We attended Barunga Festival in 2012 and found it a deeply moving, entertaining and memorable experience. Recommended if you can make it. Ed Festival Australia Kevin Parker
Festival Name: Barunga Festival Foundation Year: 1978
Dates: Annually over a long weekend in June Location: Barunga community, 80km southeast of Katherine, Northern Territory
The Barunga Festival is a vibrant celebration of Indigenous Australian culture. At its core, the festival is a hub for sharing traditional indigenous customs, skills, and stories. It acts as a bridge between generations and communities, fostering a deeper understanding of Aboriginal heritage. Attendees immerse in authentic cultural experiences, from traditional dances to indigenous sports, blending historical reverence with contemporary creativity.
The festival uniquely blends traditional Indigenous sports, music, dance, and art, with a focus on cultural workshops and reconciliation. A highlight is the Bunggul traditional dance, a spectacular showcase of heritage and skill.
Activities: Main activities include:
- Traditional dance performances, especially the Bunggul dance.
- Spear throwing, didgeridoo playing and making.
- Bush medicine and cooking workshops.
- Weaving and dreamtime storytelling.
- Music performances, both traditional and contemporary.
- Sporting events including AFL, basketball, softball, and Rugby 7s.
Past Events: Significant past events include the presentation of the 1988 Barunga Statement to the Australian Prime Minister, advocating for treaty and land rights recognition.
Past Artists: Notable past artists include Yothu Yindi.
Website Address: barungafestival.com.au
Facebook Page Address: Barunga Festival
Local Area Tourism Information: Visitors can explore nearby attractions like the Katherine Gorge National Park, a stunning natural wonder offering opportunities for hiking, boating, and appreciating the region’s natural beauty.