre "Marla Clinic" operated on behalf of the state government by the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, a regional police station and a privately-owned complex called the Marla Travellers Rest which is described as consisting of "roadhouse, hotel and motel, restaurant, service station, supermarket, caravan park and much more." it also is an agent for Australia Post LPO.

Get in[edit]

People travelling the Oodnadatta Track will be pleased to be back on sealed road at Marla. People travelling the Stuart Highway between Alice Springs and Adelaide will find Marla a surprisingly developed service centre.


There is no development in Marla except for the service centre, which is rather sterile. The Australian outback surrounds the town. Across the highway from the service centre, the Ghan train line stretches as far as the eye can see in each direction.


Take a break, and then keep on driving.

Buy, eat, drink and sleep[edit]

Traveller's Rest
  • Marla Traveller's Rest. The small supermarket sells souvenirs and postcards, a range of essentials, and some clothing. The food outlet and small supermarket here selling food and drinks as part of the service complex. And the motel here is fairly modern as it was built in 1982.


Only Telstra has coverage in Marla.

Go next[edit]

Alice Springs is around 400 km to the north, Coober Pedy around 200 km to the south and Oodnadatta around 200 km down the Oodnadatta track. Keep driving.

Routes through Marla
DarwinAlice Springs  N  S  Coober PedyPort Augusta
MarreeOodnadatta  W  E  END
DarwinAlice Springs  N                            S  Coober PedyPort Augusta

This city travel guide to Marla is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.