An Epic Saturday at Red CentreNATS: From Show’n Shine to Lightning Fast Drags

The weekend at Red CentreNATS was unfolding to be nothing short of a rollercoaster ride of thrilling experiences. After a Friday brimming with rubber-burning excitement, Saturday ushered in a gentler pace, yet equally captivating in its offerings.


The day began under the comforting embrace of the sun, indulging in the visually stimulating Show’n Shine event. Families gathered at the showground, basking in the vibrant atmosphere sprinkled with 4×4 tracks and delightful entertainments tailored for all ages. Yet, this calm morning was just the precursor to the exhilaration that lay ahead.

Red CentreNATS 2023 held at the Alice Springs showgraounds on the Saturday of the event
Red CentreNATS 2023 held at the Alice Springs showgraounds on the Saturday of the event

As the day progressed, the atmosphere revved up quite literally with the initiation of the massive supercruise, a grand parade that weaved its path from the showground, meandering through the picturesque gap, gracing Gap road, and thronging the heart of Alice Springs. Then, like a rhythmic dance, it would gracefully turn around and tread back along the same vibrant path.

The supercruise was a spectacle grander than anything I had envisioned. Each passing car demanded a crouch, turning my photography session into an impromptu leg workout that would have easily depleted rolls of film had I been using an old film camera. For about 45 minutes, it seemed like a ceaseless stream of around 700 vibrant entities – cars, bikes, 4x4s and even an occasional truck – flaunted past me. Witnessing these mechanical marvels, which I had admired earlier at the Show’n Shine, now in motion was indeed a feast for the eyes. The sight of them not just stationary but being driven with gusto, was a testament to the living art and engineering prowess encapsulated in each of them.

As the golden hues of the evening set in, the grandeur of the supercruise drew to a close, paving the way for a night of adrenaline-infused experiences at the Alice Springs Inland Dragway. Here, an array of ultra-fast drag cars, bikes, and the whimsically named ‘funny cars’ were gearing up to dominate the scene.

I have to confess, my first experience photographing a drag race was something of a baptism by fire. The sheer velocity of the cars launching off the blocks caught me by surprise, leaving me awestruck and muttering, “Holy cow, that was fast!” A swift adjustment to my camera settings was in order, and as the night progressed, I found myself adapting to the rapid pace of the races, capturing the fierce and blazing spirit of the sport through my lens.

Red CentreNATS 2023 held at the Alice Springs INland Dragway on the Saturday of the event

By the time darkness fully enveloped the surroundings, I felt a camaraderie with my camera, as we worked in harmony to encapsulate the electrifying moments that unfolded before us, resulting in some truly breathtaking images that embodied the raw energy and thrill that is the essence of Red CentreNATS.

Stay tuned as I navigate through more high-octane adventures at this incredible festival!

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