Aputula, Northern Territory
|Population||250 (? estimate)[source?]|
|Location||159 km (99 mi) east of Stuart Highway|
|LGA(s)||Central Land Council|
Aputula is a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory of Australia. It is south of Alice Springs, near the border with South Australia. It is 159 km (99 mi) east of the Stuart Highway. About 250 people live there. They are Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara, Luritja, and Lower Southern Arrernte people. The Finke River passes nearby the town, but it is dry for most of the year, except during floods.
The town was called Finke until the 1980s. It began as a trading stop on the Central Australian Railway. Local Aborigines traded dingo scalps, artefacts and tools for European goods. In the 1950s and 1960s, White farmers set up cattle stations around the town. Most of the Europeans left Finke when the railway line was moved westwards in the late 1970s. This was done because the track was damaged during huge floods in 1973 and 1974, so it was moved away from the river. The Aboriginal people living in the town did not move, and the town came to be known as Aputula. The name comes from a place called Putula near the town, which used to be the site of a water soak. Putula is an Arrernte word. Arrernte people used to get their water there, before the white people and the railway line came to the area.
Aputula holds the record of having the hottest day ever recorded in the Northern Territory—48.3 °C (118.9 °F) on 1 and 2 January 1960.