Yulara, Northern Territory

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Northern Territory
Yulara from helicopter (August 2004).jpg
Yulara from helicopter in August 2004
Yulara is located in Northern Territory
Coordinates25°12′25″S 130°58′16″E / 25.2069°S 130.971°E / -25.2069; 130.971Coordinates: 25°12′25″S 130°58′16″E / 25.2069°S 130.971°E / -25.2069; 130.971[1]
Population1,099 (2016 census)[2]
 • Density10.57/km2 (27.37/sq mi)
Established10 August 1976 (town)
4 April 2007 (locality)[3][4]
Elevation492 m (1,614 ft)(airport)[6]
Area104 km2 (40.2 sq mi)[3]
Time zoneACST (UTC+9:30)
LGA(s)Yulara - Ayers Rock Resort [7]
Territory electorate(s)Gwoja
Federal Division(s)Lingiari[8]
Mean max temp[6] Mean min temp[6] Annual rainfall[6]
30.0 °C
86 °F
14.0 °C
57 °F
285.2 mm
11.2 in
Localities around Yulara:
Petermann Petermann Petermann
Petermann Yulara Petermann
Petermann Petermann Petermann
Adjoining localities[10]

Yulara is a town in the Southern Region of the Northern Territory, Australia. It lies as an unincorporated enclave within MacDonnell Region. At the 2016 census, Yulara had a permanent population of 1,099,[2] in an area of 103.33 square kilometres (39.90 sq mi). It is 18 kilometres (11 mi) by road from world heritage site Uluru (Ayers Rock) and 55 kilometres (34 mi) from Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). It is located in the Northern Territory electorate of Gwoja and the federal electorate of Lingiari.


By the early 1970s, the pressure of unstructured and unmonitored tourism, including motels near the base of Uluru (Ayers Rock), was having detrimental effects on the environment surrounding both Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Following the recommendation of a Senate Select Committee to remove all developments near the base of the rock and build a new resort to support tourism in the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, the Commonwealth Government agreed in 1973 to relocate accommodation facilities to a new site outside the park. On 10 August 1976, the Governor General proclaimed the new town of Yulara, some 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) from Uluru.[3]

After the Northern Territory was granted Self Government in 1978, development of the new town became a major priority of the Northern Territory Government. Between 1978 and 1981, basic infrastructure (roads, water supply etc.) was built via the government's capital works program. In 1980 the government set up the Yulara Development Company Ltd to develop tourist accommodation, staff housing and a shopping centre. The first stage of the resort was built between 1982 and 1984 for the Northern Territory Government by Yulara Development Company Ltd., at a cost of A$130 million. The resort was designed by Philip Cox & Associates and won the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) Sir Zelman Cowen Award in 1984.

When the new facilities became fully operational in late 1984, the Commonwealth Government terminated all leases for the old motels near the Rock, and the area was rehabilitated by the National Park Service (now called Parks Australia). Around the same time, the national park was renamed Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa, and its ownership was transferred to the local Indigenous people, who leased it back to the Parks Australia for 99 years.

There were originally three competing hotels, but that detracted from the viability of the enterprise, and the company (and indirectly the government) incurred massive operating losses. Between 1990 and 1992, the competing hotel operators were replaced by a single operator, the government-owned Investnorth Management Pty Ltd. In 1992, the government sold, through open tender, a 40% interest in the Yulara Development Company and, therefore, the resort, to a venture capital consortium.

In 1997, the entire resort was again sold by open tender to General Property Trust, which appointed Voyages Hotels & Resorts as operator. Voyages operated all aspects of the resort, with the exception of the post office (Australia Post) and the bank (ANZ). Almost all residents of the town rented their housing from Voyages, but the government leased some housing for its employees. Most residents are either workers in the resort or tour operators. In 2011, the resort was sold again to the Indigenous Land Corporation which operates the resort under its subsidiary, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia.[11][12]


The 2016 Australian census found that Yulara had a population of 1,099 people which had the following characteristics:[2]

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 14.2% of the population.
  • 52.8% of people were born in Australia and 62.6% of people spoke only English at home.
  • The most common response for religion was "No Religion" at 38.4%.


Yulara NT 1
Springtime in the Desert

The Connellan Airport makes it possible to reach Yulara in a few hours from Sydney (three hours), Melbourne, Alice Springs, Cairns, Adelaide or Darwin compared to five hours by car from Alice Springs, the nearest major town, 428 kilometres (266 mi) northeast.[9]

The resort is served by one major road, the Lasseter Highway, which links it to surrounding roads and landmarks. The Lasseter Highway is currently and until 2022[13] being expanded in the area to help with the tourism traffic flow. The sealed Lasseter Highway extends east to meet the Stuart Highway. The roads in other directions are not so well maintained or travelled.[9] The Great Central Road leads west and southwest into Western Australia, but is generally only suitable for high clearance four-wheel drive vehicles. Transit permits from Aboriginal Land Councils are required to travel west of Kata-Tjuta.[14]


Yulara has a dry and arid climate (BWh) with long hot summers and short, cool winters, and with scant rainfall year-round. Frost may occur occasionally in some winter mornings.[15]

Climate data for Yulara Aero
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 46.4
Average high °C (°F) 38.4
Average low °C (°F) 22.7
Record low °C (°F) 12.7
Average rainfall mm (inches) 25.8
Average rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 3.2 2.9 2.0 1.7 1.8 1.6 1.9 1.0 1.4 2.7 3.9 4.7 28.8
Source: Bureau of Meteorology [6]

Maruku Arts[edit]

Maruku Arts is a large and successful Aboriginal Australian-owned and -operated enterprise, run by Anangu (people of the Western and Central Deserts of Australia) since about 1990. It has a warehouse based in Mutitjulu community (at the eastern end of the rock), a retail gallery at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Cultural Centre, as well as a market stall in Yulara town square. Its artwork consists mainly of paintings and woodcarvings. With about 900 artists in the collective, it provides an important source of income living in remote communities across central Australia. It seeks to "keep culture strong and alive, for future generations of artists, and [to] make culture accessible in an authentic way to those that seek a more in-depth understanding".[16]

Maruku is one of ten Indigenous-owned and -governed enterprises that go to make up the APY Art Centre Collective,[17] established in 2013.[18]

In June 2020, Salon Art Projects, in association with Maruku, mounted an exhibition called "PUNU – Living Wood" at the Paul Johnstone Gallery in Darwin. The exhibition included hand-carved kali (boomerangs), wana (digging sticks), piti, wiras and mimpus (bowls) and a range of walka boards (designs burnt, painted and etched onto plywood), with work by artists including Niningka (Kunmanara[19] ) Lewis, Cynthia Burke and Fred Grant.[20] Punu is a Pitjantjatjara word meaning "living wood",[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Place Names Register Extract for the "Town of Yulara"". NT Place Names Register. Northern Territory Government. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Yulara (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 30 August 2018. Edit this at WikidataCC-BY icon.svg Material was copied from this source, which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
  3. ^ a b c Adermann, Evan (10 August 1976). "THE NORTHERN TERRITORY OF AUSTRALIA Crown Lands Ordinance PROCLAMATION (re the Town of Yulara)". Australian Government Gazette. General (G32). Australia. p. 3. Retrieved 29 April 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ "Place Names Register Extract for "Yulara"". NT Place Names Register. Northern Territory Government. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Yulara Postcode". postcode-finders.com.au. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Yulara Aero". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Place Names Register Extract for "Connellan Airport"". NT Place Names Register. Northern Territory Government. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Federal electoral division of Lingiari". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Hema, Maps (2007). Australia Road and 4WD Atlas (Map). Eight Mile Plains Queensland: Hema Maps. pp. 100–101. ISBN 978-1-86500-456-3.
  10. ^ "McDonnell Shire (sic) Localities (map)" (PDF). Northern Territory Government. 29 October 1997. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  11. ^ "What is the ILC" (PDF). Indigenous Land Corporation. Australian Government.
  12. ^ "History". About us. Indigenous Land Corporation. 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  13. ^ https://www.transportinfrastructurecouncil.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/nt_kfr_expenditure_plan_2018-22.pdf
  14. ^ "Permits". Ngaanyatjarra Council. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  15. ^ Peel, M. C.; Finlayson, B. L.; McMahon, T. A. (2007). "Updated world map of the Köppen–Geiger climate classification" (PDF). Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 11 (5): 1636 & 1642. doi:10.5194/hess-11-1633-2007. ISSN 1027-5606.
  16. ^ "About". Maruku Arts. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  17. ^ "Our Art Centres". APY Art Centre Collective. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  18. ^ Marsh, Walter (20 May 2019). "New gallery run for and by Anangu artists opens in Adelaide". The Adelaide Review. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  19. ^ Fairley, Gina (26 November 2020). "Vale: Michael Nelson Jagamara AM and Kunmanara Lewis". ArtsHub Australia. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  20. ^ "Punu - Living Wood". Off The Leash. 3 June 2020. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  21. ^ "New exhibition PUNU - Living Wood". Maruku Arts. 24 June 2020. Retrieved 26 June 2020.

External links[edit]