Festivals & Events in the Northern Territory

The Northern Territory of Australia is vibrant and culturally rich, offering a wide array of festivals and events that showcase its unique heritage and breathtaking landscapes. Planning your visit to coincide with these events can greatly enhance your travel experience, providing deeper insights into the local culture and an opportunity to participate in exclusive celebrations. Here’s a guide to some of the most noteworthy festivals and events in the Northern Territory that you should consider when booking your next adventure:

1. Darwin Festival (August)


This vibrant arts and cultural festival transforms Darwin for 18 days each August. Enjoy a rich program that includes outdoor concerts, theatrical and dance performances, comedy shows, visual art exhibitions, and community events. The festival captures Darwin’s multicultural community spirit and warm tropical nights in a celebration of music, food, and art.

2. Parrtjima – A Festival in Light


Parrtjima is the only Indigenous festival of its kind, illuminating the outback sky in Alice Springs with spectacular light installations set against the backdrop of the MacDonnell Ranges. This festival merges technology with ancient culture, offering light shows, interactive artworks, live talks, and events that celebrate Aboriginal art, culture, and storytelling.

View of Alice Springs CBD from Anzac Hill with Mount Gillen in the background

3. Darwin Greek Glenti


Experience Greek culture in the tropical setting of Darwin at the Greek Glenti. This festival is filled with traditional music, dance, and a plethora of Greek cuisine. It’s a lively showcase of Hellenic heritage with live performances, market stalls, and activities for the whole family, emphasizing community and celebration.

4. Henley-on-Todd Regatta


A uniquely Australian event, the Henley-on-Todd Regatta is a boat race in the dry riverbed of the Todd River in Alice Springs. It features ‘bottomless boats,’ bathtubs, and yacht-shaped contraptions on wheels. The event is filled with humor and whimsy, providing a quirky take on traditional boat races with lots of laughter and community spirit.

Group of travelers at the "Welcome to Alice Springs" sign in Central Australia.

5. Alice Springs Beanie Festival


What started as a small community event has grown into an internationally recognized festival that celebrates the art of beanie making. The Alice Springs Beanie Festival promotes Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists through workshops, demonstrations, and a vibrant marketplace that attracts collectors and enthusiasts from around the world.

6. Desert Mob Festival


As one of the nation’s most significant Aboriginal art gatherings, the Desert Mob Festival in Alice Springs displays the latest developments in contemporary art from desert communities. The festival includes a market, symposium, and exhibition, offering a profound insight into the region’s artistic movements and the rich cultural narratives of its Indigenous peoples.

View of Mt Gillen in Alice Springs with a backdrop of blue skies and scattered clouds.

7. Tjungu Festival


Located at the Ayers Rock Resort, the Tjungu Festival celebrates the best of Australian Indigenous culture. With a focus on togetherness, the festival features traditional and contemporary music, a film festival, markets showcasing Indigenous products, and cultural discussions that provide visitors with a deep understanding of the community and its traditions.

8. Fabalice Festival


Held in Alice Springs, the Fabalice Festival is a vibrant celebration of LGBTQ+ culture, featuring drag performances, cabaret, music, and community events. It’s a display of inclusivity and fun, set against the backdrop of the Red Centre, and draws performers and visitors from all over Australia, contributing to the visibility and celebration of diversity in remote Australia.

View looking up at the towering red rock walls of Standley Chasm with a clear blue sky above.


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