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Unforgettable experiences in Darwin: the capital’s creative culture

 

Put Darwin on your 'must visit' list in the Territory for an unforgettable adventure where experiences and culture will surprise and delight you.

It’s easy to forget that Darwin is more than just a gateway to Kakadu, Katherine and Litchfield National Park. The tropical city on the shores of the Timor Sea is the creative capital of the Territory, and is just a 4-hour flight from Australia’s Eastern seaboard.

Augmented reality graffiti tour

Street art is taken to a new level with an augmented reality experience which takes Darwin’s street art off the walls and into animations with floating giant turtles and bouncing jellyfish. Since 2017 when the Darwin Street Art Festival started transforming dull concrete walls, Darwin's streets have been transformed into a spectacular outdoor gallery. Technology enhancements have given many of the artworks an augmented reality element, taking 2D artworks into 3D animations using a smartphone app.

As you walk the vibrant streets of Darwin, make sure you look up, at ground level and into the laneways where murals now adorn multi-story buildings, carparks and vacant lots. These amazing public art displays create an unforgettable cultural experience, offering the opportunity to truly engage with the artworks.

 

Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair – From Country to Couture

During the month of August, the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, which forms part of the Darwin Festival lineup,  showcases contemporary fine art from more than 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Centres at this extraordinary annual event. Held on Larrakia Country (where Darwin is located), the popular From Country to Couture exhibition celebrates the marriage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contemporary fine art and high-end fashion.

It brings the glamorous and glitzy world of fashion to remote outback Aboriginal communities, resulting in some impressive collaborations, such as the well-known designer Gorman who collaborated with the Mangakaja Arts Collection.

The creative director behind the concept was Grace Lillian Lee, who’s from a multi-cultural background – including German, Danish, English and Chinese – but it’s her Torres Strait Islander heritage that has been a catalyst for creativity. Grace has a strong desire to work with communities and to encourage creative expression, delving deeper into Aboriginal culture. She’s responsible for guiding artists towards developing their art into textiles in a contemporary way.

 

A spiritual experience with Dadirri meditative practice

Wellness therapy is booming as we all seek to maintain or improve our mind, body and soul. So it makes sense in the modern world, with friends booking international yoga retreats, but why go so far when we have it in our own backyard with some of the most culturally connected humans in the world. A spiritual experience just outside of Darwin is being used to heal minds in the modern world.

Just two hours south of Darwin on the Daly River, elders from the Nauiyu community are sharing their knowledge with the centuries old Dadirri, an Aboriginal meditative practice, which involves deep listening and silent awareness. The elders share their deep connection to the land, themselves and nature. You can’t get more authentic than this, but book early, it sells out quickly.

 

Drag queens at the Nightcliff Sea Breeze Festival

The Northern Territory is home to many cultural icons, including the world-famous smash hit Australian movie Priscilla Queen of the Desert. The creative masterpiece was filmed throughout the Australian Outback, including Kings Canyon in the Northern Territory.

Territorians have embraced this with vigour and regularly perform drag queen shows. A visit to the Territory isn’t complete without a bedazzled performance by these glamorous queens, especially in Alice Springs during fabALICE Festival.

Head along to the Nightcliff Sea Breeze Festival and enjoy the community vibe. The annual festival is a great way to immerse yourself in Darwin’s quirky culture. The festival takes place over 2km of the stunning foreshore of the Timor Sea. Prepare to boogie with some of the best queens of the Outback!

When art meets bush tucker

The arts provide unlimited possibilities for creativity and professional success, and no one has embraced this more than Aboriginal Bush Traders. The Aboriginal Art Gallery and Retail Store is located opposite the Top Ende Visitor Centre and is both gallery and cafe. The centre combines Aboriginal art and craft, gifts and homewares and serves coffee and bush tucker.

Aboriginal Bush Traders is 100% not-for-profit, and provides avenues for Aboriginal people to engage in economic activities in a sustainable way. We specialise in unique, authentic and ethically-sourced products from across the Northern Territory.

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