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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

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

Enjoy a 3-course table d hôte menu of different international cuisines that change weekly.

As a training environment, we cannot guarantee food prepared is free from or has not come into contact with any of the following allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, sesame seeds, fish, shellfish, soy, lupin and wheat.  All guests dining must note any dietary requirements/allergies before booking, as we cannot accommodate dietary needs at short notice.

For restaurant dates, and booking terms and conditions please read the Desert Lantern Training Restaurant Brochure.

Download the Desert Lantern Restaurant training brochure 2021 (PDF, 3.02 MB)

Bookings are essential and we will only be accepting reservations over the phone. If we are unavailable at the time of your call please leave a detailed voice mail and we will return your call.

Desert Lantern Restaurant contact

T:08 8959 5200


To secure your reservation all meals must be paid for in advance, at the time of booking. 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.