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Published on December 2nd, 2009 | by


Hitting new high notes in Australia’s Northern Territory

Music lovers can now experience great Indigenous music where it belongs on a new 12 day group tour to the Barunga Music Festival in Australia’s Outback Northern Territory with Songlines Music Travel ( / 020 8505 2582). Departing 8-19 June 2010, the new tour, which costs from £1,879 per person, offers visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in Indigenous music and culture in the dramatic surrounding of the majestic Outback.

The Northern Territory’s indigenous musical heritage is rich and diverse and the annual Barunga Festival is one of the longest running Indigenous community celebrations in Australia. Contemporary and traditional music is the highlight with some of the Territory’s top Indigenous bands and artists on the bill. There are also spear throwing demonstrations, art and craft exhibitions, bush tucker sampling and the chance to purchase aboriginal art directly from the artists. The festival takes place in a small aboriginal community just outside the outback frontier town of Katherine, where tour participants will stay.

Katherine, known as the place where the outback meets the tropics, is the perfect base to enjoy activities like fishing, canoeing, bushwalking, camping and adventure! The most famous attraction of the region is Katherine Gorge, a system of 13 gorges in Nitmiluk National Park, rich in aboriginal culture.

Starting and ending in Darwin the new tour offers an insight into the laidback capital of the Northern Territory. After the Barunga Festival the tour heads to dual World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park, covering over 20,000 square kilometres. Whilst in Kakadu, visitors should keep an eye out for crocs and a variety of colourful birds at one of the many billabongs, trek through the varied terrain and take a dip at Gunlom Falls. Additional tour options of evening safaris and sunset cruises along the Yellow Waters Billabong are available.

NT is home to some of Australia’s most acclaimed Indigenous bands and musicians. Renowned Indigenous musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu is from east Arnhem Land and recently toured the UK for the first time. The heritage of the Indigenous people has been handed down through generations through the medium of music, dance and art making it integral to modern day Indigenous living. One quarter of all the Territory’s residents are aboriginal and their ancestors have lived in the NT for over 40,000 years making them the world’s oldest continuous living culture.

The trip, which costs from £1,879 per person (based on two adults sharing), includes eight nights’ twin-share accommodation and breakfast at hotels, three nights in a camp in Kakadu on a full board basis and entry to the Barunga Festival. The price excludes international flights, which can be booked via Songlines Music Travel.

All Songlines Music Travellers will receive an information sheet about the local music, plus a list of recommended recordings and DVDs

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