Freedom Day Festival is a non-profit, community-organised event held on Gurindji Country in the town of Kalkaringi (often Kalkarindji). This proud Indigenous community, which includes the towns of Kalkaringi and Daguragu, is celebrated widely for its role in the legendary Wave Hill Walk-off.
This is a camping-only, bush festival in a remote location. If you turn up unprepared for the dust and the heat, there’s a good chance you might not want to come back the following year. However, if you arrive with a positive spirit and adaptable mindset, you’ll quite possibly have the best few days of your life. This is a special festival in a special place. We can’t wait to see you here!
- Be as self-sufficient as possible
- Come prepared for the outdoors and the elements
- Arrive with an open mind and open heart
Formerly known as Wave Hill, the twin communities of Kalkaringi and Daguragu are small and very remote Aboriginal communities in the upper Victoria River region of the Northern Territory, Australia. The communities are located on the Buntine Highway 480km southwest of Katherine and approximately 800km southwest of Darwin. The combined population of Kalkaringi/ Daguragu is approximately 750 people.
It takes approximately eight hours by road from Darwin to Kalkaringi, which will take you through only one major township of Katherine, approximately five hours from Kalkaringi. The community can be accessed all year round via a sealed road, although access may be difficult during the wet season due to flooding and the condition of the road (rainfall is highly unlikely in August). The community can also be accessed via air through chartered air services.
*Please note: If you’re driving and you want to make it in time for the Freedom Day Welcome to Country and community march and talks on the Friday morning of the festival, it’s best to arrive in town on the Thursday evening (26 Aug 2021).
From Darwin, travel south along Stuart Highway for 300km to Katherine. From Katherine travel west along the Victoria Highway for 130km and turn left onto the Buntine Highway. Travel for 290km through to Top Springs and then Kalkaringi (170kms). Please take care whilst travelling the Buntine Highway as you may meet road trains from the cattle stations, and cattle and wildlife are frequently on the road. Get completely off the road if you see a road train coming towards you on the single-lane highway.
Katherine Coaches provide route services from Darwin to Kalkarindji (via Katherine) every Monday and Thursday. (Returning Tuesdays and Fridays). The Darwin buses (departing from Palmerston) leave at 7:30 AM, leave Katherine at 12:00 PM, and arrive in Kalkarindji at 7:00 PM.
Please visit Katherine Coaches for more info. And please note that you're looking at the Darwin/Katherine, and the Katherine/Lajamanu timetables.
The festival is camping-only! Tents, vans, caravans are all welcome. There are no hotels or other accommodation options available.
Caravan Park Camping – Book a tent with us
Book a tent: Let us do the work for you! A very limited number of high-quality, four-person Earth Tents (generously supplied by our good friends at Wild Earth) are available for booking in our community caravan park/campground. Your tent will be set up and packed down for you, and mattresses, linen, sleeping bags are supplied.
Off-site/Bush Camping – free of charge (no booking required)
If you’re not booking one of our ready-to-go tents, there are a number of free campgrounds where visitors can set up their own self-sufficient bush camps (tents, vans etc). We will provide portaloos and shower blocks within walking distance of designated bush camping areas.
Note: Camping in the caravan park is exclusively limited to our pre-paid tent guests during Freedom Day Festival.
Tents, bedding, chairs, food, water, eskies
20 L water containers full of water – you will need plenty of water for drinking, cooking and cleaning. There are no taps in the bush campgrounds. Taps in the community supply potable water but are not commonly available.
Torches and lighting for the evening
Sun protection – broad-brimmed hat, sunscreen, umbrella
Money, anticipate your needs for the weekend (there is an ATM)
Medication (cool storage if necessary), first aid kit
Food (we have a shop and food suppliers, but bring some extra tucker too)
While the caravan park in Kalkaringi offers van sites, we don’t get a lot of caravans through this way, so please be aware we’re not as well-equipped as you might be accustomed to in other less remote locations. Unfortunately, we don’t have waste dump points available
If you don’t need a powered site, there will be plenty of free bush sites to set up your caravan.
Powered site bookings will become available closer to festival time.
We’ll keep you in the loop with festival updates.