place in the Northern Territory, Australia

25°1′S 129°24′E / 25.017°S 129.400°E / -25.017; 129.400

Plaque outside Lasseter's Cave recounting the tale of Lasseter's death.

Tjunti is a soakage site near Kaḻṯukatjara, in the Northern Territory of Australia. It is where the Hull River cuts through the Petermann Ranges.[1] It is about 36 kilometres (22 mi) to the southeast of Kaḻṯukatjara (41 km by road, along the Tjukaruru Road). Tjunti is the site where the famous gold prospector Harold B. Lasseter took refuge on his fatal search for Lasseter's Reef. An outstation was established here in 1977, and belongs to a Pitjantjatjara family.[2]

The gap in the mountains is formed here by the Hull River, a sandy creek that is usually dry. It splits the Curdie Range in the south from the Mannanana Range in the north. There are several soaks and rockholes in the area.

The small cave where Lasseter took refuge is Kuḻpi Tjuntinya (now commonly called Lasseter's Cave in English). This is an opening in a rock formation in the Mannanana Range (Pitjantjatjara: Tjuntinya). Lasseter took shelter here for about 25 days during January 1931. He was trying to find a rich gold deposit that he claimed to have discovered in the area on an earlier expedition. His camels ran away, and he was stranded in the desert without food. While taking shelter in the cave, Lasseter wrote about his journey in his diary. He was later found by a local Pitjantjatjara family, who gave him food and water. After this, Lasseter decided to leave the cave and tried to walk the 140 km (87 mi) to Kata Tjuṯa. He was weak from dehydration, malnutrition and exhaustion, and he died three days later, after walking about 55 km (34 mi).[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Robert Layton (1986). Uluru: an aboriginal history of Ayers Rock. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. p. 56–57. ISBN 978-0-855751-61-6.
  2. Scott Cane; Owen Stanley (1985). Land Use and Resources in Desert Homelands. Darwin: Australian National University, North Australia Research Unit. pp. 107–112. ISBN 0867847662.

Other websites

  • Tjunti in the Northern Territory's Place Names Register