Located 270 km North East of Alice Springs, Urapuntja (Utopia) clinic provides health services to the Eastern Anmatyarre and Alyawarre people that are the traditional owners of the land.
Utopia has an extreme desert climate. The summer is hot with temperatures often exceeding forty degrees celsius. In winter the nights are cold, often sub-zero and frosts occur from June to August. After the (infrequent) rain the desert landscape is transformed. The dried out spinifex flowers can resemble a field of wheat and the mulga shrub bears green dense foliage and masses of bright yellow flowers. Growing amongst these plants is an abundance of wildflowers that turns the deep red coloured desert floor into a utopian garden.
Urapuntja Council Aboriginal Corporation is the administrative body responsible for service delivery to the Anmatyerre and Alyawarra speaking people who live on the Angarapa and Alyawarra Land Trusts. There are sixteen outstations within the community covering some 3,230 km2, 250 km north east of Alice Springs.
Utopia actually refers to a region encompassing 16 smaller communities referred to as outstations. The larger community of Alparra, 10 kilometres south of the Utopia Clinic, has a store that sells the usual items found in a small community supermarket, along with hot take away food. Alparra is also where there is a police station that serves the region along with a primary school & a campus of the Batchelor Aboriginal Institute.
Some other outstations serviced by the Utopia Clinic include, Antarrengeny, Ngkwarlerlaner, Arnkawwenyerr & Amengernternenh (where Utopia Clinic is situated). Outstation populations can vary from 20 to 100. The Utopia Clinic is situated 10kms north of Alparra & is its own small community with housing available for clinic staff & a small clinic school, which is a primary school whose pupils are drawn from the health workers families of Utopia & some of the surrounding outstations.
Access is by road via Alice Springs. The road is sealed for 100km and there is 170 km unsealed. The trip takes approximately 3.5 hours from Alice Springs in dry conditions, firstly on the sealed Stuart Highway & then on the unsealed Sandover Highway. A Four Wheel Drive is required to make the journey after rain. Heavy rain will close the road. Be very careful of feral horses, camels, cattle & donkeys when on the road. Try to avoid being on the road from dusk until dawn.