Central Australia, also known as the Alice Springs Region, is one of the five regions in the Northern Territory that centres on Alice Springs. Sometimes referred to as Centralia, the region is located in the southern part of the Northern Territory spanning from the west on Western Australia Border and to the east on the Queensland border.

 

Rich in aboriginal culture and home to Australia’s most iconic natural landmark, Uluru, the Central Australia region is a must see destination for anyone wanting to experience true outback culture. Our Central Australia travel guide helps you discover some of the best things to see and do while there.



Art & Culture in Central Australia


Aboriginal Artwork Galleries in Central Australia

Throughout Central Australia there are a number of amazing Australian Aboriginal Artwork Galleries. Central Australia country has close ties with Indigenous people who are the original custodians of this region, and it's people have a unique relationship to the land. Their artwork forms and Dreamtime stories invest meaning in its mysteries, weaving a connection between spirit and country.

 

There are many art regions within Central Australia where Aboriginal artists paint their interpretations of Dreamtime stories in varied styles.

 

Alice Springs hosts a large number of Aboriginal Artwork galleries where you can appreciate a range of paintings, weaving, sculptural and historic artefacts.

 

Aboriginal Central Australia

 

The country throughout Central Australia has close ties with indigenous people who are the original custodians of our region and have a unique relationship to the land. Their art forms and dreamtime stories invest meaning in its mysteries, weaving a connection between spirit and country.

 

Before white settlement Alice Springs was inhabited by the Arrernte Aboriginal people. Mparntwe (pronounced mbarn-twa) is the Arrernte word for Alice Springs and was created by the actions of several ancestral figures including the caterpillar beings Ayepe-arenye, Ntyarlke and Utnerrengatye, the MacDonnell Ranges being but one of their creations. Creation stories also describe traditional links with areas as far afield as Urlatherrke (Mt Zeil) in the West MacDonnell Ranges and Port Augusta in South Australia. Arrernte people continue to live in Mparntwe, observe traditional law, look after the country and teach children the Arrernte language and the importance of their culture.

 

Utopia is homeland to the majority of Central Australian artists. Situated 250kms north east of Alice Springs, Utopia consists of over 20 small outstations. Female artists dominate this area; they maintain their ceremonial ways paying homage in their art work through contemporary and abstract styling to their role as food gatherers.

 

Papunya is another significant art area, it lays 240km North West of Alice Springs. The community played an extremely important part in Aboriginal art history, as the birthplace of the Central and Western desert art.

 

There are a number of art galleries down the Todd Mall and around Alice Springs, show casing the many art works of the region.

 

Tennant Creek

Aboriginal culture is strong in Tennant Creek. The traditional land owners of this area are the aboriginal Warumungu people, and they recognise a number of sacred sites in the area, including the region's most famous landmark – Karlu Karlu, the Devils Marbles – about 100 kilometres south of the town.

 

An enigmatic place of breathtaking scenic beauty, the precarious piles of huge granite boulders wide open skies and golden sunlight make Karlu Karlu (The Devils Marbles) an unforgettable place to visit. An easy short (15 minutes return) self guided walk commences from the carpark on the western side of the road (the day use area) with signs explaining the formation of the 'marbles'. Visitors can wander around the site along a network of informal walking tracks.

 

In Tennant Creek visit the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre is a unique award-winning aboriginal attraction which offers visitors an opportunity to learn about aboriingal life, history and land in the Tennant Creek region. Take time to wander around the exhibition and it's five major sections: Punttu , Nyinta manungku , Wanjjal payinti manu, Wurrmulalkki mukka and Pina parinyi manu purtakijji .

 

Or hop on a horse with Kelly's Ranch, and experience something totally unique. Owner, Jerry Kelly, is a Warumungu man and a Traditional Owner of the Region. Jerry is very passionate about outback life and the pastoral industry. He loves to teach horse-riding skills and pass on his knowledge and experience of cattle stations to others and believes in providing his visitors with a unique experience and understanding of his traditional culture, the stockman’s life and life in the bush.

 

Uluru

The country throughout Central Australia has close ties with indigenous people who are the original custodians of our region and have a unique relationship to the land. Their art forms and dreamtime stories invest meaning in its mysteries, weaving a connection between spirit and country. 

 

Make your first stop in Uluru- Kata Tjuta National park the Cultural Centre - here you find the stories and history that make Uluru unique. Located within the Culture Centre Precinct is Maruku Arts - stop and browse through the artwork and wooden artifacts.

 

You can discover art and culture in Uluru on any tour, or by following the signs on the base walk around Uluru or the walks Kata Tjuta.