Become part of a journey that has been evolving for over 65,000 years. Experience Seven Seasons.
The Larrakia people are the traditional owners of the Darwin region. The Darwin Convention Centre’s Seven Seasons menu is a culinary journey inspired by the Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) Seasons.
To the Larrakia people, the year is divided into seven seasons. There is no beginning and no end but a constant change that can be felt. Each season has distinctive patterns of weather changes and plant and animal activity, each with their own special purpose.
‘Seven Seasons’ is a journey providing guests the opportunity to experience the dramatic changes of the Gulumoerrgin seasons and the corresponding impact these changes have on the sights, sounds, landscape and natural habitat.
The journey is beyond Aboriginal food, it also includes a visual and sound experience, creating a sensory culture immersion.
Guests will leave with a fuller appreciation of the deep connection the Larrakia people have for the land on which the Darwin Convention Centre stands.
Balnba is the season of the first rains. Electrical storms create a shocking brilliance and charge the night skies. Shellfish, like mud crab, are abundant and the rain fosters the germination and fruiting of many plants. The Gulppula or Green Tree Frogs deafen conversation and call to the world that the big rains are coming.
Dalay is the monsoon season. It is a time when the heavy rains replenish our parched thirsty land. Water surges from rivers and creeks and the floodplains are buried under lakes of undulating water. Saltwater crocodiles are active and restless in the breeding season, with males traveling large distances to find a suitable mate.
Mayilema signifies the knock ‘em down season. The final storms knock down the speargrass letting us know that the wet season is coming to a close. The dragonfly’s dance in the skies and as the rain eases the floodplains drain into the sea. This ‘run off’ creates the perfect environment for barramundi, with lots of fish swimming around the mouths of creeks and rivers.
Damibila is a time of bush fruit. The skies are clearing and the clouds are high. The red tailed black cockatoos call out in a joyous song and the gentle winds cause flowers to fall to the ground. Billy Goat or Kakadu plums start to fruit in abundance, providing a delicious source of food as well as a traditional healing remedy.
Dinidjanggama is the coldest time of the year, when the thick dew settles heavily at the break of day. As the floodplains start to dry, beautiful waterlilies burst into life providing colour and vibrancy across the shallow water. This cold part of the year is the ideal time to burn grass for rejuvenation, providing a source of food for the kangaroos and wallabies.
Gurrulwa brings the big winds and churning seas. The floodplains are completely dry and the long-necked turtle buries itself underground waiting for the rains. Wattle flowers and seeds indicate that the stingrays are fat and plentiful and that it is time to collect cockles. This is an important time; a time for ceremonies and the celebration of life, rebirth and the rejuvenation of people and country.
Dalirrgang is the time of the ‘build up’. Thunder and lightning fill the air and king tides are more frequent. The rains, however, do not come, and the humidity leaves a ‘tenseness’ in the air. Flying foxes take advantage of the juicy mangos brimming with sweet flesh and the cocky apples drop a carpet of soft white flowers with their sweet scent signalling the approaching rains.