Old car bonnets make bold – and durable – canvases for the art of the Anangu people of the APY Lands. This one painted by acclaimed local artist Barbara Moore graces the entrance to the Amata community.

    Photo Credit: Quentin Chester/Australian Geographic

    The hill country near Alalka north of the settlement of Pukatja (Ernabella) is the region’s major stronghold for the Warru or black-footed rock wallaby. A concerted effort is underway to ensure the recovery of this species, one of Australia’s most locally endangered macropods.

    Photo Credit: Quentin Chester/Australian Geographic

    Age-worn granite forms are a hallmark of the Musgrave Ranges whose geological origins reach back nearly 1600 million years.

    Photo Credit: Quentin Chester

    The Kanyala or Euro (Macropus robustus erubescens) wallaroos graze the sparse vegetation among the rocky hillsides of the gorge country and are often spied close to watercourses and rockholes. 

    Photo Credit: Quentin Chester/Australian Geographic

    The brilliantly-hued mulga parrot (Psephotus varius) is a vivid sight near permanent water in the mallee scrub of the ranges.

    Photo Credit: Quentin Chester

    This distinctive pyramid – shape hill is both a landmark en-route to Apara Springs and a feature that lives in the cultural lore of the Tjurkupa.

    Photo Credit: Quentin Chester/Australian Geographic

    A significant – and sacred – waterhole on the western edge of the Musgrave Ranges, Apara Springs has recently been fenced to protect it from disturbance by wild camels and other animals.  

    Photo Credit: Quentin Chester

    Skittish brumbies canter past the silhouetted form of the corkwood tree and at Apara Springs, near the central APY community of Amata. 

    Photo Credit: Quentin Chester/Australian Geographic

    Rust to dust. Abandoned cars are a ubiquitous sight along the main tracks linking the communities. With the passage of time they take on their own desert patina.

    Photo Credit: Quentin Chester/Australian Geographic

    APY Land Management rangers Ethan Dagg and Anna Miller using drip torches to initiate a patchwork burn in the hill country north of Pukatja. Such burns are designed to protect the habitat of the Warru – the black-footed rock wallaby – from the impact of more extreme fires.

    Photo Credit: Quentin Chester

    Mulla mulla or Ptilotus nobilis flowers make a striking display in the stone country near Maku Gorge on the outskirts of the Kalka community.

    Photo Credit: Quentin Chester/Australian Geographic

    White-plumed honeyeaters (Lichenostomus penicillatus) are restless feeders amid the blossoming woodland gardens of Pukatja

    Photo Credit: Quentin Chester/Australian Geographic

    A lone, gnarled corkwood (Hakea lorea) hangs onto to a rocky slope near Wardulka Rockhole. These tough hakeas are clad in thick, fissured bark for fire protection. 

    Photo Credit: Quentin Chester/Australian Geographic

    The evening sky lights up dunes stubbled with spinifex near Youngs Well north of Pukatja.

     

    Photo Credit: Quentin Chester/Australian Geographic

    Clumps of spinifex and granite dominate the stone rises looking to New Well on the edge of the Musgrave Ranges – just 10km south of the NT border.

    Photo Credit: Quentin Chester/Australian Geographic

APY lands: In the home of the Anangu

By AG STAFF | August 21, 2015

Come on a privileged journey into a remote part of Australia where few outsiders have ever stepped as AG discovers the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara, or Aboriginal APY lands.