Visiting Aboriginal Land

Visiting Aboriginal Land

Aboriginal land is private land and permission is required to visit. The CLC permit system allows regulated access to all Aboriginal land for visitors, workers, and researchers and for special projects. Permits are free and rarely refused.

Entry permits for communities are only required if you are staying in the community as a visitor or non-government worker. Government workers (and contractors to government) do not require permits for communities. Some roads to communities are not public roads and do require a transit permit. All permits can be applied for online.

Who needs a permit?

Anyone transiting on non-public roads needs a transit permit – check the list below or use our map to see where.

• Anyone staying overnight or longer in a community needs an entry permit.

• Anyone visiting the public areas of a community and not staying overnight does not need a permit.

• Government workers do not need a permit to enter Aboriginal land for the purposes of their work.

• Contractors to government do not need an entry permit for work in communities but do need an entry permit for work on Aboriginal land outside communities (including outstations).

• Anyone visiting outstations and other Aboriginal land outside communities needs an entry permit.

• Anyone conducting research or commercial projects on Aboriginal land needs a special purpose permit.

• Media are requested to register here

If you are unsure contact the CLC on +61 (08) 8951 6320 or permits@clc.org.au or visit 27 Stuart Highway Alice Springs.

Which roads require transit permits?

The following roads are not public roads and require a transit permit:
• Tjukaruru Road (between Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park boundary and WA border). The transit permit allows access to Tjunti (Lasseter's Cave) for sightseeing during the day. Camping is only allowed at the Docker River campground.
• Gary Junction Road (between Papunya and WA border).
• Sandy Blight Road (between Kintore and Docker River). Note: this is a rough and slow road and a full day needs to be allowed. As this road also crosses into WA a permit is also required from Ngaanyatjarra Council on
• Glen Helen-Papunya Road (between Glen Helen and Papunya). Note: this permit does not allow you to enter Haasts Bluff (Ikuntji).
• Mereenie Loop Road (between Kata Pata Pass and Watarrka National Park boundary). Note: The Mereenie Tour Pass combines your transit permit with a full colour tourist information booklet and map for a cost of $2.20. The Pass is available from Alice Springs Tourist Information, Hermannsburg (Ntaria), Glen Helen, Kings Canyon (Watarrka), and the CLC in Alice Springs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Go to FAQs here to answer most of your queries

Transit permit

For travel through Aboriginal land on the Tjukaruru (Docker River), Gary Junction (Kintore), Sandy Blight and Glen Helen-Papunya roads apply here.

[Note: the Mereenie Tour Pass not available online but at Alice Springs Tourist Office, Hermannsburg, Glen Helen, Kings Canyon and CLC for $2.20]

Entry  permit for mining companies

For entry onto Aboriginal land for mining meetings, exploration or other activity. Mining access permits are processed on a needs basis. Apply here

Entry permit

For staying in Aboriginal communities or entry onto other Aboriginal land for visitors and non-government workers (workers require criminal history check). Permits will generally require consultation with Aboriginal landowners and may take one week or longer to process. Apply here

Special purpose permit

For entry onto Aboriginal land for special purposes including research and commercial projects. All research applications require approval of the Central Australian Human Research Ethics Committee. Applications for special purpose permits need to allow at least one month for processing because extensive consultations with Aboriginal landowners may be required. Apply here

Check current road conditions here or call 1800 246 199.

Please read frequently asked questions for further information. Any queries please contact the Central Land Council on +61 (08) 8951 6320 or permits@clc.org.au or visit 27 Stuart Highway Alice Springs.

The permit system is simply about asking before visiting. Unauthorised entry to Aboriginal land can result in a fine of up to $1000. Please be respectful and use discretion if asking to take photos. Enjoy your visit.