Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) Conservation Reserve is a place of great cultural significance to the Western Arrarnta Aboriginal people, as well as one of international scientific interest.
According to Aboriginal belief, Tnorala was formed in the creation time, when a group of women danced across the sky as the Milky Way. During this dance, a mother put her baby aside, resting in it’s wooden baby-carrier (a turna). The carrier toppled over the edge of the dancing area and crashed to earth where it was transformed into the circular rock walls of Tnorala.
The Aboriginal and scientific interpretation of the Bluff are similar in that both have a celestial origin. Around 142.5 million years ago an object from space, believed to be a comet about 600 metres across, crashed to earth, blasting a crater some 20km across. Today’s land surface is about 2km lower than the original impact surface and the bluff is about 5km in diameter, reduced over time by erosion.
The remnant crater was named Gosse’s Range by the explorer Ernest Giles in 1872 after H. Gosse, a fellow of the Royal Society.