The Northern Territory is home to a wide range of events throughout the year celebrating everything from sport and culture to food, music, art and much more. Check local event calendars before your trip to see what is happening while you are visiting. However, the Northern Territory is particularly famous for two major annual events, the Darwin Festival and Darwin Cup.
The Darwin Festival is an arts and culture extravaganza which takes place each year for 18 days in August in the stunning tropical metropolis of Darwin. Thanks to the warm dry season Darwin experiences during this time, the festival offers a unique range of outdoor events and experiences to take advantage of the wonderful balmy weather. Recognised both nationally and internationally as the Top End's premier festival, the Darwin Festival offers a diverse range of innovative arts programs and presentations and has earned a reputation as one of the Asia Pacific Region's most prominent festivals. Profiling Central Australia as holiday destination of choice, the festival brings the Top End's best arts and culture together to stimulate economic growth and artistic and cultural diversity. Beginning in 1978, the festival has grown significantly to attract hundreds of thousands of people each year.
The Darwin Cup is Darwin's annual racing carnival held at Fannie Bay Racecourse each July/August. The 1780m track offers unique conditions including an oil mixed sand track unlike the turf overlays that many racing aficionados might be familiar with. Home of the Darwin Turf Club, Fannie Bay is also home to an exciting 340m finishing straight. Running for five consecutive decades, the tradition of the Darwin Cup has made it one of the Top End's biggest races and one of the Northern Territory's most popular events. Offering a prize purse of more than one million dollars, some of Australia's best horses and trainers come to compete and enjoy the month long celebrations of the winter entertainment. Ladies Day is also a popular part of the carnival and is one of the biggest social events on the Darwin calendar. Attracting visitors from all over Australia, the Darwin Cup is an opportunity to experience some finery and the heart-pounding excitement of a hundred hooves pounding the track.
With so many other amazing attractions in the Northern Territory, visitors come for the festivals but stay for the unbelievable natural wonders, laid back lifestyle and traditional Australian outback.