The region is in the far north west of the state. The Alinytjara Wilurara (AW) region covers 26% of the State and includes the following lands and waters:
- Yalata (vested in the Aboriginal Lands Trust under the Aboriginal Lands Trust Act 1966)
- Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands (vested in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara under the Pitjantjatjara Land Rights Act 1981)
- Maralinga Tjarutja (MT) Lands (vested in the Maralinga Tjarutja under the Maralinga Tjarutja Land Rights Act 1984)
- Areas dedicated under the National Parks and Wildlife Act adjoining the Yalata and Maralinga Tjarutja Lands: the Unnamed Conservation Park, Tallaringa Conservation Park, Yumbarra Conservation Park, Pureba Conservation Park, the Nullarbor Regional Reserve and the Yellabinna Regional Reserve
- The regional boundary extends to the edge of the State Waters (3 nautical miles).
This vast, remote and rich land is largely set aside for conservation and traditional Aboriginal use and occupation. More than half the region is held as dedicated Aboriginal lands. The region is owned or in the trust of three key land holding authorities namely
- Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara or APY
- Aboriginal Lands Trust or ALT which covers the Yalata area
- Maralinga Tjarutja or MT.
In the south, the Nullarbor Plain meets the Southern Ocean with the spectacular line of the Bunda cliffs of the Great Australian Bight and massive, ancient sand dunes and wild windswept beaches of the Yalata Lands. Inland from these dunes lay mallee woodlands and chenopod and mixed shrublands. To the north are the Maralinga Tjarutja lands and the start of the Great Victoria Desert, an area of red sand dunes and stony plains, dry salt lakes with little surface water apart from rockholes and soaks.
In the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands the Great Victoria Desert is replaced by gentle undulating plains and drainage systems in the north east with the dominating feature of the landscape being several arid ranges and rock outcrops including the Musgrave and Mann Ranges and the highest point in South Australia, Mt Woodroofe.
The region is diverse and rich in flora and fauna with many species of conservation significance occurring in spinifex hummocks, tussock grasslands, shrublands and woodlands of mulga wattles, mallee eucalypts and red gum.
The major threats to the natural resources of the region are the lack, or loss, of traditional or contemporary environmental management and replacement with pastoral activities and mining; a lack of documented knowledge and information regarding the health and trend of the natural resources; unsustainable current or future use of groundwater; the impacts of feral animals including camels, cattle, horses, donkeys and rabbits, foxes and cats; existing or new weed invasions (buffel grass is considered one of the major risks to biodiversity in the region); altered fire regimes; and climate change.
The Alinytjara Wilurara NRM Board Vision:
The Alinytjara Wilurara NRM Board has a vision of natural resources being sustained and enhanced for the cultural, environmental, social and economic benefit of aboriginal people through holistic management practises that care for the land and culture. Furthermore, the board has a vision of an Aboriginal community with added capacity and training to facilitate involvement in natural resource management.