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The Desert Lantern Training Restaurant in Alice Springs is designed to give hospitality and cookery students real-world experience in their industry.

Students will train, learn and offer the community a high-quality food experience while completing their certificate. 

The restaurant is named after a species of plant found in Central Australia called Abutilon Leucopetalum, or 'Desert Lantern'. It gets its name from the bright yellow flowers it sprouts. Growing on hillsides, the Desert Lantern is commonly found at the base of rocks throughout the Red Centre, typically flowering after rain. Western Arrernte people are known to eat the cooked roots. 

Training for students

Student in training making colourful cocktails behind the bar

Certificate I, II and III students

You’ll be supervised by one of our experienced chefs and will learn about a variety of cookery methods, the structure of menus and more. You’ll be serving customers, working behind the bar and undertaking fine dining and silver service. 

Certificate IV students

You'll have the opportunity to develop your management skills by supervising Certificate I, II and III students in real-life situations during the Desert Lantern's opening hours.

Dine at the Desert Lantern

Enjoy spectacular views of the MacDonnell Ranges when you dine at the Desert Lantern, located on the grounds of the CDU Alice Springs campus.

If you're dining at the Desert Lantern, you can choose from:

  • 3-course table d hôte menu of different international cuisines that change on a weekly basis
  • 7-course degustation menu that includes wines to match each course
  • 3-course Gueridon (flambé) service which includes silver service.

Bookings are essential, so make sure you make a reservation by contacting the restaurant.

Desert Lantern Restaurant
T: (08) 8959 5200
F: (08) 8959 5240


To secure your reservation, you must pay in advance. If you notify the Desert Lantern 48 hours before your original booking, your booking can be moved to a different date (subject to availability).


The Desert Lantern is located on CDU's Alice Springs campus. You can get to it via the second entrance off Grevilia Street.