Like all good stories, the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival began over a round of drinks.
In 1994 a few locals were spinning yarns over a cold one when conversation shifted to one question – “how do we put our town on the map?”
And just like that, the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival was born.
Fast forward twenty-four years and the festival has grown to three-day, action-packed proportions. Think – Junior and Senior Triathlons, horse races, fashions on the field, an exclusive Country Tastes Luncheon, a PBR bull ride and nightly outdoor concerts.
If your April is looking free (ahem – school holidays), mark your diary and make like a local with this guide to Julia Creek Dirt n Dust.
DAY 1 – Friday 12th April
10am: Arrive at Julia Creek
Sure you can fly out here, but we think the only way to truly appreciate everything the Outback has to offer is to take a roadtrip.
To get to Julia Creek from any of these areas you have to do some serious driving – just leave enough time to arrive in daylight hours so you can set up your campsite for the weekend.
Townsville: 647km (7 hrs)
Brisbane: 1698km (19 hrs)
Cairns: 991 (9 hrs)
Mount Isa: 250km (3 hrs)
12pm: The Julia Creek Junior Triathlon
If you’ve got pint-sized athletes in the family, you’ll want to enter the Julia Creek Junior Triathlon on Friday.
Just as rewarding as it’s big brother, the Junior Triathlon is perfect for kids aged between 4-15.
There’s even different lengths for different age categories so it’s always fair on our mini-triathletes.
5:30pm: Gates Open at Dirt n Dust Central
As the sun begins to set over the vast Outback horizon, the real party kicks off for the weekend.
Friday night festivities are free, family-friendly and go on into the early hours … at least for the big kids.
Rock out to a live outdoor concert, sample the food vendors and keep the kids entertained with amusements and a disco.
DAY 2 – Saturday 13th April
6am: Get Ready To Run
Australia’s toughest sprint triathlon, the South32 Senior Triathlon, kicks off Saturday’s entertainment.
Set against the harsh Outback elements, this challenging run is a must-do on the weekend.
This ain’t no coastal triathlon with cool ocean waves. Here you’ll find muddy water, barren highways, barreling headwinds and searing bitumen. Intrigued? We know you are!
Few can claim victory over the tough Outback race, but those who do continue to return year-after-year.
You don’t need a podium finish for this one either, bragging rights come just by simply competing at this hardcore event.
12pm: Off to the Races
Here you’ll find no shortage of high fashion mixed in with Akubras and cowboy boots, as you watch the fillies fly around the dry dirt track kicking up plumes of dust against a clear blue sky.
The day is one of North West Queensland’s richest race meetings and is THE place to be on Saturday.
1pm: Tastes of the Country
Those lucky enough to score a ticket to the weekend’s most exclusive event are in for a delicious afternoon.
The Country Tastes Luncheon is held in conjunction with the races at the Julia Creek Turf Club and has the best seat in the house for the afternoon.
Dine on the finest Outback food, served with a side of good old-fashioned country hospitality. There’s live music to set the mood, a full bar and a front row seat to the races and Fashions on the Field.
7pm: 8 Seconds of Adrenaline
After the sun goes down, Dirt n Dust Central opens its gates for the biggest party of the weekend.
Enjoy three hours of non-stop adrenaline-pumping action as the PBR’s insanely brave riders risk it all against the rankest bulls in the Julia Creek Bull Ride.
11pm – Shake Your Tail Feather
Years ago during one of the nightly concerts the Festival suffered a power outage, and to keep the crowds entertained, someone had the bright idea to grab a torch and start a dance competition. And so Australia’s Best Butt Competition was born.
If you’re wearing a pair of jeans and you’re over 18 you can sign up to jump on stage and shake your booty in Australia’s Best Butt Competition.
The competition is fierce, so be sure to prime your rump!
DAY 3 – Sunday 18th April
7am – Farewell Breakfast
It’s all about R&R after a weekend at Dirt n Dust. After all, you’ve earned it.
If you’ve got a sore head from the festivities the night before (known to happen) – the best cure is a hot breakfast from one of the local businesses in town.
10am – Goodbye For Now
Make sure you fuel up and stock up on supplies for the trip back home – or if you’re not done with the Outback just yet, continue along the Overlander’s Way which journeys further west.
Have you been to Julia Creek Dirt n Dust? What did you think?
Post sponsored by Julia Creek Dirt n Dust