Musgrave Ranges is a mountain range in Central Australia, straddling the boundary of South Australia (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara) and the Northern Territory (MacDonnell Shire),[2] extending into Western Australia. It is between the Great Victoria Desert to the south and the Gibson Desert to the north. They have a length of 210 kilometres (130 mi) and many peaks that have a height of more than 1,100 metres (3,600 ft), the highest being Mount Woodroffe at 1,435 metres (4,708 ft).[2]

Musgrave Ranges
Musgrave Ranges is located in Northern Territory
Musgrave Ranges
Highest point
PeakMount Woodroffe
Elevation1,435 m (4,708 ft)[1]
Length210 km (130 mi)[1] east/west
StateSouth Australia, Northern Territory
Range coordinates20°16′01″S 128°31′01″E / 20.267°S 128.517°E / -20.267; 128.517Coordinates: 20°16′01″S 128°31′01″E / 20.267°S 128.517°E / -20.267; 128.517


They were originally inhabited by the indigenous Yankunytjatjara people.[3] The English explorer William Gosse and his team were the first white people to visit the region in the 1870s. Gosse named the mountains after Anthony Musgrave,[4] then Governor of South Australia. At the start of the 20th century, Yankunytjatjara people began migrating east, and groups of Pitjantjatjara moved into the Musgrave region from the west. Today, the majority of the families in the communities of Amata and Kaltjiti identify as Pitjantjatjara.[5]

In a historic decision freehold title to the South Australian portion of the Musgrave Ranges was granted to the Pitjantjatjara people by virtue of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights Act 1981.[6]

Mineral explorationEdit

In order to combat unemployment, the Pitjantjatjara Elders seek to develop employment and opportunity within the Pitjantjatjara Lands. Mineral exploration companies in particular have been keen to discuss possible business alliances with the Pitjantjatjara people because in addition to being a highly prospective region (platinum group elements, gold, uranium, copper, silver,[7] possibly oil), the region represents the largest freehold Aboriginal province in Australia and has had no modern mineral exploration techniques applied since the Land Rights Act of 1981.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "MUsgrave Ranges". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2014. p. 682. ISBN 9781593394929. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Musgrave Ranges". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 15 January 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  3. ^ Anthropology U.C.L.A. University of California, Los Angeles Dept. of Anthropology. Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles. 1981.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ Room, Adrian (1989). Dictionary of World Place Names Derived from British Names. Taylor & Francis. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-415-02811-0. Retrieved 14 January 2009.
  5. ^ Eleanor Leacock; Richard B. Lee (182). Politics and History in Band Societies. Cambridge University Press. p. 470. ISBN 9780521284127.
  6. ^ "Architect of South Australian Land Rights". Indigenous Law Bulletin. 4 (18): 23. 1999. Archived from the original on 15 January 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  7. ^ Bromby, Robin (16 September 2006). "China's hunger for secure supplies feeds our economy". The Australian. News Limited. Archived from the original on 15 January 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  8. ^ Starick, Paul; Cameron England (1 May 2007). "Grab your hard hat, boom coming". AdelaideNow. News Limited. Archived from the original on 15 January 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2009.