A Guide to Parrtjima – A Festival in Light

The MacDonnell Ranges become a canvas for visually delightful light shows. They are the background to Parrtjima and its installations, workshops, performances, talks, films and displays of art and music.

Each year, a theme is chosen and a range of Indigenous artists from the Central Australian region collaborate to create a meaningful and impactful experience. As the sun dips below the MacDonnell Ranges, the luminous art and light installations are switched on. Locals and visitors alike gather under the welcome sign and into Parrtjima, a festival of light. 

Werte (Welcome) to Mparntwe (Alice Springs): the mild evenings of April are the perfect time to wander slowly through the works of each artist, attend an interactive workshop and stay late dancing and enjoying the music. 

Werte welcome sign Georgia Tidey

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Parrtjima Shows

The installations and light shows are only one part of this thoughtfully curated festival. There is a full program with special guests that you can choose from.

A firm favourite are the interactive workshops with artists where you’ll get to try your hand at a variety of types of art styles.

Book your ticket to one of the talks with a panel discussion, and hear from prominent Indigenous figures as they delve further into the theme for the year. 

Luckily, you only need to register once to have access to each night of the festival, making it easier to come back night after night for not-to-be-missed live music performances. Headline acts are announced each year in the lead up to the festival so keep an eye out for 2023.

There is also a dining and night-market precinct connected to the festival area, where you can try food from a range of food vans and purchase jewellery and art from local Indigenous art collectives.

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Buy Parrtjima Tickets Now!

Visit the Parrtjima website now to reserve your FREE tickets and ensure you will be enjoying the installations, music and food of Parrtjima in the surrounds of the Alice Springs Desert Park.

If you want to partake in any of the workshops, they are also free but require separate registration.

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How to spend your time during the day

Use your daylight hours wisely and take some day trips through the East and West MacDonnell Ranges. You’ll be able to take a dip in a desert gorge waterhole and marvel at the extreme rock formations and dry riverbeds. Glide gently over Alice Springs with views of the sunrise from a hot air balloon, or visit the Alice Springs Desert Park, where you’ll learn about the native plants and animals of the Red Centre. 

There is also a range of museums and historical sites within walking and cycling distance in and around Alice Springs. The Old Gaol and the Central Australian Aviation Museum have fantastic collections that will take you on a trip back in time.

 

Parrtjima Accommodation

There is a free shuttle that operates from the Todd Mall right to the entrance of Parrtjima, so you can choose from a range of accommodation within Alice Springs. There are options to suit every budget and range, from family-friendly to solo travellers. 

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Parrtjima FAQ

Parrtjima is held annually at the Alice Springs Desert Park.
Yes. There are a variety of cuisines available from food vans at the dining/marketplace section of Parrtjima.
Parrtjima is an annual, Aboriginal light festival held in Alice Springs. The free, 10 day (night) event showcases light installations, workshops, food, talks, music, films and performances.
Parrtjima is held in April each year. The 2023 event will take place between April 7 & 16.
To make life easier for travellers and locals alike, Parrtjima operates a free shuttle bus service around Alice Springs dropping passengers off right at the entrance to Parrtjima. The shuttle bus picks up passengers from all the key venues around the CBD and surrounding precincts. See Parrtjima's website for the latest timetable.
Alternatively you can park your car at Albrecht Oval, and then catch the shuttle bus from there.
See Parrtjima's website for registration details.
Note: You only need to register once for the whole event, you can attend every night for the one registration, per person.
See Parrtjima's website for registration details.
Note: Each internal event is a separate registration. Read event details carefully. You will still need to register for Parrtjima entrance separately.
Parrtjima is a free event.

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