Darwin Accommodation

Major annual and ongoing events in Darwin

Darwin has its share of international events and, perhaps more stimulating for visitors, some quirky locally-inspired ones such as the Beer Can Regatta and the Mud Crab Tying Competition.

The events usually take place during the Dry, with August being the favoured month for the big festivals. Some of the main events in Darwin include:

  • The Festival of Darwin – held in August, The Darwin Festival makes a huge contribution to art, culture and entertainment in the Northern Territory. Drawing performers from all over Australia and south-east Asia, the Festival is said to be the fastest-growing in the southern hemisphere.
  • The Beer Can Regatta – also in August, the Regatta requires contestants to construct sailing craft entirely out of aluminium cans, and race with others. Held at one of the suburban beaches, the event is a huge success with locals and visitors. It's run by the combined Lions Clubs of Darwin and all proceeds are donated to charities.
  • The Barra National - an annual competition held at Banyan Farm on the Daly River about 200km from Darwin. This is serious fishing for one of the world's most beautiful and delicious fish.
  • Bird Week - an ornithologists' and twitchers' dream. Guided walks and river cruises with world-renowned bird specialists over 3, 4 or 7 days. Expect to see magpie geese, brolgas, large-tailed nightjars, great-billed herons, white-bellied sea eagles, red-tailed black cockatoos, rufous owls, black bitterns and many more.
  • Mud Crab Tying Competition – mud crabs are said to have the sweetest meat in the world, and this competition is an effort by their catchers to avoid being pinced, nipped or stabbed by the crabs' fearsome defence weapons, while tying them up. The record is three crabs in under 22 seconds.
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards – attracting hundreds of entries from established and upcoming artists and showcasing traditional, contemporary and dynamic styles, both individual and regionally-influenced, the NATSIAA is renowned for the high quality of its art. The exhibition takes place at the MAGNT at Conacher Street, Darwin, and becomes a nationally-touring exhibition. Check details at www.magnt.nt.gov.au.

event contact/description time
Beer Can Regatta beercanregatta@hotmail.com – a family fun day organised by the Lions clubs of Darwin August
Bird Week PO Box 37420 Winnellie Northern Territory 0886 – a week of birdwatching in and around Darwin, Mary River and Kakadu national parks August
Christmas Craft Fair Christmas shopping at its best in the Museum grounds at Fannie Bay End November
Daly River Barra National and NT Barra Classic www.happymicks.com.au/fishing.html April and May
Darwin Cup Carnival www.darwinturfclub.org.au – annual horse racing August
Dragonfly Craft Fair Annual craft fair in the Museum grounds at Fannie Bay July
Freds Pass Rural Show www.fredspass.org - 28 years of agriculture, horticulture, mining, manufacture, pastoralism and community fundraising May
Hi to the Dry Craft Fair Open air craft fair celebrating the beginning of the Dry season April
May Day beach party Another celebration for the Dry and the beginning of the swimming season May
Mud Crab Tying Competition Part of the outdoor activities characterising the Dry August
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards and Exhibition The best of indigenous art from all over Australia and Torres Strait islands. The show becomes a nationally-touring exhibition. August to October
Royal Darwin Show www.darwinshow.com.au – along the lines of agricultural shows of other Australian cities: animal showing; showjumping; art and craft; sideshow alley and plenty of stuff for kids End of July
The Festival of Darwin www.darwinfestival.org.au

Phone: 08 8981 0083 Fax: 08 8941 5457 Email: contact@darwinfestival.org.au


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