Prince William has been impressed with the gift of a traditional hunting spear during a visit to an indigenous training centre in Yulara.

The Duke of Cambridge has been presented with a traditional hunting spear during his first official engagement in Australia’s red centre.

Prince William and Kate presented certificates to graduates of the National Indigenous Training Centre at Yulara – the town close to Uluru in the Northern Territory – on Tuesday.

Following the presentation, the royal couple were presented with hand-made gifts of jewellery and carvings as well as a barbed mulga wood spear bound in traditional fashion with kangaroo tendons.

The prince seemed impressed with his gift, asking about its construction.

The royals were greeted by a crowd of about 150 people in hot conditions at the academy and spent nearly 15 minutes talking to onlookers and graduates.

Emma Haskins, 39, from Alice Springs, was thrilled to meet the Duchess of Cambridge after planning her trip for months and making the five-hour drive from Alice on Monday.

“It’s been planned since March – as soon as we found out she was coming we did it,” she said.

Ms Haskins said she asked Kate if she was missing baby Prince George, who has remained in Canberra.

“She said ‘yes’,” Ms Haskins said.

“It was so exciting – I was lost for words.”

Kate also spoke with Ms Haskins’ four-year-old daughter Amelia, telling the tiara-wearing little girl “you look beautiful”.

The spent several minutes on a royal walkabout, talking to school children and others who waited under shady trees in 31 plus temperatures.

Yulara resident Mette Spencer, 38, had brought her one-year-old daughter Sophia to see the visiting Duchess.

Ms Spencer said it was a shame George, who is nine-months old on Tuesday, was not with his parents on this leg of the trip.

“We were hoping he was going to come for a play date,” she said.

But she was happy that the royals had taken time to visit such a remote part of the country.

Sharon and David Thornton drove down from Alice Springs with their children, Caleb, 8, and Lucinda, 3.

“It’s good to bring the children for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Ms Thornton said.

Bridget Bakker from Warrnambool, Victoria, met William’s mother, Diana, in Melbourne in 1983 and by chance was in Yulara during a driving holiday.

“I shook hands with Di and spoke to her,” Ms Bakker said.

“I’m not a big royalist but I admire some of them.”