Are the Birdsville races the only reason to visit outback Queensland?

Celeste and her husband are going around Australia and want to know what else they can do when going through outback Queensland aside from the Birdsville races.

Q. Celeste
My husband and I bit the bullet and bought a caravan last year and we have set off on the great trip around Australia. We started the trip from Melbourne and are currently working our way around South Australia, planning to work our way around in a clockwise direction, pending any border closures that may upset our plans and force us to move in different directions. While we are tentatively plotting our journey knowing it could be subject to change at a moment’s notice, we are a little stuck with what to do when going through outback Queensland. We know about the Birdsville races and that seems like it could be a massive event. But what if we can’t make it there in early September? Are there any other events in the region that we should be aiming for at other times?

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A. Sounds like an exciting trip. You probably picked the right way to go around Australia as well as you wouldn’t want to be stuck in NSW at the minute with the flooding potentially ruining your trip.

The Birdsville Races are on 3-4 September this year and are easily the biggest event on the outback Queensland calendar. There are, however, some other big festivals and races that you can pencil in if early September doesn’t work for your itinerary.\

If you like golf, then the Outback Queensland Masters could pique your interest. Australia’s most remote golfing event takes place from 19 June-25 July and sees a band of amateur golfers trek 16,000km, stopping at Biloela, Charleville, Quilpie, Blackall and Hughenden before finishing up at Longreach where the players compete for $1 million in the hole-in-one challenge.

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Of course, if you want to see racing but can’t make the Birdsville races, you could always attend the Boulia Camel Races from 16-18 July.

Dubbed the ‘Melbourne Cup of Camel Racing’, the 1500m final is the longest camel race in Australia and sees the 400-strong community of Boulia welcome thousands of festivalgoers every July.

Trackside, there’s a camel-packed program of activities as quirky as the main event itself, including the Great Australian Ride-on Mower Race, camel and helicopter rides, and live music performances. 

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Another big event is the Outback Festival, which takes place in Winton from 21-25 September this year.

The festival brings city and country people together to celebrate Australia’s endearing bush spirit and is in its 49th year.

The four-day festival features the hilarious Quilton Australian Dunny Derby race, where teams BYO outhouse and race 200m through obstacles for the chance to win a share of $5000 prize money.

The other headlining event is a world record attempt by Australia’s strongest man.

Retired – but still holding the title of longest running Australia’s strongest manwith 15 years under his belt – Derek Boyer will try to better his own Guinness World Record of carrying a V8 motor a distance of 20m in under 21 seconds. The engine, which he will carry down the main street of Winton, weighs a minimum of 190kg.

Have you ever been to the Birdsville races? What else would you recommend seeing in outback Queensland?

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Written by Ben Hocking

Ben Hocking is a skilled writer and editor with interests and expertise in politics, government, Centrelink, finance, health, retirement income, superannuation, Wordle and sports.

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