Why you should visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Cultural Centre

Why you should visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Cultural Centre

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 11/28/2019

Reading time: 3 mins

Start your trip through Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park with a visit to the Cultural Centre. Here you will learn about Anangu culture and the park’s natural environment. Enjoy exhibitions, art galleries, and free presentations, as well as explore a number of community-owned shops.

Mud bricks, made by the local community, line the award winning centres walls. The buildings shape represents two ancestral snakes that battled at the nearby Mutitjulu Waterhole and helped create Uluru.

The Anangu people suggest you make the Tjukurpa Tunnel the first experience at the cultural centre. Here you’ll learn about many important creation stories of Uluru and Tjukurpa, the foundation of Anangu culture. As you approach the tunnel entrance you will be surrounded by the sounds of voices chanting inma (ceremonial songs) and the winds created by Uluru.

The Tjukurpa Tunnel is a self-guided experience, take your time to quietly proceed through the tunnel. You’ll  transport to the beginning and develop a deep understanding of the lessons taught through art and historical documents. You’ll also learn about Anangu law, tradition and appropriate behaviour while in the part and interacting with traditional owners. Photography is not permitted in the Tjukurpa Tunnel for cultural reasons.

Art and Crafts

The centre has two art galleries displaying Anangu art and crafts. they are both Aboriginal owned and operated, with profits being returned to the local community. Maruku Arts sells and exhibits traditionally made punu (wooden carvings), paintings and jewellery. From here, move into Walkatjara Art, the Mutitjulu community’s art centre. Here, artists from Mutitjulu create intricate and vibrant paintings depicting their Tjukurpa stories.

You may have the opportunity to see the artists at work, as well as learn about the culture and stories behind each painting. 50% of the profits from each work sold goes directly to the artists, with other funds supporting the running of the arts centre. Walkatjara is a lively and positive environment where artists can come to relax and express themselves. Sometimes they will bring their family and they are proud of their work and centre.

Refresh Yourself

Within the centre is also the only place in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park where you can purchase food. Enjoy a light refreshment and snack or sit down for a delicious meal with a view of Uluru! All purchases at Ininti go towards supporting the local Anangu community. The Aboriginal-owned café is the perfect place to get your all-important morning coffee after watching the sunrise over Uluru. Plus, the adjoined retail store is the perfect place to purchase a unique souvenir to remember your trip by. They stock a collection of books, clothes, bags, jewellery, and traditional bush medicines amongst other beautiful gifts.

The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Cultural Centre is the perfect place to begin your trip to Uluru. The understanding of Anangu culture and traditions that you will gain on your visit will truly enhance your experience of Uluru and the many other attractions in the National Park.

Related article: The Significance of Uluru to Australian Indigenous Culture

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.