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Aputula (Finke)
Northern Territory
Aputula (Finke) is located in Northern Territory
Aputula (Finke)
Aputula (Finke)
Location in Northern Territory
Population 192 (2016)
Postcode(s) 0872
Location 159 km (99 mi) east of Stuart Highway
LGA(s) Central Land Council
Territory electorate(s) Namatjira
Federal Division(s) Lingiari
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
37.5 °C
100 °F
5.6 °C
42 °F
188.8 mm
7.4 in

Aputula (formerly Finke until the 1980s) is a remote Indigenous Australian community in the Northern Territory of Australia. It is 317 km (197 mi) south of Alice Springs and 159 km (99 mi) east of Kulgera roadhouse on the Stuart Highway, near the border with South Australia. The Finke River (named after German prospector William Finke), which is dry for most of the year except during occasional floods and is part of the Lake Eyre basin, passes within a few kilometres of the community.

Climate and demographics

Aputula holds the record of having the two hottest days ever recorded in the Northern Territory—48.3 °C (118.9 °F) on 1 and 2 January 1960.

The population of the town in 2016 was 192 people. They are Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara, Luritja, and Lower Southern Arrernte people. Most of the current inhabitants of Finke are migrants from the Western desert, who acknowledge that they are living on Southern Arrernte soil. The site has never been used as an Aboriginal camping place, even in pre-European times, because of the lack of water.

Notable inhabitants

  • Ted Colson (1881–1950), pioneer and pastoralist, is known for being the first European person to cross the Simpson Desert.
  • Brownie Doolan (1918–2011), tracker and the last person to speak the Lower Arrernte language
  • Tali Tali Pompey (about 1945/47 – 16 November 2011), artist
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