Areyonga, known locally as Utju, is nestled in a spectacular valley in the western end of the MacDonnell Ranges, about 100km from Hermannsburg and 240km west of Alice Springs.
Its population of 235 residents predominantly speak Pitjantjatjara, having originally come from the Petermann Ranges in the 1920s when Anangu were forced to leave the Docker River area during a long running drought. For this reason Areyonga is in the Iyarrka Ward of the MacDonnell Regional Council despite its immediate proximity to Western Arrernte communities.
All general municipal services at Areyonga are provided by MacDonnell Regional Council including maintenance of internal roads, development and maintenance of public spaces and sports facilities including a swimming pool, animal control, waste management services, and the maintenance of an airstrip.
In addition MacDonnell Council provides child care, youth development, night patrol and home care services. Council is contracted by Power Water Corporation to operate the community’s essential services of power, water and sewerage supply, Australia Post to provide postal delivery services and by Centrelink to provide its services through an agency in its Council office.
Despite being a relatively small population, it is a proud and vital community with its own store, community hall and a weekly air service.
In 2016 Areyonga was named Territory Tidy Town. This qualified the community to be judged as a national finalist in the 2017 Australian Tidy Town Awards. The following video was made as part of their submission to the national awards.