Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

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Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park is UNESCO World Heritage-listed in the Northern Territory of Australia. It is located 1431 kilometres south of Darwin by road and 440 kilometres south-west of Alice Springs along the Stuart and Lasseter Highways. The park covers 2010 square kilometres and includes the features it is named after - Uluru / Ayers Rock and, 40 kilometres to its west, Kata Tjuta / Mount Olga and is serviced by flights from most Australian capital cities.

Contents

Prologue

Uluru is Australia’s most recognisable natural icon and has become a focal point for Australia and the world's acknowledgement of Australian Indigenous culture. The world-renowned sandstone monolith, stands 348 metres high with most of its bulk below the ground. To Anangu (Local Indigenous People), Uluru is a place name and this "Rock" has a number of different landmarks where many Ancestral beings have interacted with the landscape and/or each other on their journey across central Australia, some even believed to still reside here.

Kata Tjuta, meaning ‘many heads’, is a very sacred men's place relating to knowledge that is considered very powerful and dangerous, only suitable for initiated men. It is made up of a group of 36 conglomerate rock domes that dates back 500 million years.

Anangu are the traditional Aboriginal owners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. They believe that their culture has always existed in the Central Australian landscape and was created at the beginning of time by ancestral beings. Uluru and Kata Tjuta provide physical evidence of feats performed during the creation period. As both Uluru and Kata Tjuta have great cultural significance for the Anangu traditional landowners, they often lead walking tours to inform visitors about the local flora and fauna, bush foods and the Aboriginal Dreamtime stories of the area.

The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act was passed in 1976, meaning that after many years Aboriginal law and land rights were finally recognised in Australian law. Nine years later in 1985 the Traditional Owners were presented with the Freehold Title deeds for the Park, who, in turn, leased the land back to the Australian Government through the Director of National Parks (formerly the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service) for 99 years. The Director is assisted by Parks Australia (a division of the Department of the Environment and Water Resources). Since hand-back, Anangu and Parks Australia staff have worked together to manage the Park. This process of working together is known as 'joint management'. All management policy and programs aim to maintain Anangu culture and heritage, conserve and protect the integrity of the ecological systems in and around the Park and provide for visitor enjoyment and learning opportunities within the Park.

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