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Image Source: Tourism NT/Matt Glastonbury

From festivals to races to art exhibitions, there’s always something exciting on the Alice Springs events calendar. Discover fun and unique events to suit all locals and visitors, whatever your interests may be.

A diverse array of vibrant festivals spaced out throughout the year celebrate everything from classic and exotic cars to Central Australian culture to beanie hats. Dance the weekend away to the tune of the most celebrated local and touring musicians playing various genres of beautiful music, or admire all kinds of unique artwork from the most talented artists.

Cheer from the sidelines to races of camels, cars, runners, or boats along a dry riverbed. Immerse yourself in the lively celebration of desert culture through music, art, food, drink, films, comedy, and more. Whatever time of year you decide to visit Alice Springs, you’re sure to discover a quirky event that promises a wonderful time for all guests.

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Field of Light Uluru

Allow a network of pathways to guide you through a wonderland of enchanting waves of colour at the Field of Light. As darkness falls over the outback, the desert is brought to life by an immersive art installation consisting of over 50,000 illuminated spindles in a multitude of gentle colours beneath the starry night sky. The display covers a staggering 49,000 square metres on a canvas of red sand.

In the local Pitjantjatjara language, the name of the installation is ‘Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku', which in English is ‘looking at lots of beautiful lights’. However, the Field of Light is so much more than that, as it perfectly combines art with culture in the most captivating way.

The concept was inspired by Uluru itself when renowned artist Bruce Munro was camping there in 1992; however, it wasn't until several years later that the sketches in his notebook were brought to life at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The exhibit has travelled around the UK, the US, and Mexico, before arriving at the base of Uluru in the heart of the Northern Territory in 2016. This is the largest recreation of the exhibition to date. Originally intended to remain there until 2017, its stay has been extended twice due to overwhelming popularity. Since 2016, visitors from all around the world have been mesmerised by this unique artwork.

A number of different tours and experiences are on offer to those lucky enough to witness the magic of this breathtaking installation.

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Red CentreNATS

Once a year, car enthusiasts from all over Australia and further afield gather in the red centre for a weekend-long celebration of all things wheels. If you love cars then this is an event that needs to be added to your calendar immediately. Red CentreNATS allows you to watch some of the coolest and craziest cars in the country being used, raced, and enjoyed across tarmac, grass, and dirt. Come along to watch or even enter your own vehicle.

The family-friendly auto festival features a full program of competitions, both on and off the track. Enjoy three days of thrilling events including drag races, show n shines, thrifty grass driving, and street cruising. Watch as a 4 wheel drive track in Blatherskite Park puts off-road vehicles and drivers to the test with log hops, barriers, and more. See an impressive collection of cars in the street parade which departs from Blatherskite Park and rolls into town and back, and learn how much power your car really has at the Diggamen Dyno Cell.

Points are awarded to cars through cruising, drag racing, driving events and show judging, for the best to be named the Red CentreNATS Champion – a title open to both street and elite class cars. The festival concludes with a podium party in Blatherskite Park on the Sunday evening, featuring entertainment, food stalls, and a bar.

Red CentreNATS takes place across three Alice Springs venues within a 12KM radius: Alice Springs Inland Dragway, Blatherskite Park, and Lasseters Centre of Entertainment.

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Parrtjima – A Festival in Light

For ten days a year, the desert is brought to life with impressive artwork, dazzling light shows, and excellent performances, set against the stunning backdrop of the spectacular MacDonnell Ranges. The name Parrtjima means ‘shedding both light and understanding’ in the local Arrernte language and the aim of the event is to celebrate the oldest continuous cultures in the world through the latest technology. Visitors can gain a deeper insight into the country and Arrernte culture through artwork, light installations, and more, from Arrernte artists and those from across the central desert region and around the Northern territory. Parrtjima is a celebration of indigenous arts, culture, and storytelling, enlightening attendees in the most engaging and entertaining way.

Magnificent artwork commands a large portion of the ranges, celebrating the beauty, uniqueness, and survival of the landscape. Meanwhile, Alice Springs Desert Park and Todd Mall host a thrilling program of interactive workshops, music from talented local and national musicians, Indigenous dance, films by Aboriginal filmmakers, and insightful talks, as well as more artwork and light installations. Visitors can wander through a unique outdoor gallery of contemporary and traditional Aboriginal art, and immerse themselves in artwork and stories through light installations coupled with soundscapes.

Parrtjima is the only authentic Aboriginal light festival of its kind. Entry is free, and everyone is encouraged to attend. As well as the culture, there is a hub of food and drink stalls. The event is family-friendly, featuring a children’s’ area with artwork specifically designed to engage younger guests.