24-28 June 2021 | Alice Springs Beanie Festival

24 June 2021 – drive Kings Canyon, NT to Alice Springs, NT -> 4hrs 50min, 473 km

24-28 June 2021 – Alice Springs Beanie Festival, NT

As mentioned at the beginning of this blog, the catalyst for this road trip was to attend the Alice Springs Beanie Festival (BF).  Now the day has come when we begin our BF adventure. This is our first time at the BF so it’s a voyage of discovery.

Earlier this year, I made 12 beanies which were despatched from Bunbury, WA, in early May to arrive in AS by no later than 28 May 2021. Two beanies are exhibition pieces and are on display along with around 300 other exhibition beanies in the Araluen Arts Centre. The exhibition runs until 15 July 2021. My other beanies are for sale in Beanie Central.  Beanie Central is something else, with over 6000 beanies up for sale over a 4 day period. 

Exhibition beanie – Bush Princess [she’s a little bit Frida Koaloh]
Handmade, wet felted beanie, needle felting, embroidery, merino wool
Exhibition Beanie – The Unimer – half Unicorn-half Merman, created for the Myths and Legends theme at the Beanie Festival.
Handmade, wet felted beanie, nuno felting, needle felting, crocheted coral and starfish
Media: embroidery thread, cotton, sequins, jets, shells, silk, merino wool

The BF is largely “powered” by volunteers. Michael and I registered for volunteer shifts … we sold cakes, sold beanies, cooked sausages, greeted beanie purchasers, and assisted in the gallery at the Art Centre. We do love meeting and chatting to people so volunteering like this is great! It was crazy, fun, exciting, and exhausting.

Many BF attendees come decked out in their finest beanies, often the beanies are big, bold and quite incredible.  There’s a great vibe at the BF. People are visibly exhilarated as they search for their perfect beanie.  

During my shift on the cake stall, I looked up to see a lady wearing a hat that I had made – I admired her hat and explained that I was the maker of the hat. She was very complimentary. We exchanged Christian names, and I asked to take her photo and to tell her the backstory to the hat. One of the lady’s companions whispered to me that she was a designer. I then realised who she was and that I had only days earlier I listened to a Conversations podcast about her. Small world 😊

Lydia Pearson, wearing my Groot hat. Recycled (accidentally felted in a washing machine) alpaca jersey, given to me by my friend and fellow yogi Jenny Anderson

Happy 25th Anniversary ASBF! Well done to the Beanie Festival organisers, volunteers, and everyone else involved.

I love this beanie so much – purchased on day one of the BF from Beanie Central.
You have to have a good day wearing a strawberry on your head ;o)

In retrospect, I should have allowed more time in AS, as the BF took up the majority of our time here. We fitted in a quick visit to the Alice Springs Desert Park, and the Olive Pink Botanic Garden.  Next time, as a minimum, will visit the East and West McDonnell ranges, and go back to the AS Desert Park.

Female dingo at the Alice Springs Desert Park.

27 June 2021 – whilst in Alice Springs we realised our plans would need to change…

Up until now, I’ve endeavoured to keep posts fairly short. Apologies in advance as this post (and also the next few posts) will be longer and wordier than previously as there is now a lot to explain.

This evening we made the decision to cut 11 days off the road trip.  Darwin has gone into lockdown for two days and we were due to arrive in Darwin in 4 days time, and of course, the lockdown may be extended.

We will now turn left at Katherine instead of heading north, and make the border crossing back into Western Australia, near Kununurra.  Sad to be missing out on Darwin and Kakadu. We hope to fly back up here later this year. 

We have cancelled our accommodation in Darwin and Kakadu. Fortunately, this was easy to do, and providers were very understanding.  All future accommodation and activities will now need to be adjusted accordingly.

Michael filled out the West Australian G2G (Good 2 Go) Pass paperwork this evening. Authorities quickly responded to our application, and we’re good to cross back into WA.  Playing things by ear for a few days…



  1. Two amazing beanies contributed by you to the exhibition … beautifully detailed. I love them both. They look so different in style as if created by two different artists but each so rich in its own way.
    I longed to touch the Bush Princess, with her fluffy ears so tempting!

    The Unimer, what beautiful, scales, interesting details in textures and colours.

    I feel privileged to come along on your amazing journey, like a child in the back seat of the jeep, enjoying everything with wide open eyes, not a worry on the journey, with Mum and Dad in the front dealing with all the diversions while I eagerly soak up all the wonderful adventures on the way. Your excellent writing (easily earning an A+) provides no need to apologise for the length when I am hanging on each word and looking for more! THANK YOU!

  2. The strawberry beanie, so delightfully photographed on you, looking so young with beautiful brown eyes amongst strands of what looks like golden hair.

    The recycled beanie … well done!

    1. You are too kind. The golden hair is actually silver, but I wear it with pride – both the hat and the hair. vx

  3. Your description of BFestival was wonderful and captured the atmosphere. Congratulations on having two Beenie displayed in Araluen Art Gallery. Loved your strawberry Beenie but where was Michael in his Beenie??

    1. Thanks Lyn. I’ve heard that both of the exhibition beanies have been sold 🙂

      I have to confess Michael does not have a good shaped head for beanies, so he is banned from wearing/buying them. He does however look very handsome in a Fedora!

      If you feel so inclined check out a blog I wrote back in 2014 when we went to NZ to attend an art deco festival and Michael was wearing a number of different hats (as was I) https://decodaze.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/tremains-art-deco-weekend-day-one-wednesday-19-february-2014/


  4. Having attended the Beanie Festival about four years ago, your description brought back some lovely memories. It is quite an event in Alice Springs and you have described the ‘vibe’ and the atmosphere brilliantly. Well done to both of you for volunteering, its that spirit and effort that make the festival such a great success. Thoroughly enjoying the pics and story of your journey. Its a shame that you have to cut it short but at least you now have a sound reason for a return visit.

    1. Thanks Joe. Really appreciate your comments. So happy you feel I’ve captured the essence of the event. And, yes! we do now have sound reason for a return visit. Be great to meet up with you and Helen there sometime M&Hx

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