Southern Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands landscape

Southern Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands landscape

The Southern Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands are one of nine distinct sub-landscapes in the Alinytjara Wiluṟara region. This landscape is the northern part of the Great Victoria Desert (GVD). It is made up of two Indigenous Protected Areas, Walalkara and Watarru, that are home to Aṉangu communities and are managed using traditional knowledge and authority for conservation. Water is scarce in this area, with no permanent surface water. The South Australian section of the GVD is co-managed by the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) and the Traditional Owners of these lands with work on Country, supported by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the AW Landscape Board.

Key characteristics

  • The remote areas of Walalkara and Watarru are a virtually undisturbed wilderness with few, if any, tracks
  • Arid and semi-arid grasslands, shrub lands and woodlands along with salt lakes
  • Many threatened, rare and endangered native plant and animal species

Native plants and animals

  • Many threatened bird species, including birds of prey, bustards, western bowerbirds, princess parrots, scarlet chested parrots, small insect- and grass-eating birds, and ground-dwelling birds
  • Reptiles including the great desert skink
  • Mammals including the hairy-footed dunnart and marsupial mole
  • Threatened plant species, including several small shrubs and the bloodwood tree


Access to this region requires a pass or permit. There is no access for the general public to the APY Lands, and no transit permits are allowed. Visitors should also be aware that there are safety issues specific to the region.