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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 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 II and III students in real-life situations during the Desert Lantern’s opening hours.

Dine at the Desert Lantern

Bookings are essential and we will only be accepting reservations through our new booking form (PDF, 243.65 KB). Please fill out with your two preferred dates and email the completed form to

Every effort is made to give patrons their preferred dates, however sometimes we may need to offer an alternative date.

Download the Desert Lantern Booking Form (PDF, 243.65 KB)

Download the Desert Lantern Restaurant training brochure (PDF, 991.2 KB)

Desert Lantern Restaurant contact



To secure your reservation all meals must be paid for in advance. Please note we are no longer accepting cash at the Desert Lantern Restaurant. Any drink purchases made on the night will need to be paid for using EFTPOS.  As a training restaurant, we require full occupancy and therefore require 72 hours’ notice if bookings need to be refunded or rescheduled (subject to availability).


The Desert Lantern Training Restaurant is located on CDU’s Alice Springs campus. You can get to it via Entrance 2 of the CDU Alice Springs campus off Grevillea Drive.