HEADING for an adventure in the Kakadu National State Park is awesome for all sorts of reasons but none more so than the upcoming Kakadu Mahbilil Festival September 5 celebrating the best in Indigenous music, arts and bushfoods.

Staged at Jabiru Lakeside Park, Mahbilil offers a program of local and national live music, traditional dance, performance and circus, bushtucker demonstrations, cooking competitions, sports carnival, workshops and lots of markets to feed the mind and body.  With activities and entertainment aimed at children, teens and the older folks, there is something for everyone.

Jabiru is the gateway to Kakadu and offers a wide range of accommodation including one of the world’s most distinctive hotels, the Crocodile Hotel (shaped like a crocodile). Jabiru is a unique cross-cultural crossroads and provides easy access for visitors to Kakadu’s major attractions such as Ubirr, Nourlangie, Jim Jim and Twin Falls, Gunlom and Yellow Waters Billabong.

Weather at the time of the festival is expected to be perfect: mild nights and dry, sunny days with temperatures around 30C.
“We invite everyone to come to Mahbilil to share in Mirarr culture and enjoy this beautiful Gurrung season in Kakadu,” said Gundjeihmi chairwoman Annie Ngalmirama. “Every year Mahbilil brings us together to celebrate, and we welcome everyone to join us, to dance, to try some bush tucker and have fun!”

There will be a wide selection of Aboriginal bands from across the Top End with hand-picked acts from Darwin and around the country.  Expect everything from folk through to roots and blues and even some rocking reggae and hip hop in the later hours.

One of the highlights of the festival for many is the local dance program with the Jabiru Bininj Gunborrk dancers set to light up the dance ground once again.
Workshops will include traditional arts and craft such as spear-making, grass weaving and local storytelling.
Authentic bush food will be available throughout the day, cooked both on the coals and in a traditional ground-oven.

Before heading out don’t forget to snap up a great deal on car hire at Darwin Airport with the DriveNow gang.
Mahbilil Festival Accommodation Package
Mercure Crocodile Kakadu Hotel in Jabiru is offering a special package allowing visitors to enjoy a full taste of Kakadu, including a spectacular Yellow Water Cruise. The Mahbilil Festival Package includes overnight accommodation at the Crocodile Hotel, breakfast for up to 2 people and a daytime Yellow Water Cruise. The package is available for $280 per night, and is available during the Mahbilil Festival weekend (September 4-6). Conditions apply, subject to availability. Reservations: (08) 8979 9000 or reservations@crocodilehotel.com.au – refer to ‘Mahbilil Festival Package’
Mahbilil Festival – www.mahbilil.com
Information about Kakadu, the Crocodile Hotel & Yellow Water Cruises – www.kakadutourism.com


Scott Podmore

Award-winning writer, editor, photographer, videographer and owner of October Grey Media. Specialising in travel and lifestyle content and a full member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers. Has contributed regular content for the NewsCorp stable of newspapers and magazines, TravelTalk mag, The Departure Lounge and many more publications in Australia and internationally. Follow on Twitter & instragram #scottpodmore

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