May 2010

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                       tales from the territory…

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     Kelly’s   The Dreaming            Alice Springs
     Ranch       Place Trail          Beanie Festival

May 2010

    Profile: Kelly’s Ranch
    The Northern Territory’s outback evokes a spirit of exploration and freedom; some say it is the ‘real Australia’.
    Jerry Kelly, from Kelly’s Ranch couldn’t agree more.

                                                                                                                             Head 500 kilometres north of Alice Springs or
                                                                                                                             1,000 kilometres south of Darwin, and you’ll
                                                                                                                             find yourself at the Territory’s heart of gold,
                                                                                                                             Tennant Creek. While the hunt for gold is less
                                                                                                                             of an attraction nowadays, Tennant Creek is
                                                                                                                             better known for the cattle industry, which
                                                                                                                             employs much of the region’s population.
                                                                                                                             One of those outback stations is Kelly’s Ranch.
                                                                                                                             Jerry Kelly, owner/operator of the Ranch, grew
                                                                                                                             up working on cattle stations in the Northern
                                                                                                                             Territory and Queensland, before settling
                                                                                                                             in Tennant Creek on the property he now
                                                                                                                             operates from.
                                                                                                                             Jerry’s initial interest in working the property
                                                                                                                             was to train indigenous youths in horse riding,
                                                                                                                             horse and cattle handling and other skills
                                                                                                                             associated with pastoral activities, such as
                                                                                                                             fencing and water system management. While
                                                                                                                             this is still a major focus at the property, over
                                                                                                                             the last two years the Ranch has expanded its
                                                                                                                             operations to offer adventurous travellers a
                                                                                                                             true outback experience.

                                                                                                        Photo: Jerry Kelly

     Operating all year round, trail rides take travellers through the spectacular Barkly Tablelands, where they relish getting up close and personal with the Northern
     Territory’s wildlife, including kangaroos, emus, snakes and goannas aplenty.
     “You don’t see much from the car,” Jerry says.
     “When you’re on horseback, you get a real feel for the land.”
     It’s this taste of getting off the beaten track that riders love about Kelly’s Ranch.
     Jerry hosts every tour that leaves the Ranch, giving participants a personal account of his experiences of life on the land. While crossing the spinifex-covered hills,
     sand plains and scrub on saddleback, traditional bush tucker is sampled by the riders, including wild berries, coconut, bush banana, and the witchetty grub.
     “The tourists … they love the witchetty grub!” Jerry says.
     On return to the Ranch, the bush tucker is prepared by the campfire, along with a well-deserved cup of billy tea and slice of damper.
     Jerry’s passion for the land is obvious, and sharing in his love of horse riding and storytelling about his life as a stockman is a true outback experience.
     For more information on Kelly’s Ranch visit or phone +61 8 8962 2045

    Sydney designer teams up with Tourism NT
    to promote Alice Springs Beanie Festival
    A humble Aussie beanie that took to the catwalk at the 2010 Rosemount
    Australian Fashion Week will become a highlight at the 2010 Alice Springs
    Beanie Festival, running from 25 to 28 June 2010.

    Tourism NT collaborated with Karla Spetic and the Alice Springs Beanie
    Festival Committee to create the beanie, which was a focal point of the
    critically-acclaimed designer’s Red Centre-inspired collection that was
    unveiled at the Rosemount Australia Fashion Week last month.

    The hand-made beanie that was featured during the catwalk show will be
    up for grabs at the Alice Springs Beanie Festival, through a silent auction
    being conducted at the event. Another five beanies in the desert inspired
    colours of nude and pale pink will also be going under the hammer.

    Interstate Karla Spetic fans will have the chance to snap up the remaining
    five limited edition beanies through an online auction being conducted on

    The first bids for the online auction will be taken from Friday 18 June, with
    hundreds expected to register their interest in the beanies for the duration
    of the auction, which will close on Monday 28 June, 2010.

    The proceeds from the auctions will go to the Alice Springs Beanie Festival
    and the Red Dust Role Models.

    For more information on the Australian Beanie Festival visit

    Beer Can Regatta ready to take float in 2010
    The Territorian spirit will be alive and well at Darwin’s Beer Can Regatta with thousands
    expected to line Mindil Beach for the annual event that raises funds for the Combined Lions
    Clubs of Darwin.
    Fund-raising with a difference, the Regatta is also a recycling
    initiative, providing a use for all the beer cans that are emptied in
    Darwin during the many afternoons spent fishing, watching sunsets,
    or just wondering when the monsoon is going to break.
    With just a few months until the first boat is launched at the event
    on Sunday 8 August 2010, Darwin residents and boaties from all
    over Australia have been collecting aluminium cans to build these
    unique boats to race (or sink) off the Darwin coast.
    Since the inaugural event in 1974, the Beer Can Regatta has been
    a favourite event on the Northern Territory calendar, and over the
    years it has developed into a major attraction with up to 65 entries,
    ranging in size from 1 to 12 metres.
    The event also features a number of family activities such as tug-
    of-war, thong (flip-flop) throwing and sand castle building and the
    famous Mindil Beach Markets also operate on the day.
    Entry into the Beer Can Regatta is by gold coin donation. Food,
    drink and bar facilities will be available at this not-to-be-missed
    For more information on the event, including guidelines for entries
    and boat construction, log onto
    What’s new
    Fisherking Safaris:
    Spot up to 00 bird species in Darwin
    Surrounded by mangrove-lined creeks, seasonal wetlands, billabongs
    and savannah woodlands, Darwin is home to one-third of all bird species
    recorded in Australia.
    With such a large array of unique birdlife in the area, Chris Parker has
    started up Fisherking Safaris to provide ornithologists, twitchers and those
    with a passion for nature, with the opportunity to go into the backyard of
    the birds that call the Top End home - about 00 species.
    Taking a maximum of six passengers per tour, Fisherking Safaris offer
    half and full-day tours that provide birdwatchers with the opportunity to
    observe a variety of birds such as the Rose-Crowned Fruit Drove, Sacred
    Kingfisher, Brahminy Kite, Red-Headed Honeyeater and Jabiru in their
    natural habitat.
    A full-day encounter goes beyond the city limits of Darwin, into the Fogg
    Dam Conservation Reserve that is home to a number of rare species                                Image: On tour with Fisherking
    including the Gouldian Finch.
    Fisherking Safaris offer the half-day tour for $95 per person with a full-day
    experience valued at $150 per person. Cost includes the use of binoculars
    with drinking water, morning tea, lunch and sunset drinks supplied.
    For more information visit or phone
    08 8985 5972.

                                                                                                                   Image: A Jabiru

    Crocosaurus Cove:
    Croc Cove extends opening hours over
    dry season
    Since opening in the heart of Darwin in 2009,
    Crocosaurus Cove has welcomed thousands of
    brave souls through their doors to witness one of
    Australia’s largest predators in action.
    Crocosaurus Cove will extend its opening hours
    from 9am to 9pm to give travellers a greater window
    of opportunity to visit their facility and make the
    most of its attractions.
    With regular feeding times and the Cage of Death
    swimming experience on offer, Crocosaurus Cove is
    perfect for the adrenalin junkie.
    For more information or to purchase tickets visit or phone
    08 8981 7522.

                                                                                    Image: Courtesy of Outeredge Photography

    Take the time to dream on the Dreaming
    Place Trail
    Wander along a ‘traditional hunting trail’ used by the Jawoyn people for thousands of years,
    and soak up the Northern Territory Outback in its most pure state.
    The Dreaming Place Trail covers highland escarpment and river
    country, hillsides dotted with dry land eucalypts and amazing
    gorges cut deep into the rocky landscape.
    Starting and ending in Katherine, the first half of the trek is led by
    a traditional owner who takes travellers to some of the highlights
    found in the Nitmiluk National Park including Eva Valley, Nitmiluk
    Gorge, Lily Ponds Falls and Katherine Canyon.
    Kookaburra Tours and Gecko Canoeing are now offering a
    seven-day trekking and canoeing experience that includes The
    Dreaming Place Trail, boat cruise from the Third Gorge to the
    Nitmiluk Visitor Centre and a Katherine River kayak safari.
    The 50 kilometre hike includes exclusive permitted access to
    remote areas that are normally out-of-bounds to the public,
    Aboriginal art sites and incredible Top End scenery.
    After completing the hiking component, the more adventurous
    with time on their side will have the option to extend the tour
    by three days to include a canoeing journey down the Katherine
    During the tour, the small group will have opportunities to relax,
    swim, bird watch, encounter wildlife and immerse themselves in
    the surrounding landscapes, soaking up it’s colours, sounds and                                                                              Photo: Nitmiluk National Park
    The Dreaming Place Trail tour departs each Monday during the
    dry season, with prices starting at $2290 per person.
    For more information or to make a booking visit or phone 08 8972 2224.

    Darwin Festival                                             6 Day Kakadu Dreamtime Safari                        4 Day Henley-on-Todd-Regatta
    From $95 per person                                        From $158 per person                                Experience
    Tour includes:                                              Tour includes:                                       From $292 per person

    Sun-kissed days and warm nights make Darwin                 Uncover colourful rock art and the spectacular       Tour includes:
    the perfect city to stage a vibrant, colourful in           scenery of Ubirr and learn about the traditional     A boat race with a difference - on the dry sands of
    and outdoor festival. The Darwin Festival jams in           Aboriginal owners. Look out over the untouched       the Todd River. The ASSA ABLOY Henley-On-Todd
    everything from free outdoor events, theatre, dance         countryside and let your imagination take you into   Regatta is a day of fun where teams and individuals
    and music, to comedy, cabaret, films and workshops,         a new world. Stay in Darwin before heading out to    race ‘boats’ in the dry bed of the Todd River in
    all reflecting the Indigenous, Asian and Pacific            explore the heart of Kakadu National Park on an      outback Alice Springs.
    cultures of the region.                                     amazing  day camping adventure.
                                                                                                                      nights .5 star accommodation in Alice Springs,
     nights 4 star accommodation in Darwin,                     nights accommodation in Darwin,  day Kakadu       Car Hire.
    Crocosaurus Cove entry pass and Sunset Eco Sailing          Dreamtime Safari, transfers and some meals.
    Cruise.                                                                                                          Departs Daily
                                                                Departs daily
    Departs 12 - 29 August                                                                                           Booking code: TDC9EV1
                                                                Booking code: TDT10AC1
    Booking code: TDT9EV                                                                                            Phone 1 67 68 for more information
                                                                Phone 1 67 68 for more information
    Phone 1 67 68 for more information                                                                              *Conditions Apply
                                                                *Conditions Apply
    *Conditions Apply
    diary                                                     Aug 8
                                                              Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta

                                                              Optimistic crowds cheer on boats home made from
                                                                                                                         Sep 10-19
                                                              empty beer cans as they flounder and sink in the           Alice Desert Festival
                                                              shallows. Boat entries range from 1 to 12 metres in
                                                              this iconic event.                                         A kaleidoscope of events from theatre and dance to
                                                                                                                         pottery and writing are held throughout the event,
    Jul  - Aug                                                                     which showcases Central Australia’s community of
                                                                                                                         visual and performing artists, both indigenous and
    Darwin Cup Carnival
    The Carlton Darwin Cup Carnival culminates in the                                                          
    running of the Carlton Darwin Cup on Monday 2
    August. Dress up, casual or fancy dress at this not-
    to-be-missed racing event, held at the picturesque
    Fannie Bay Racecourse.

                                                                                  Photo: Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta

                                                              Aug 21
                                                                                                                                                           Photo: Alice Desert Festival
                                                              ASSA ABLOY Henley-On-Todd Regatta

                                         Photo: Darwin Cup     Defying the desert sands, teams and individuals
                                                              race their ‘boats’ in the dry bed of the Todd River.
                                                              Sit back and enjoy the entertainment as seemingly           Sep 10 - Oct 24
                                                              sane competitors shoulder their bottomless ‘eights’,
                                                                                                                          Desert Mob, Alice Springs
                                                              oxford tubs’ and yachts.
                                                                                         This indigenous exhibition celebrates and defines a
    Jul 10                                                                                                                living art movement expressed through the heritage
                                                                                                                          values of the oldest living culture in the world. Works
    Lions Imparja Camel Cup                                                                                               can be purchased from Aboriginal organisations of
                                                                                                                          the central desert region.
    Attracting visitors from all over the world, this race
    celebrates the uniqueness of Alice Springs and its                                                          
    quirky traditions. More than 4,500 people come
    along to experience this famous camel race and its
    dusty outback track.

                                                                           Photo: ASSA ABLOY Henley-On-Todd Regatta

                                                              Aug 1-0
                                                              Darwin Festival
                                                              A feast of local, national and international
                                                              performances make up the festival program, with
                                                              everything from free outdoor events to theatre,
                                                              dance, music, cabaret, films, workshops, comedy and
                                                              sensational cuisine.

                             Photo: Lions Imparja Camel Cup

                                                                                                                                                                   Photo: Desert Mob

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