An area totalling 4.2 million hectares along the border of Western Australia and the Northern Territory has been declared an Indigenous Protected Area , making it the largest protected arid area on the planet.
It’s called the Kiwirrkurra IPA, covering the country that the ‘Pintubi Nine’ emerged from in 1984. The main thrust of an Indigenous Protected Area is about preservation, for the country and the cultures that exist within the country.
Government departments work together with the local indigenous community to manage the land, using traditional and more modern methods to take care of it. This a a double winner; as jobs are created through the methods of land management.
For Four-wheel drivers, the good news is that this sort of country won’t be blocked from visitors. Tourism is seen as an important part of this country, so visitation will be encouraged through the area.
“The Kiwirrkurra IPA will remain open for tourism. However, part of the Kiwirrkurra IPA Plan of Management and associated IPA activities see native title holders identifying important cultural sites and managing visitor access to these sites.” A spokesperson from the Department of Environment told us.
“The Kiwirrkurra IPA Plan of Management notes that there is a small but regular flow of 4X4 tourists travelling through Kiwirrkurra in the cooler months. Besides the protection of important cultural sites noted above, there are no intentions to restrict the current ready access by 4X4 travellers.”
Various permit systems and some basic requests in terms of manners and decency are all that is usually required for travel into and through Indigenous Protected Areas.