Marla is a small town on the Stuart highway in north-western South Australia. It is located near the Ghan railway line. Marla is accessible by train. The Ghan, run by Great Southern Railway between Adelaide and Darwin arrives twice weekly in each direction.
Located 1082 km from Adelaide, 676 km north of Port Augusta and 159 km south of the Northern Territory border on the Stuart Highway, Marla is a stopping point which was opened as recently as 1982 and boasts a comprehensive range of facilities for the traveller including a caravan park, camping facilities, hotel and motel accommodation, a restaurant, bar, service station and supermarket.
Marla is located over the road from the new Ghan railway line. It is worth driving across the highway to see the railway which disappears in a straight line towards both the southern and northern horizons – in season there are wonderful displays of wildflowers beside the track.
It is said that the word ‘Marla’ is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘kangaroo’.