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Mahbilil Festival

Jabiru’s annual Mahbilil Festival comes during Gurrung season in Kakadu, when the climate is still hot and dry and flocks of magpie geese are out, but the thunderclouds are building.

The festival features the traditional arts, music and food of the cultures that live in and around Kakadu National Park and Jabiru, for a one-day gathering in the park beside Lake Jabiru. 

Magpie Goose season is made the most of at Mahbilil and bush tucker demonstrations are a highlight for many. You can learn how to cook the bird, and other traditional foods, on coals and in a traditional gungerre ground oven, before making a meal of it at the end of the day.

The festival is also a chance to see pandanus weaving up close and to learn the basics of the art from local ladies. Likewise, spear making is a popular demo, and an opportunity to ask questions about traditional craftsmanship.

NT artist Techy Masero created Mahbilil’s trademark lanterns, which float above the lake, and in the evening will have maps projected over them, as well as photography from local Indigenous artists and the Jabiru Area School.

This year’s music line-up will feature local and interstate bands playing bush reggae, folk and hip-hop – confirmed so far is the ever-popular Bininj Band from Croker Island and local newcomers Black Rock Band. Keep an eye out for additions to the line-up closer to the festival!

See the event listing.

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