Hear the Yeperenye (Caterpillar) story of the Western Arrernte people and discover the fascinating spiritual origins of the MacDonnell Ranges.
If you’re looking for Australia’s spiritual home, thn you’ve come to the right place. In the Arrernte Aboriginal people’s Dreamtime story, this region was created by giant caterpillars. These creatures became the stunning ridges of the East and West Macdonnell Ranges that shelter the town of Alice Springs.
Art and history
The Yeperenye (Caterpillar) story and many more ancient myths, symbols and images can be found in the rich diversity of local Aboriginal art. Alice Springs’ outstanding art galleries and cultural museums are the perfect way to interact with and learn more about the area’s incredible visual heritage.
To set yourself up with an introduction to Aboriginal art, culture and history, a visit to the Araluen Cultural Precinct is a must. It’s home to a number of galleries and museums, and rich with important stories of the land and its people.
At one with the land
The best way to understand the Aboriginal connection to the land is to head outdoors on a DIY tour of local sites. Take a moment to contemplate the 300-year-old Corkwood tree in the Araluen sculpture garden, one of seven sacred sites in the precinct, or head out to Ewaninga Conservation Reserve. Rock carvings and petroglyphs marked into sandstone thousands of years ago survive today. You’ll witness an enduring record of sacred local beliefs.
Visit an art centre outside of Alice Springs or take a guided tour to an Aboriginal community, a rare and special experience. Share stories around the camp fire, discover bush tucker, watch local artists at work, and be led on walks to sacred and historical sites.
It’s good to keep in mind that access to some sites with spiritual significance may be restricted, and some Aboriginal people have beliefs that mean they won’t want their photo taken.