Not only will these incredible events connect you to Country; they’ll become experiences you’ll never forget.
The outback’s dynamic communities and townships add colour to the desert’s vivid landscapes. These unique outback events pull together the very best of their community spirit, regional art and local culture.
Parrtjima –A Festival in Light, NT
Art from the world’s oldest living culture melds with modern technology to create a dazzling display at Parrtjima – A Festival in Light.
Held in the heart of the continent on the red soil of Arrente Country, the festival brings together large-scale light and sound installations that transform Alice Springs/Mparntwe into a spectacular stage.
Art from the world’s oldest living culture melds with modern technology at Parrtjima. (Image: Grass Seed)
Festival of Outback Skies, Qld
The jewel of the outback is the glittering sandstorm of stars that bedazzle the desert skies each night. This year, the inaugural Festival of the Outback Skies in Hughenden celebrates the lifestyle of the rural community and all things astronomical.
Enjoy a dinner under the stars, a telescope viewing and the lantern-lit lake where you can lie back and marvel at the stars above.
The night skies are the jewel of the outback. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
Festival of Outback Opera, Qld
No stage lighting, even in the most state-of-the-art opera venue, could compare to the tapestry of colours painted by an outback sunset or a dazzling desert nightscape.
This winter, settle in for pop-up opera in outback Queensland, where you’ll be treated to an exquisite line-up of live music beneath a glittering night sky. The program extends across Winton and Longreach.
No stage lighting could compare to the tapestry of colours painted by an outback sunset. (Image: Jade Ferguson)
Boab Metals Ord Valley Muster, WA
As one of the most beautiful yet remote locations in the world, the Kimberley exudes mystique. Come May, The Ord Valley Muster pulls together some of the region’s very best cultural offerings with live music, open-air art galleries, fine dining and yoga on the lagoon.
The festival also spotlights the culture of the Miriuwung Gajerrong Traditional Owners with a corroboree under the stars and traditional tucker included.
The festival spotlights the culture of the Miriuwung Gajerrong Traditional Owners. (Image: Sarah Duguid Photography)
Alice Springs Beanie Festival, NT
Everyone needs a beanie to enjoy the crisp, chilly desert nights; that’s why beanie-making has become a treasured regional art in Alice Springs/Mparntwe.
The Alice Springs Beanie Festival is every bit quirky as it is delightful, celebrating crochet work from remote Aboriginal communities and craftspeople in the Red Centre.
Over three days, you can check out a unique exhibition of beanies, accompanied by live music, street food and workshops.
Big Red Bash, Qld & NSW
4–6 July, 17–19 August
The 2023 edition of Birdsville’s Big Red Bash will mark 10 years of rockin’ the Simpson Desert. The Bash is a celebration of great Aussie music, set against a backdrop of iconic outback plains.
This year is the 10th year of the Big Red Bash. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
This year’s stage will be headlined by rock legends Icehouse, aka the progenitors of Australia’s unofficial national anthem (Great Southern Land). Other acts include folk-favourite John Williamson and beloved doo-wop quartet, Human Nature.
You’ll also be able to catch some of the headliners at the NSW sister festival, Mundi Mundi Bash, hosted on a working sheep station in Broken Hill.
Just over a month later, the Mundi Mundi Bash is held in Broken Hill. (Image: Broken Hill Mundi Mundi Bash)
The Karijini Experience, WA
The Karijini Experience is five days of culture, art, food and music on beautiful Banjima Country.
The festival pulls at the threads that make the region so unique, weaving them into an immersive experience that invites attendees to connect with the landscape, culture and Country.
Laura Quinkan Dance Festival, Qld
Indigenous dance troupes from across Cape York and the Torres Strait will bring the magic to the Ang-Gnarra festival site in Laura for three days of spellbinding dance, song and storytelling.
Held on a resurrected sacred site of the Bora Traditional Owners, this biannual festival is an incredible opportunity to witness some of the beautiful traditions of the world’s oldest living cultures.
Indigenous dance troupes bring the magic to the Ang-Gnarra festival site in Laura for three days. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
Garma Festival, NT
Garma Festival invites guests to discover the unique cultures of remote Indigenous communities and the ancient traditions that they carry.
Over four days, festival attendees will camp at the ceremonial ground of Gulkula, immersed in the miny’tji (art), manikay (song) and bunggul (dance) of the Yol u clan.
The festival is an invaluable opportunity for cultural exchange and a way to experience some of the richest cultural traditions of Australia.
Garma festival is an invaluable opportunity for cultural exchange. (Image: Leicolhn McKellar)