Darwin Festival Northern Territory

Next up in the NT events – August and September

The Northern Territory is back in business. With borders just re-opened and tourism picking up again, the Top End has given the green light to a jam-packed calendar in August and September. Sure, things might look a little different to keep everyone safe and well. But you’re guaranteed a good time at these NT events in Darwin and Alice – from supercars and sport to light installations and live music. Here are Tourism NT’s top calendar picks.

Immerse in festivals unique to the NT, such as the surreal celebration of light, Parrtjima. Credit: NT Major Events/ James Horan

Darwin Cup Day, Darwin – 3rd August

Colourful crowds descend on Fannie Bay for the biggest sports event in the NT. The Great Northern Darwin Cup is in fact the culmination of a week-long carnival. Racing aside, you can also witness fashion moments and immerse in live entertainment.

Darwin Festival, Darwin – 6th to 16th August

Music madness and foodie frenzy at the Darwin Festival. Credit: Darwin Festival/ Duane Preston

Homegrown heroes are at the forefront of this top NT event. You can expect awesome music experiences and an Aboriginal Art Fair, as well as dedicated Family activities including City of Darwin Teddy Bears’ Picnic.

Darwin Supercars, Darwin – 8th to 9th August

Rev up your engines for a weekend of racing at Hidden Valley Raceway. There may not be large-scale concerts this year. But there will be merch stalls, food and drink stands and fast and furious Triple Crown action.

Got a need for speed? Check out the supercars in Darwin! Credit: Tourism NT/ Northern Territory Major Events Company

The Ghan resumes operation – 30th August

In keeping with the theme of planes, trains and automobiles, Australia’s most famous rail route chuffs off again from the end of August. The Ghan runs all the way from Adelaide to Darwin via Alice and Katherine.

Red Centre NATS, Alice Springs – 4th to 6th September

Celebrate Father’s Day with this festival of four wheels. Wander past souped up hot rods and sleek show cars and then watch drag racing and 4WD demos. Kids 13 and under enter free.

Parrtjima – A Festival in Light, Alice Springs – 11th to 20th September

The magnificent MacDonnell Ranges provide the atmospheric backdrop for this 10-day free-entry Aboriginal light festival. Parrtjima would have to be one of the most famous NT events. The theme for this year is ‘Lifting Our Spirits.’ The line-up of art, music and live talks will do just that. You can also expect digital light projections, large-scale sculpture and more across the Mparntwe (Alice Springs) region.

Girl sits on large-scale indigenous artwork at Alice Springs
The awesome artwork from Patricia Ansell Dodds at Parrtjima 2017 Picture: James Horan Photography for Tourism NT

Desert Mob, Alice Springs – 11th September to 25th October

This exhibition and seminar series showcases the best art emerging from desert communities in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. Established artists and fresh faces converge on the Araluen Arts Centre, as well as other Aboriginal-led Desart centres, in order to celebrate First Nations art-making and storytelling traditions.

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