As if the Northern Territory wasn’t extraordinary enough already, one of its most famous attractions has just been transformed into a glowing artwork for the 2021 Parrtjima Festival.

The 2021 Parrtjima Festival, which kicked off in Alice Springs yesterday, is an annual Aboriginal light festival which showcases the world’s oldest continuous culture in new, experimental ways – complete with light shows, performances, interactive workshops, music and film showings.

This year, in support of the Parrtjima Festival, Australia’s famed rail transit The Ghan underwent a makeover as part of the festivities.

Tourism Northern Territory, in collaboration with NT Major Events Company, Journey Beyond, AGB Events and Aboriginal artist Chantelle Mulladad, has wrapped the iconic experiential passenger train in Mulladad’s design Crossroads for its travel from Darwin to the Red Centre.

The work is described as being precise and detailed with shapes, colours and patterns being used to portray Mulladad’s sense of Country, culture and self. Crossroads is about travelling across country on a journey – a very fitting theme for The Ghan. To complement this, one of The Ghan’s carriages will be illuminated in a stunning immersive light show, setting the scene for the rest of the festival.

Also presented on The Ghan is the 2019 Ranges Show, ‘The Language of Country – Angkentye Apmere-kenhe’. The show is accompanied by a script written by Arrernte people and narrated by actor Aaron Pederson, which takes the audience on a journey to celebrate the beauty, uniqueness and survival of the land.

Meanwhile, at the heart of the Parrtjima Festival in the MacDonnell Ranges, guests will be treated to the 2021 Ranges Show, Spirit Kultcha, which involves a first-ever collaboration with Aboriginal electronic music duo Electric Fields. Creating an inspiring and enriching experience. they’ll be lighting up the region every night of the 10-day event with their unreleased track, Lore Woman.

Of course, that’s not all that’s in store for the festival. This year they’ve also curated a lineup of some of the most incredible Australian talent such as Casey Donovan, Miiesha, MusicNT’s Divas, Jimblah, Bow and Arrow, Dobby, OKA, Ziggy Ramo and Shellie Morris, to perform at the event.

Other highlights include a fabric and textiles workshop hosted by National Indigenous Fashion Awards director Nina Fitzgerald, talks with Jungala Kriss and Raymond Walters Japanangka and NRL legend Josh Addo-Carr speaking with Parttjima Curator Rhoda Roberts about his life and career.

For more information and to discover The Ghan, head to their website.

Parrtjima Festival 2021
When: Friday 09 – Sunday 18 April 2021
Where: Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs Desert Park and Todd Mall
Cost: Free Entry
For more Information: Website

In Australia’s Top End and looking for more to see? Check out our list of 5 unique getaway gems to discover around the Northern Territory. Or, if you can’t make it, just be sure to add one of these top 10 ranked must-visit Australian towns to your 2021 travel list.

We acknowledge the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.

Feature image supplied.