Our five seasons
Lightning over Uluru. Photo: Damien Hill
Anangu recognise five different seasons in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
The warmer months bring extreme heat and rainstorms to the park, with temperatures often soaring well above 35 degrees celsius.
The middle of the year sees clouds, mist and morning frosts in the desert.
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.