Ayers Rock Resort Tjungu festival

Following a sell-out success in its first year, the Tjungu Festival returns to Ayers Rock Resort from Thursday 23 to Sunday 26 April 2015.

Tjungu, means meeting together in local Anangu language and will celebrate the best of Australian Indigenous culture. There will be a lively timetable of events featuring everything from culture to film and art, from sport to music, food and fashion.

“Last year’s Tjungu Festival was everything we had hoped it would be – an event that not only showcased Indigenous Culture but had many different highlights that truly did offer something for everyone. This year we hope to not only build on that success but also to add new elements,” said Voyages CEO Andrew Williams.

Australia’s top Indigenous model Samantha Harris will return to once again lead the inspirational Tjungu Fashion Parade, while Mark Olive will also return to present the ‘Tastes of Tjungu’ under the stars dining experience that features an afternoon Master Class and special musical entertainment. Interactive markets showcasing Indigenous art and bush tucker will also return, as will the popular Tjungu Short Film Fest and performances from the Mutitjulu Ninja Circus, a lively youth circus from the local community who perform breathtaking acrobatic stunts.

The festival will kick off with a local Anangu welcome to country with Inma dance and the Tjungu Cup AFL match with special guest’s ex-Melbourne Football Club players, the legendary Russell Robertson and Anangu man Dom Barry.

The musical line-up this year includes performances throughout the weekend from Kristal West, popular performer from The Voice’s ZK, Dewayne Everttsmith who wrote and performed the song featured in Tourism Australia’s latest campaign, NAIDOC artist of the year Jacinta Price and Stewart Gaykamangu, whose song Lorruphu won the NT pop song of the year in 2013.

This year the festival will also feature an Indigenous Anzacs at War Exhibition that allows guests to uncover the individual and family stories of the service and sacrifice of the First Australians. Another new element will be a fascinating presentation by Professor Ray Norris, who will explain how Aboriginal people use the sun, moon and stars for practical and social purposes.

“The exceptional quality of the Indigenous tourism experience at the Resort is already well established and is reflected in a number of recent awards including Best Indigenous Tourism Experience in the Northern Territory. Tjungu is an essential element in taking that experience to an even higher level,’ said Andrew.

“Also important, the majority of Tjungu’s activities are free to all guests which makes this a great value weekend. The only exceptions to this are the Taste of Tjungu, Indigenous Australians at War lunch and the VIP lounge,” Williams said.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management