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Queensland races

birdsville_racesMaybe spectator sports are more your thing. In that case you can combine a trip to the outback, mixing with the locals at the race track and soaking up some sun.

The Birdsville Races, 31 August to 1 September, this year, is not quite the race that stops a nation - but the tiny town of Birdsville (population 120), which lies about as far 'Outback' as you can get, 1600kms from Brisbane, does pull out all stops when it comes to entertaining a crowd of 6000 each year for its iconic race weekend.

On the menu is OBE beef and Apple and Quandong pie; a tent city is erected offering comfortable accommodation options, and this year's entertainment featuring Mick Lindsay, Paul Costa and iconic bush poet Murray Harta will keep the punters happy even away from the track.

Photographic evidence points to Birdsville hosting races as far back as 1882, and current Race Club President and ambassador David Brook claims it is this proud heritage which ensures the races go on, despite flood and drought over the years.

A long time favourite with loyal grey nomads who make the journey each year, the Birdsville Races are also becoming popular with a younger set, keen to fly or drive to be part of one of Queensland's best events.??For more information.....



(pic: Rowan Bestmann)

And then there's the Bedourie Races on 7-8 September in the historic outback town in Queensland's dazzling Diamantina Shire in the state's far west, the third race meet in the famed Simpson Desert Racing Carnival.

This year to help get racegoers to the event the Diamantina Shire Council has organised a special charter flight with departures from both Brisbane and Toowoomba. Visitors to the races will be treated to a weekend of non-stop fun and enjoyment starting with a stopover in the iconic Outback town of Birdsville for a beer at the famous Birdsville Hotel before arriving in Bedourie in time for the Friday evening rodeo.

Come Saturday morning the racecourse will rev up early for the Bedourie Ute & Travellers' Muster. Now in its fourth year, the muster attracts motor enthusiasts from around the country all keen to pay homage to Australia's greatest workhorse; the good ol' Aussie ute. With much pride taken in ute ownership categories such as Best Outback Ute, Best Bullbar Ute and Best Chick's Ute are hard fought.


(pic: Rowan Bestmann)

From fun on four wheels the focus then moves to four leg action on the track with the first of the preliminary races bursting through the barriers just after lunch. Now in its 54th year, the Bedourie Race is the only race meet in the Simpson Desert Racing Carnival, which also includes the Betoota and Birdsville Races, to have run consecutively since its inception in the late 1950s. With its strong focus on country spirit and hospitality it offers one of the friendliest - and most unique - Outback race experiences.


(pic: Rowan Bestmann)

Dubbed the 'Oasis in the Desert', the town's most notable landmark is the Bedourie Hotel. Previously known as the Royal Hotel, the historic waterhole has traded continuously since it was first licensed in the 1880s. Other town attractions include a therapeutic hot artesian spa reaching temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius, the heritage-listed Bedourie Mud Hut, believed to have once operated as a Cobb and Co rest-stop, and a 9-hole Outback golf course noted for its natural sand bunkers.

For those wanting to get out and explore the area, a 68km drive south of Bedourie along the road to Birdsville you'll find Cuttaburra Crossing a stunning natural wetland with prolific bird life, while a further 38km away is the National Trust-Listed Carcoory Homestead Ruins built in 1877. If that's not enough, Bedourie is also the main gateway to the celebrated Diamantina National Park, recently named one of Australia's top ten national parks.

More information....


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