Northern Territory of Australia has a small population, relative to the rest of Australia. However, residents anticipate the first Monday in August, when the territory celebrates Picnic Day. Australians from the Northern Territory, as well as those from the rest of the continent, have been commemorating Picnic Day since at least the late 1800s, though the exact date of the first picnic is unknown. The tradition began when railway workers and public works employees held an annual ‘Union Picnic Day’ or ‘Trade Picnic Day’ by the Adelaide River. After a few bleak, picnic-less years, the tradition resumed in earnest in the 1930s and has continued since.
The background of Northern Territory Picnic Day
The Northern Territory (or NT, if you’re cool) is renowned for its rugged and breathtaking landscapes. The Uluru or Ayers Rock, the pod-like structures of Kata Tjuta, and the cliffs and canyons of Watarrka National Park are just a few of the highlights. The Harts Range Bush Sports Weekend, also known as the Harts Range Races, includes horse racing, a rodeo, and other activities. Since the 1940s, this has been a Picnic Day — or weekend — tradition. In the NT, there are numerous methods to enjoy the long weekend. On Picnic Day, you can build a campfire or enjoy an authentic Outback barbecue. In addition, there are rodeos, performances, and opportunities to view indigenous art.
Picnic Day activities date back to the 1800s, when Northern Territory rail employees took a break to picnic near the Adelaide River. According to news reports from the time, “practically the entire city travelled by special train to the Adelaide River,” with the city being Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. When the three Webb brothers competed to see who had the fastest horse, a tradition was established that continues to this day.
Activities on Northern Territory Picnic Day
Learn some history
The history surrounding Picnic Day is extensive. Although the exact dates are unknown, it is generally acknowledged that at least some of the origins of the holiday can be traced to railway workers who picnicked along the Adelaide River.
Prepare the barbecue grill for use by preheating it. The picnic is one of the best aspects of Picnic Day. Prepare your plate and delve in! If you know a superior place and time to serve authentic Outback barbecue, we would love to hear about it.
Do it as the old-timers did.
Participate in a long-standing tradition by attending the Railway Heritage Picnic, where you can eat and play games along the Adelaide River. As Northern Territory Australians celebrate the holiday, your experiences will be added to the continent’s extensive past.
NORTHERN TERRITORY PICNIC DAY DATES