Northern Territory — Festivals and Events
Both indigenous and historical influences have shaped the Northern Territory’s calendar of events. Just a short drive from the capital of the territory is the town of Barunga. Throughout much of the year, this community is overshadowed by the rest of the region. However, each June, the town opens its Aboriginal heritage to the world through the Barunga Festival. If music lovers are looking for something to experience, then then should travel to Darwin in May for the renowned BassintheGrass festival.
Alice Springs Cup Festival
After four weeks of horse racing and celebrations, the Alice Springs Cup Festival brings a horseracing event to a close. Held in May, this five-day racing festival is a magnificent time to visit Alice Springs, as the central region of Australia centers around the town during this time.
Darwin’s most successful musical event, BassintheGrass is a May music festival that brings many thousands of music-lovers to the capital of the Northern Territory. Some of Australia’s best musicians and bands regularly play at this event too.
Held in the town of Barunga, just a few hours from Darwin, is the Barunga Festival. This magnificent Northern Territory event showcases the best in Indigenous art and culture. The Jawoyn community takes in thousands of visitors across several days, which takes place in June.
Ali Curung Festival
The town of Alice Springs is the heart of Australia’s Red Centre, and the Indigenous communities that thrive in the area. Every July, the Ali Curung Festival is held just outside the town, boasting an array of traditional Aboriginal performances and feasts. This is a great way to get off the beaten track in the central region of the Northern Territory.
The Darwin Festival is one of the territory’s best events, lasting 18 days in the month of August. Visitors to the city during this time will be astounded at the celebrations that go on. Local, national and international displays, performances, dances and food can be found across the city.
Henley on Todd
The city of Alice Springs is home to one of the strangest festivals in the world. Each year in the month of August, locals and visitors get together on the Todd River (literally) to race boats. However, the fact that the Todd River is dry means the boats are hull-less, requiring participants to run the race rather than sail it. Visitors will be surprised by the elaborate boats on show.
Darwin Cup Festival
Join 20,000 other horse racing enthusiasts at the Darwin Cup Festival, which is held at the beautiful Fannie Bay Racetrack. The actual race is held at the beginning of August, where plenty of dressing-up, drinking and gambling take center stage. Nothing beats the electric atmosphere at Darwin Cup Day.
Aboriginal Arts Awards
Usually held in the months of August, September or October, the annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Awards is a fascinating night on the Northern Territory calendar. The awards showcase the famous artists and up-and-coming wonders from across the territory and other states.