Culture and connectedness at Parrtjima


In the heart of Australia’s Red Centre, where the ancient desert meets the star-strewn skies, a spectacle unlike any other awaits visitors seeking an immersive journey into Indigenous culture and art.


Welcome to Parrtjima – A Festival in Light, where the amazing culture and art of First Nations people is illuminated through dazzling installations, incredible performances and captivating storytelling.

Opening image: Grounded installation at Parrtjima, 2019.


Dazzling light installations at Parrtjima. Image: supplied.


Illuminating Alice Springs

From 12-24 April, Alice Springs (Mparntwe) will once again become the epicentre of cultural celebration, as Parrtjima returns for its ninth iteration. Parrtjima (pronounced par-chee-ma) means ‘light’ and has two meanings: physically illuminating an object with light and shedding light and understanding on a subject. This year’s theme emphasises the importance of interconnectedness across First Nations culture, and promises an enlightening experience for all who venture to this iconic event.

Prepare to be awestruck by the brilliance of Parrtjima’s renowned large-scale light installations, now more dazzling than ever. Witness the MacDonnell Ranges Light Show, a breath-taking display of light and sound stretching nearly two kilometres across the majestic MacDonnell Ranges. And don’t miss Grounded, an interactive showcase of animated Indigenous art projected onto the rich red sands, offering a sensory journey through ancient stories and traditions.


Parrtjima, a festival in Light, Alice Springs, Australia 2017. Image: James Horan Photography for Tourism NT.


Where old meets new

As well as these festival favourites, there are several new installations to interact with this year. Delve into the depths of Arrernte culture with a series of illuminated cars celebrating the diverse artistic expressions of Eastern, Western, and Central language groups. Step into the passageway of Honouring, which pays tribute to the legacy of Dr MK Turner OAM, a revered Arrernte leader whose ancestral stories continue to inspire and connect generations.

Embark on a magical encounter with Arelhe Urrperle, a legendary six-metre-tall puppet brought to life by the skilled hands of visual theatre wizards. As she wanders through Alice Springs Desert Park, Arelhe Urrperle shares the ancient language and stories of her people, delighting old and young alike.

For the first time in Parrtjima’s history, visitors can explore the Desart and Northern Territory Indigenous Business Network (NTIBN) Buy Blak Market: a three-night marketplace showcasing the culinary delights and artisanal crafts of local Aboriginal businesses. Indulge in traditional flavours and support a thriving Indigenous economy.


Buy Blak Market: a three-night marketplace showcasing the culinary delights and artisanal crafts of local Aboriginal businesses. Image: supplied.


Legends and rising stars

As day transitions into night, prepare to be serenaded by the melodies of Australian music icons Troy Cassar-Daley and Shellie Morris, alongside rising stars like ARIA award-winning R&B artist Miiesha and the electrifying sounds of Red Centre glam-rock band Mulga Bore Hard Rock. Engage in thought-provoking panel discussions with renowned musicians, scholars and cultural custodians, as they illuminate the depths of First Nations heritage and experience.

Parrtjima is not just a festival; it’s a journey of discovery, a celebration of resilience and a testament to the enduring spirit of First Nations peoples. Under vast desert skies, where ancient stories meet modern technology, Parrtjima invites you to witness the brilliance of Indigenous culture as it illuminates the night and the mind.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of something truly extraordinary. For program details and registration, visit


For more amazing events, gigs and festivals around the country, check out our Events page.


Scroll to Top


For travel inspo and recommendations, flight deals, and awesome giveaways straight to your inbox!

TrulyAus for Rex Subscriber Form