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Outback Camel Festival Trail

Birdsville to Winton

Duration: 5 days / 553km

The camel racing season kicks off in Outback Queensland on the second weekend in July. Camels are brought in to compete from all over Australia beginning with a two-day Bedourie event (second weekend in July), followed by a three-day festival in Boulia (third weekend in July) and ending with a one-day event in Winton (last weekend in July).

Camel racing is a serious international sport in some countries and its origins can be traced back to the early Islamic period in the seventh century. In Australia, camel races have had quite a rich history since the late nineteenth century however it wasn’t until 1990 that the sport gained real exposure in Australia. The Boulia Camel Races is home to the longest camel race in Australia at 1500 metres.

Outback Camel Festival Trail




Travel Distance:


Travel Time:

192 Hours

Your trail begins at the frontier town of Birdsville - located at the end of the famous Birdsville Track. Deep in the heart of wild and isolated country, Birdsville is situated between the eastern edge of the Simpson Desert, the vast gibber plains of Sturt's Stony Desert to the south and rich Cha el Country to the north. Call in to the Wirrarri Visitor Information Centre for information on local road conditions, weather and travelling tips. You can also view local artists' work in their extensive gallery. Local attractions include Big Red on the edge of the Simpson Desert, the Birdsville Billabong, Birdsville Racetrack and the famous Birdsville Hotel.

Birdsville to Bedourie

Take the Bilby Way drive between Birdsville and Bedourie for an unforgettable experience. See the rare and endangered Waddi Trees, considered to be 500 to 1000 years old. View the unusual 'Shoe Tree', a true testament to the Australian humour! Further on is Mooney's Grave - a strange and sad story of a local ringer's early demise. See the Carcoory Ruins, remnants of an early 1900s homestead, then view the amazing birdlife at the Cuttaburra Crossing wetlands. Pass historic Glengyle Station and Cookawinchika Waterhole. In Bedourie, see The Dust Storm Sculpture representing the Spinifex in a dust storm and visit the 1880s Mud Hut. Ease your tired muscles in Bedourie's Artesian Spa and Aquatic Centre's 22-person therapeutic spa, or cool off in the 25-metre swimming pool. Begin your Outback Camel Festival experience with the Bedourie Camel Races on the second weekend of July, featuring camel events and a range of family-friendly activities including a camp oven cook-off to see who makes the best Outback damper. Join in the excitement of both the professional races and novelty races.

Bedourie to Boulia

Travel Distance:


Stop for spectacular views and a picnic lunch at Vaughan Johnson Lookout before arriving into Boulia. Visit the Min Min Encounter to watch the 45 minute animatronics show about the intriguing legend of the Min Min Lights and call into the well-preserved Stonehouse Museum, one of the first homes built in Western Queensland. In the grounds of the Stonehouse Museum is the Marine Reptile Fossil Display, which contains some of the best fossils in Western Queensland. Boulia's population swells from 300 to thousands in the third weekend of July for the Boulia Camel Races, known as the 'Melbourne Cup of the Outback'. The three-day event starts on the Friday evening with live entertainment til late. The racing action starts on Saturday morning with plenty of trackside entertainment and by night there's great entertainment and a fireworks show. The race to the finish line for the prestigious Boulia Camel Cup is held Sunday morning; the longest camel race in Australia. Festival-goer's can camp free at the event.

Boulia to Winton

Drive approximately four hours east on the Ke edy Developmental Road to Winton. Along the way visit the original Min Min Hotel site where one of the first recorded sightings of the Min Min Light was said to have taken place. Drive another 33 kilometres east to Cawnpore Lookout offering spectacular panoramic views of the Lillyvale Hills. Travel a further 51 kilometres along the road to the Middleton Hotel, built during the Cobb and Co. era and one of the most isolated pubs in Queensland before arriving in Winton.


Winton has a rich history as the birthplace of Waltzing Matilda and QANTAS and is known as the dinosaur capital of Australia. Visit the new Waltzing Matilda Centre, the first museum in the world dedicated to a song. Discover the world's largest collection of Dinosaur attractions at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs and explore the fossilised dinosaur footprints at Lark Quarry Conservation Park. Experience some of Winton's free attractions - play a tune on the Musical Fence, take a self-guided walk through a Chinese market garden and marvel at Arno's Wall where everything can be found - including the kitchen sink. A seven kilometre drive from Winton is the spectacular Bladensburg National Park where you can spot endangered wildlife including the Julia Creek Du art and discover pastoralist history. Roads within the park are formed dirt roads are most suited to Four Wheel Drives. The Winton Camel Races in last weekend of July offer an exciting packed program. The Outback Camel Festival Trail concludes in Winton after a three-week adventure taking in the best of the Far West Outback region and some of the Central West Outback region, otherwise continue on to other central west towns including Longreach and Barcaldine.