Anangu Knowledge, Uluru Seasons

The traditional people in the Yulara area of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), are known as ‘Anangu’. Their presence in the area dates back as far as

Knowing which fruits and foods are available at different times of the year, is the basis of the 5 Anangu Seasons, or Uluru Seasons.

Piriyakutu/piriya piriya

(August/September)
This is when the piriya comes – a warm steady wind from the north and west. Animals breed, food plants flower, fruit and seed. Hibernating reptiles come out and the honey grevillea is in bloom. This is a good time for hunting kangaroo.

Mai wiyaringkupai/kuli

(December)
There is not much food around at this time. This is the hottest season. There is Marutjara (storm clouds) and lightening, but little rain. Lightning strikes can start fires.

Itjanu/inuntji

(January-March)
This is when utawari (overcast clouds) usually bring rain. During this season the food plants flower. If the rains are good there is plenty of fruit and seed.

Wanitjunkupai

(April, May)
The beginning of the cold weather and this is when the Park’s reptiles hibernate. Tjuntalpa clouds start around April but usually don’t bring rain. They come from the south, mainly by westerly winds. Tjuntalpa sit low over the hills until late in the day.

Wari
(May, June, July)
The cold time, when there is nyinnga (frost) and kulyar-kulyarpa (mist or dew) every morning but little rain.


The five seasons

Piriyakutu/piriya piriya (August to September)

Piriya is the name of the warm, steady wind that arrives from the north and west at this time of year.

Warmer weather brings the park’s many reptiles out of hibernation. Animals start to breed, and food plants (including the honey grevillea) begin to flower, fruit and seed. This is also a good time to hunt kangaroo.

Mai wiyaringkupai/kuli (around December)

The hottest part of the year. This season brings storm clouds and lightning, but little rain.

There is not much food around at this time, and lightning strikes can start fires.

Itjanu/inuntji (January to March)

Puffy clouds appear on the western horizon and quickly move east to cover the sky, bringing rain with them.

Storms can come in from other directions, whipping up winds and sending the temperature down.

Many food plants flower during this season, and good rains produce plenty of fruit and seed.

Wanitjunkupai (April to May)

The cold weather creeps back over Uluru. Clouds come from the south and sit low on the hills for most of the day, but don’t produce much rain.

The park’s reptiles begin hibernating for the winter ahead.

Wari (late May to July)

This is the cold time, when there is nyinnga (frost) and kulyar-kulyarpa (mist or dew) every morning but little rain.

The frosts cure the grasses, drying and preserving them. This dry fuel feeds the fires that can ignite in early summer.