The Aboriginal Heritage Of Alice Springs

The Outback is rich with incredible sites and places that hold great cultural significance to local Aboriginal peoples. Aboriginal culture has thrived in Australia for centuries, with a history that stretches back for at least 50,000 years. Sacred sites such as Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon are deservedly popular and well known, but the Aboriginal heritage of the Outback’s biggest town, Alice Springs, is also fascinating.

Aboriginal Peoples Heritage Of Alice Springs

The Arrernte people

The Arrernte people have made this area their home for thousands of years and are the traditional owners of the land, knowing Alice Springs by its Aboriginal name, Mparntwe. The Arrernte still live here, observe traditional law, are caretakers of the land and teach their language and culture to younger generations.

Discover the history of Yeperenye, Utnerrengatye and Ntyarlke

The Arrernte believe Alice Springs and its surrounds were formed when three giant caterpillars entered the world through a gap in a local escarpment. Named Yeperenye, Utnerrengatye and Ntyarlke, these three caterpillars arrived from all directions and it was the site of Alice Springs where they made their first stop. It was here they had a significant battle which formed much of what the ranges look like today

East MacDonnell

The East MacDonnell ranges around Alice Springs are believed to be the physical remains of these giant caterpillars and gaps in the mountains, such as Emily Gap for example, indicate where these events have taken place. Dreamtime stories such as these are passed down through the generations by elders and other storytellers and this particular story, like many, has been around for thousands of years.

Aboriginal heritage

Getting to know the Aboriginal heritage associated with the town is important to fully understand it’s significance, both as a remote outback stop essential on any trip through the Red Centre, and as an area at the centre of one of the great Dreamtime stories and the people who have lived here for thousands of years.

The Aboriginal heritage and stories of the lands we traverse play a big part in any of our Mulgas Adventures and whether you start or end your tour in Alice Springs, be sure to stay a while and explore this historic town.

Book cheap Uluru tours at