As we ease around the halfway point and into the back end of the year, it’s the final straight of 2016, with an unusual and unlikely sprint between yabbies, camels, stockmen and cowboys to see which Outback Queensland events you should include in your 2016 Outback Queensland adventure.
With a spectacular line up of events, some showing off our iconic Aussie sense of humour, and others celebrating our Aussie heritage, there is no doubt at all that you’ll find an incredible experience and an outback story or two to take home with you. So get set to plan your Outback getaway with these:
Event: Birdsville Races
When & Where: 2nd-3rd September – Birdsville
Great Reason to Go: Awesome entertainment, class horseracing and premium hospitality makes for a fantastic few days in the heart of Australia’s outback!
Even Better Reason to Go: Celebrate and make new friends with over 6,000 racegoers while you cross this Australian Outback experience off your bucket list. Enjoy the other social aspect of the Birdsville Races with the RDFS Cocktail Party, RFDS Fun Run, fashions of the field and tons more!
While you’re there: Visit the most photogenic pub in Australia – the Pub of many Hats. Stop and have the obligatory photo, a cold beer and a bite to eat. Try a camel pie at the Birdsville Bakery, play in the Big Red Sandpit and see a true redhead at sunrise and sunset. Or you could take a dip outback style in the Birdsville Billabong – which is great for yabbying and bird watching as well.
More info: www.birdsvilleraces.com
You’ll find entertainment both on the field and in the air.
Event: Boulia Camel Races
When & Where: 14th-17th July – Boulia
Great Reason to Go: This must-see event in Boulia is three days filled with camel races including the Quarter-Mile Flyer and the Camel Cup, plus thrilling entertainment.
Even Better Reason to Go: The Boulia Camel races attract people from all over the world and the town bursts at the seams! Over the weekend, the entertainment comes in all forms such as market stalls, children’s amusements, camel rides, sky diving, belly dancers and more.
While you’re there: Check out the Min Min Encounter Show, a 45 minute bush yarn about the famed Min Min Light Phenomenon. Take in the natural attractions such as the Red Stump (Boulia’s equivalent to the Black Stump), the Corroboree Tree or the Moonstones.
More info: www.boulia.qld.gov.au/events
Come say hello to these friendly furry faces!
Event: Tower Rocks
When & Where: 3rd-4th September – Charters Towers
Great Reason to Go: Towers Rocks is a festival aimed at those who have a love for life, good music, gourmet food and wine! So what are you waiting for, get out there and dance like no one is watching!
Even Better Reason to Go: International food villages giving you a dining experience showcasing all this region has to offer. Delicious frozen cocktails, a beer garden and designated dance zones where you can get footloose and fancy free! There will also be market stalls that will have everything from homemade goodies, clothing and jewellery.
While you’re there: Have a bite to eat at the beautifully restored Stock Exchange Arcade, take a trip down memory lane with the Charters Towers Historical tour, or get your cowboy on with the Texas Longhorn Wagon Tour and Safari….yeeehhaaaa! There’s even a ghost tour if you’re game. And after an exhausting day exploring you can sit back, relax and have a drink or two at Irish Molly’s.
More info: http: www.towersrocks.com
Get ready to Rock!
Event: Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo
When & Where: 12th–14th August – Mount Isa
Great Reason to Go: Non-stop rodeo action – bull riding, saddle bronc, bareback bronc, rope and tie, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing and breakaway roping.
Even Better Reason to Go: Throw in Live Entertainment, “The Isa Street Party”, Mardi Gras Parade, Queen Quest, Mailman Express Horse Race, Best Dressed Business competition, Bush Poets Breakfast, Show Rides and Fred Brophies Boxing Tent into the mix and you’ve got one big party.
While you’re there: Check out the Mount Isa views from either the City Lookout or Telstra Hill, grab a bite to eat at The Buff’s Club, or take the whole family to the family fun park. You can take an underground or above ground mine tour or even do a field trip to heritage listed Riversleigh Fossil Field.
More info: www.isarodeo.com.au
Event: Blackall Heartland Festival
When & Where: 14th-16th October – Blackall
Great Reason to Go: It’s a festival based on arts and cultural activities, including a regionally produced red meat showcase, art exhibition, photography, music, poetry, sculpting and painting as well as billy cart racing, bull ride and sheep races.
Even Better Reason to Go: It’s their 10th Anniversary, and it’s going to be an event to remember!
While you’re there: Enjoy a relaxing soak in the artesian spa or a refreshing dip at the Blackall Aquatic Centre. Check out Blackall’s most popular tourist attraction the Blackall Woolscour, then head to the Prince of Wales Hotel for a bite to eat and a drink.
More info: www.blackallheartlandfestival.com.au
An event for the whole family. Say cheese everyone!
Event: International Yabby Races
When & Where: 31st August – Windorah
Great Reason to Go: It’s on the way to the Birdsville Races, so you can tick two unique outback Queensland events off your list in one epic adventure.
Even Better Reason to Go: Each of the 10 yabbies in every event are named and auctioned off prior to the race, with the funds from the night going back into the community and a great portion of all proceeds going to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
While you are there: With giant red sand hills, rest assured it doesn’t get much more ‘outback’ than Windorah, with its stunning vistas, picturesque ruins and historical sites.
How fast will your yabby go?
Event: Winton Camel Races
When & Where: 23rdJuly – Winton
Great Reason to Go: It’s one jam packed day filled with fun, entertainment and the Winton Camel Cup.
Even Better Reason to Go: Not only are there 8 camel races, but there will be motorbike events, tug-o-war, mutton busting for kids, great good and music. There really is something for the whole family.
While you’re there: What isn’t there to do? Winton is the home of “Waltzing Matilda, there’s birdwatching, opal fossicking, and self-drive tours. There’s Arno’s wall, the Australian Age of Dinosaurs, National Parks, watering holes, lookouts and more.
Don’t forget the camera!
Event: Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge & Campdraft
When & Where: 13th–17th July – Cloncurry
Great Reason to Go: The Stockman’s Challenge is regarded as one of the greatest horse events in Australia.
Even Better Reason to Go: The involves ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ work that includes competitors and horses completing manoeuvres such as flying changes, roll backs, spins and stops.
While you’re there: Check out the numerous well preserved historic buildings, all within walking distance around the town. You can also see one of the most comprehensive gem & mineral collection at Cloncurry Unearthed, take in the beauty of the town from a scenic look out or explore the region’s history at the John Flynn Place Museum and Art Gallery.
More info: www.currychallenge.com.au
A great event for any horse lover.
Event: Richmond Fishing Classic
When & Where: 1st–2nd October – Lake Fred Tritton, Richmond
Great Reason to Go: The Richmond Annual Fishing Classic is perfect for families and people of all ages!
Even Better Reason to Go: There is loads of cash and prizes up for grabs, not to mention the pride that comes from catching the elusive Barramundi.
While you’re there: Wander around the beautiful Bush Tucker Garden, which is home to an abundance of native plants. Take a stroll along the Heritage Walk, visiting sites such as the Cordial Factory and Open Air Theatre. Step back in time and marvel in the history Cambridge Downs Heritage Display, Cambridge Ruins, War Memorial, The Jack Brown Lions Park and Pioneer Cemetery.
Go on mate, reel em’ in.
Event: Pride of the West
When & Where: 23rd–24th September – Quilpie
Great Reason to Go: This event sees Channel Country locals bring their horses to compete in what is a salute to bush racing through this uniquely Australian event.
Even Better Reason to Go: This is not your regular horse race. No current race horses, jockeys or trainers can compete. ‘The Pride of the West’ is fought out between young stockmen and women who ride their station horses in stock saddles.
While you’re there: Let the Outback Mail Run take you on an unforgettable journey through this region. Soak up the culture with a visit to the Quilpie Information Centre Museum and Gallery, Military History Museum, Eromanga Natural History Museum, Airport Mini Museum or the Power House Museum.
More info: www.quilpiediggers.com/pride-of-the-west
Go mate, go!
Event: The Camooweal Drovers Camp Festival
When & Where: 26th–28th August – Camooweal
Great Reason to Go: This event commemorates the droving tradition of Outback Queensland and is an opportunity for the drovers to pass tradition on to the next generation. It’s a celebration of Australia’s outback heritage where you can meet genuine Drovers and hear their stories.
Even Better Reason to Go: See the age old skill of bronco branding, see the Drovers Camp Talent Quest Competition, listen to or enter in the Bush Poetry Competition, Art Exhibitions, photo competitions, street parade, charity race, live entertainment and more.
While you’re there: Explore the Camooweal Caves National Park! The region is honeycombed with rare sink holes and caves, dating back to the Cambrian Period, about 500 million years ago. The many walking tracks and viewing platforms give you a fantastic perspective as well as some great photos to show off your adventure.
More info: www.droverscamp.com.au
What are you waiting for!?
Come for an event, stay for an adventure! These events offer the perfect getaway for singles, couples and families. Team them up with fantastic holiday deals to extend your stay and live even more of Australia’s Story in Outback Queensland.