Road & Rail

The Ghan gets a makeover to celebrate Parrtjima festival

Journey Beyond has teamed up with Indigenous artist Chantelle Mulladad to give the Ghan a very special makeover.

In collaboration with Tourism Northern Territory, NT Major Events Company, AGB Events and Keringke Arts, the iconic train has been transformed into a spectacular piece of moving art.

Three carriages of the world-famous train have been wrapped in Mulladad’s stunning design Crossroads, as it travels from Darwin to the Red Centre.

To complement the external wrap; a spectacular immersive light installation will light up inside one of The Ghan’s carriages, providing an engaging visual display and a taste of things to come at Parrtjima – A Festival in Light 2021.

Tony Quarmby, executive general manager at Tourism NT, said: “This project was designed to creatively integrate the Parrtjima festival into one of our unique Northern Territory holiday experiences that delivers on the Northern Territory’s promise of being different in every sense.

“It has been a really exciting project for us to bring to life. The juxtaposition of Chantelle Mulladad’s artwork on the train with the Red Centre’s vibrant colours as the backdrop creates a stunning visual as The Ghan travels through the Territory to Alice Springs, while the immersive experience on board The Ghan gives passengers a taste of what to expect at Parrtjima – A Festival in Light.”

Running from until 18 April in Alice Springs, Parrtjima activates the desert landscape of Central Australia into a meeting place of old and new, where the festival utilises the latest technologies to showcase the oldest continuous culture on earth.

This epic reveal of The Ghan train wrap shows off the stunning design by Mulladad, from Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa), a remote indigenous community 80 kilometres south-east of Alice Springs.

Mulladad’s work is precise and detailed, using pattern, colour, shape and structure to create paintings that depict her sense of Country, culture and self.

Crossroads is about travelling across country on a journey, which is significant and symbolic to the principles of The Ghan.

Crossroads has also been utilised in the internal treatment inside The Ghan carriage, an immersive creation which guests will get to experience as it travels through the Territory.

Peter Egglestone, chief commercial officer at Journey Beyond, said: “Travelling on The Ghan provides a true appreciation for the breadth and diversity of the Northern Territory, and allows travellers to learn and immerse themselves in the culture and stories of the regions we travel through.

“We take great pride in supporting local communities and curating unique experiences, and without hesitation, we were thrilled at the opportunity to support Parrtjima and collaborate for the event. We’re excited to be involved and look forward to sharing this experience with our guests.”

Presented on The Ghan through an immersive in-carriage experience, is the 2019 Ranges Show, ‘The Language of Country – Angkentye Apmere-kenhe’, which celebrates the beauty, uniqueness and survival of the ancient landscape.

The voice of actor Aaron Pedersen, an Arrernte descendent, narrates a script written by Arrernte people, taking the audience on a stirring journey through country, the kinship system and language.

The 2021 Ranges Show at Parrtjima will be an inspiring and enriching experience called ‘Spirit Kultcha’ which, for the first time, is a collaboration with renowned Aboriginal electronic music duo Electric Fields.

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