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Yalata, South Australia facts for kids

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South Australia
Yalata, South Australia -- aerial looking north-east.jpg
Yalata, looking north-east
Population 248 (2016 census)
 • Density 0.05435/km2 (0.1408/sq mi)
Established 1954 (mission)); 1994
23 October 2003 (locality)
Postcode(s) 5690
Elevation 90 m (295 ft)
Area 4,563 km2 (1,761.8 sq mi)
Time zone ACST (UTC+9:30)
 • Summer (DST) ACDT (UTC+10:30)
  • 738 km (459 mi) W of Adelaide
  • 193 km (120 mi) W of Ceduna (airport)
  • 292 km (181 mi) from Eucla
  • 281 km (175 mi) from WA-SA border
LGA(s) Aboriginal Council of Yalata
Region Eyre Western
County Hopetoun (part)
State electorate(s) Flinders
Federal Division(s) Grey
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
23.8 °C
75 °F
10.8 °C
51 °F
252.6 mm
9.9 in
Localities around Yalata:
Nullarbor Nullarbor
Nullarbor Yalata Yellabinna
Mitchidy Moola
Great Australian Bight Great Australian Bight
Fowlers Bay
Mitchidy Moola
Fowlers Bay
Footnotes Adjoining localities

Yalata is an Aboriginal community located 200 kilometres (120 mi) west of Ceduna and 140 km (87 mi) south of Ooldea on the edge of the Nullarbor Plain in South Australia. It lies on the traditional lands of the Wirangu people, but the settlement began as Yalata Mission in the early 1950s when Pila Nguru people were moved from Ooldea Mission when that closed, after previously being moved from their land in the Great Victoria Desert owing to nuclear testing by the British Government.

The old Colona sheep station nearby is now part of Yalata Indigenous Protected Area.

At the 2016 census, Yalata and the surrounding area had a population of 248.


The community consists mainly of Anangu who lived in the spinifex country far to the north around Ooldea prior to their forced removal to Yalata in 1952. In the 1950s areas around Maralinga and Emu were used for Atomic Testing by the British Government of the day. Around this time the Australian Government resumed much Anangu land to be used for the Woomera Rocket testing Range. As a result, Anangu were moved to Ooldea in the first instance then later moved to the Yalata site. The Maralinga Tjarutja native title land was handed back to the Anangu under legislation passed by both houses of the South Australian Parliament in December 1984 and proclaimed in January 1985. The Yalata Aboriginal lands cover 4,580 km² and span approximately 150 km of the Eyre Highway. Inland Anangu resettled on the land in 1995 and forming a community at Oak Valley. Regular movement of Anangu between Yalata and Oak Valley occurs.


At the 2016 census, the population was 248, but the number fluctuates (up to around 500), depending on cultural business, seasons and other factors. [[Pitjantjatjara language|Pitjantjatja was spoken as the primary language in 50.4% of homes in the Yalata area, specifically a southern dialect.

The main religion of residents was as follows, Lutheran: 37.3%, no religion 15.4%, Australian Aboriginal traditional religions: 10.8% and not stated: 33.6%.


Yalata Roadhouse, 200 km west of Ceduna, was operated by Yalata Aboriginal Community Incorporated. There is also a caravan park to assist tourists passing through or visiting the Great Australian Bight for fishing or whale watching. The roadhouse was closed in February 2006.

The lands of the Yalata bear their own name. A portion of these lands in South Australia's remote west, comprises Yalata, one of the four local government areas of South Australia classified as an Aboriginal Council (AC).

On 21 August 2007, the Adelaide Advertiser reported that fire had overnight destroyed the shed-structure police station and associated home, with damage costing approximately A$500,000.

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