Camel Races, free camping and nightly campfires – what more could you want on an adventure in Outback Queensland?
Well Boulia, guarantees ‘more’ and you’ll find it 303km south of Mount Isa.
Get prepared for an adventure on and off the racetrack when you head to the iconic Boulia Camel Races this July.
1. It’s the Melbourne Cup of Camel Races
It’s Outback Queensland’s weekend to rival the Spring Carnival, and on Saturday morning when the first camels come hurtling down the racetrack, you’ll see why this is the race that stops the tiny town of Boulia.
Get amongst the locals and hedge your bets on this 1500m marathon, which is the longest camel race in Australia.
2. Sleep for free
They say the best things in life are free – and Boulia Camel Races lives up to the saying.
In fact, Boulia welcomes ticket holders to stay onsite at the racecourse for up to 14 nights without paying a dime. Pssst – you can check out more free camping options over the Outback over here.
3. You can try tagging a Camel
Your mission, if you choose to accept it: enter the Camel Tagging competition at the Boulia Races.
Step 1: Jump in an arena with some of the livelier camels.
Step 2: Attempt to get close enough to stick a piece of duct tape onto one of the gentle giants.
Step 3: Return to your starting position, and then retrieve their duct tape from the camel before the clock is stopped.
The fastest competitor wins. Simple!
Event organisers say it’s hard to tell who gets more laughs out of this contest – the competitors in the arena, or the crowd gathered to cheer them on.
4. It’s just one stop on your Outback Queensland itinerary
The timing of the Boulia Camel Races couldn’t be better, tucked on the events calendar just after the The Big Red Bash ends in Birdsville.
Just as The Big Red Bash is packing up, the Western Queensland Camel Racing Circuit is kicking off, first with the Bedourie Camel Races, then the Boulia Camel Races further north, and winding up 366km west at the Winton Camel Races.
5. It’s family-friendly
Saturday night at the Boulia Camel Races packs a punch, with a fresh line up of live music and entertainment each year.
Beyond two big days of camel racing, the event’s three-day program features a swag of novelty fun like ride-on lawn mower races and sheep tagging; the kid-friendly spin-off of camel tagging.
6. You can check out the Boulia fossils
With free camping, there’s every reason to stick around longer in Boulia and check out the town’s Marine Reptile Fossil Display.
Nicknamed Percy he has bones to rival the skeleton of the Loch Ness Monster.
7. You might spy the Min Min Lights
Some say it’s fact, and others say it’s folklore, but it’s worth trying your luck to see these fabled lights while you’re in town.
Locals are no strangers to these eerie sights, which are said to look like bright glowing balls and have been known to reduce grown men to tears.
The Min Min’s have only ever been seen in Boulia at night and there’re many different theories as to what they could be.
Scientists think they’re either fluorescent gasses rising from the barren ground, or a cloud of bioluminescent insects. But others say they could be UFO’s or the spirits of local legends. We’ll let you decide.