The Nukunu language is tradionally associated with the  east side of Spencer Gulf and the Southern Flinders Ranges.  Many Nukunu people today live in Adelaide, but families maintain a close connection to Nukunu country, which includes but is not limited to the townships of Port Augusta, Port Germein, Port  Pirie and Melrose.

Nukunu language is most closely related to Narungga (Yorke Peninsula) and other Thura-Yura languages (Ngadjuri, Kaurna, Barngarla, Adnyamathanha, Kuyani, Nawu).

Nukunu is presently a heritage language without fluent speakers. However, efforts are underway to revive the language.

Linguist Luise Hercus produced a Nukunu dictionary in 1992, which consolodates the knowledge of the last full Nukunu speakers in the 1960s. Contemporary Nukunu people continue to use Nukunu words mixed with English in their everyday speech.




A Nukunu Dictionary - Luise Hercus (1992)

Pronunciation Guide - based on Luise Hercus (1992) A Nukunu Dictionary

Nukunu Crossword Activity


AIATSIS id : L.04


Barutadura (men of Baroota), Doora, Eura (general term for several groups), Njuguna, Nokuna, Nokunna, Noocoona, Nookoona, Nu-guna, Nuguna (used by AIATSIS), Nugunu, Nukana, Nukuna, Nukunna, Nukunnu, Nukunu, Pukunna (misprint), Tjura, Tura ('tura’ = man), Tyra, Tyura, Wallaroo, Warra (name of language), Wongaidja, Wongaidya.

We apologise, there is no information available at this time

Efforts to learn and use Nukunu

Jared Thomas from the University of South Australia has been working with Luis Hercus Nukunu booklet, to learn some Nukunu language.

Language Contact

Michael Turner, Chairperson
PO Box 70
Port Germein

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The above map is based upon the Horton Indigenous Map of Australia © Aboriginal Studies Press, AIATSIS, and Auslig/Sinclair, Knight, Merz, 1996. The full map is available on the AIATSIS website. The locations of the languages of SA, as stated on the this website are not intended for Land Claim use, and are an approximate guide only. Individual language project locations are based on information from publicly available MILR (ILS) documents.