Kaltukatjara / Docker River
The Docker River Community, one of the most isolated communities in the NT, is approximately 680 kms south west of Alice Springs by road. The closest community is at Warakurna (110 kms) in Western Australia.
The original aboriginal name for the community is Kaltukatjara and the European name of Docker River was given to the community by Ernest Giles in 1872 during one of his expeditions.
Aboriginal people who had moved to Hermannsburg and Areyonga during drought years eventually decided to move back to their traditional homelands and in 1967/8, along with some aboriginal people from Warburton established the community of Kaltukatjara (Docker River).
The population is approximately 300 to 400 however this figure will depend upon season, ceremony, funerals and sporting events.
There are several outstations in the area but only two are funded - Tjauwata, about 5kms to the east and Kunapula, about 46 kms south east.
Roads: Internal roads are sealed, however the 8 kms to the WA border and beyond to Warburton are unsealed. Travelling east towards Yulara the first 186 kms is unsealed and then a sealed road exists from there to the Stuart Highway and Alice Springs. The distance from Yulara to Alice Springs is 450 kms. The gravel roads can be closed for up to a week following heavy and consistent rain.
Airstrip: The airstrip is approximately 4 kms north east of the community. The strip is approximately 110 metres long with a gravel surface, correct placement of cones and gable markers, windsock replacement and an inspectorial role of the runway and surrounding fencing.
The supply of electricity to the community is the responsibility of Power Water. The power station has three generators which are part of a fully automated system.
The supply of potable water to the community is the responsibility of Power Water. Bore water is pumped from two bores located around 5 kms from the community. The water is piped to three storage tanks.
The sewerage system is the responsibility of Power Water. The system has three ponds. The Shire is contracted to keep the pond area tidy and vegetation to be slashed, mown and whipper snipped as and when required.
MacDonell Shire Council Roles
The MacDonnell Shire Council provides municipal services to Kaltukatjara including cemetery maintenance, parks and open spaces maintenance, sports grounds, rubbish collection, tip maintenance and maintenance of internal roads. On behalf of the Government agencies, the Shire also provides inspection and maintenance of the airstrip, daily maintenance of power, water and sewerage services, children's services, night patrol and Centrelink.
Kaltukatjara also has a school, health clinic, community store, secondary college, CLC Rangers and a residential Aged Care facility operated by Frontier Services.
Upgraded airstrip at Kaltukatjara and camels looking for their next drink
Photos by Leigh Dunlevy
We welcome any historic or current information that you know about this community to add to this community profile.