The Territory is renowned for its community spirit and, particularly in regional areas, celebrations of that spirit are highly cherished. When heading to NT be sure to visit a regatta or a cattle muster, a fishing competition or an outdoor cinema night. Territorians love getting together for some fun with old friends and new.
The never never
About 420kms southeast of Darwin, Mataranka is a tiny town filled with historical significance. It's not so tiny, though, when visitors come for The Never Never Festival and its art showings, poetry under the stars, bush yarns, karaoke and barbecue dinner. There's even a beach volleyball challenge (possibly a 'challenge' because the nearest beach is over 400kms away).
For the twitchers
Near the coastal Aboriginal community of Maningrida, Arnhemland Bird Week attracts local twitchers and ornithologists alike. But it also brings in visitors just keen to enjoy the pristine landscape and witness the incredible range of birds (up to 250 species) that proliferate in the region each year.
A big get-together for locals and visitors, the legendary Henley-on-Todd Regatta 'celebrates' the fact that the town is 1,500kms from any large body of water. It makes for a hilarious spectacle and a lot of fun when entrants trawl their home-made bottomless 'eights', 'Oxford tubs' and 'bath tubs' through the deep, coarse sand of the dry Todd River.
Fogg Dam Field Day is an hour east of Darwin and shows off the teeming wildlife around the diverse conservation reserve as well as giving insight into the local Limilngan-Wulna people, whose stories of their ancestors are woven throughout the landscape. The day includes information tours and bush tucker walks, and for the kids, there's storytelling, a treasure hunt and a water discovery exercise to reveal some of this remarkable area's secrets.