Attending an Aboriginal festival can make for a high point of a visit to Australia. Here are some of the best, and most memorable, in the Territory. They are almost exclusively alcohol-free.
Ngukurr (June; ngukurrarts.com) A three-day festival at a remote community on the Roper Highway, incorporating everything from footy matches and craft workshops to hip-hop competitions and family activities.
Barunga (June; barungafestival.com.au) One of the best known of the NT’s indigenous festivals, with a focus on music, sport and culture. 80km southeast of Katherine.
Dancing with Spirits (July; djilpinarts.org.au) Held by the Wugularr community in SW Arnhem Land, sharing songs, dance, stories and music in a spectacular waterside setting. 4WD recommended for access.
Walaman Cultural Festival (July; ntyan.com.au) A colourful celebration involving workshops, traditional dancing, bush games and fire sculptures. Takes place in Bulman, 400km southeast of Darwin. No charge for tickets, all welcome.
Garma (August; garma.com.au) Rightly famed and hugely popular, drawing large numbers of non-indigenous visitors to the Gove Peninsula to immerse themselves in the music, ceremonies and bushcraft of the “First Australians”.