Like cicadas, after which Nitmiluk is named, the festival is taking flight.

The 10-day festival includes an exploration of culture and history through an exhibition, music at the gorge, a celebration of nature and birds, gourmet foodie events, markets, films and more.

Jawoyn chair Lisa Mumbin says the festival has been a collaborative effort.

“This festival has come about thanks to the collaboration with a number of groups across the region,” Ms Mumbin said.

“The collaboration between the Jawoyn Association and the Northern Territory Government’s Nitmiluk National Park staff has grown beyond park management to pulling together to make this festival a reality.”

“We’ve also had great involvement with the staff at Nitmiluk Tours, RAAF Tindal and Defence, the Northern Territory Chief Minister’s department and Katherine Region Town Council.

“Jawoyn wanted to celebrate this year’s 30th anniversary of the handback with everyone – and it’s great to see it happen.

“We couldn’t think of a better way than to have a festival for the Katherine region and communities to unite and celebrate three decades of sharing, partnership and reconciliation.”

The opening weekend’s line-up of events firmly cements Katherine and Nitmiluk National Park as the place to be, with tonight’s Sharing Country exhibition kicking off festivities, tomorrow night’s Concert in the Gorge and Sunday’s Leliyn Family Fun Day punctuating the beginning of the 10-day festival.

On Tuesday 10 September, the 30th anniversary of Nitmiluk’s handback to Jawoyn traditional owners and the historic partnership they forged with the NT Government will be celebrated at the gorge with official proceedings, music, dance and a huge feast.

Twitchers are set to descend on the region for the Katherine Bird Festival, which runs for four days from Thursday 12, as foodies gather at the luxurious, award-winning Cicada Lodge for a magical weekend of food and wine with premium events Remote Flavours and Journey of the Palate.

The Sharing Community Markets and Sharing Stories movie night on the shaded jetty lawns at the park will close the festival with arts and craft, food stalls and some of the Territory’s most beloved films.

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