Outback Tracks: A Different Day at the Races

Trackside at the races – the crowd roars, the sun shines and the atmosphere excitable. Over the din the race is called and the competitors are off, the yabbies slowly crawling in whichever direction they please. Yep, the yabbies.

When you’re in Outback Queensland you can expect the weird, the wonderful, and the downright best of racing. From yabbies, lizards and chickens, to horses, goats, pigs, sheep, and camels, there is an extensive calendar of uniquely Outback events waiting just for you. Here’s a few of our favourite front runners, how many have you been to?

Goat Racing at the Barcaldine Tree of Knowledge Festival


Goat Races in Barcaldine

Race Date: 28th April, 2017 (Full Event Dates: 27th April – 1st May 2017)

Location: Barcaldine Show Grounds

Event Information: Click here

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Mention goat racing in the city and they’ll probably think you’ve goat to be joking, but we kid you not! 😉 The Barcaldine Tree of Knowledge Festival is proud to have goat racing as an integral part of its programme each May long weekend. They reckon youngsters (over 10 years old) are just the right size for the goat racing carts, so bring the family and see Barcaldine put the billy back into billy-carting!


Sheep Racing at the Landsborough Flock Ewe Show


Sheep ShowMuttaburra Sheep Show photographed by Sally Cripps, Queensland Country Life

Race Date: 3rd June, 2017

Location: Muttaburra Racecourse

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If you’re looking for an authentic Outback-bred event look no further, the Landsborough Flock Ewe Show – commonly known as the Muttaburra Sheep Show – is here. The sheep show has been held almost every year since 1962, usually on the first weekend of June. Featuring sheep and wool competitions, art and craft displays, live entertainment, market stalls and of course, sheep races, Muttaburra is a worthy addition to your calendar.


Camel Racing at the Boulia Camel Races


Boulia Camel Races

Race Dates: 14th – 16th July, 2017

Location:  Boulia Showgrounds

Event information: Click here

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There are a few different stops on the camel racing circuit, the most famous perhaps being the town of Boulia. The Boulia Camel Races claim the title of the longest camel race in Australia and this true-blue event has plenty to offer. Aside from the spectacular races, racegoers will find live entertainment, markets, kids entertainment and even a spot of yabby racing to round it all off.

Pig Racing at the Mitchell Camel & Pig Races


Pigs at Mitchell

Race Date: 26th August, 2017

Location:  Mitchell Show Grounds

Event information: Click here

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Held every year on the weekend before the famous Birdsville Cup, the Mitchell Camel & Pig Races is exactly what you think it is – and more. The town of Mitchell may be small, but they put on a big show with market stalls, entertainment, and even free camping at the Showgrounds during the event.


Yabby Racing at the Windorah International Yabby Races


International Yabby Races

Race Date: 30th August, 2017

Location: 15 Albert Street, Windorah (Outside the famous Western Star Hotel)

Event information: Click here

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While the yabbies may not be international racers, this is certainly a world-class event. The street outside the Western Star Hotel in Windorah is the place to be on the Wednesday before the Birdsville Races (held the first weekend in September), so saddle up your crawly crustacean and raise money for some great charities in the process.


Horse Racing at the Birdsville Races


Birdsville Races

Race Dates: 2nd & 3rd September, 2017

Location:  Birdsville Racetrack & Club

Event information: Click here

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Now no list of racing would be complete without the Melbourne Cup of the Outback, the Birdsville Races. This gathering on the edge of the Simpson Desert occurs annually on the first weekend of September, drawing crowds from near and far. A quintessential Aussie event, the Birdsville Racing Carnival is iconic for a good reason! While it may have been washed out a bit last year, it will never stop attracting over 7,000 attendees to a town of 100!


Chicken Racing in Winton



Race Dates: Many! (Ask a friendly local at the North Gregory Hotel!)

Location:  North Gregory Hotel in Elderslie Street, Winton

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We’ve found the answer to the age-old question, and can confirm that the chicken crossed the road to get to the pub in Winton. Ben’s Chicken Stampede is as amusing as it sounds, hosted at the North Gregory Hotel (where Banjo first waltzed Matilda). This relatively new but well-loved event raises funds for local charity and is a clucking good time for the whole family.


Lizard Racing in Eulo


Eulo Lizard

Photography credit: Can Go Around Australia

While they don’t run any more, it’s worth paying homage to perhaps the best red dirt track runners in the outback – lizards. In Eulo you’ll find the Paroo Track, complete with giant frilled-neck lizard statue, where these speedy critters had their time in the sun. The lizards may not be running but there are plenty of eventures to be had, so come on out to try a track with a twist in Outback Queensland.


Dunny Racing at the Outback Festival  


Dunny Derby

Race Date: 22 September, 2017 

Location: Winton 

Event information: Click here 

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You heard it right folks. The humble outhouse gets a run in the spotlight with Quilton Australian Dunny Derby at the Outback Festival in Winton, September 22, 2017. Witness competitors on a roll as they dress up and race it out for the prestigious title of the Fastest Dunny and Best Presented Team and Outhouse. The 200m track includes obstacles courses from picking up the newspaper to cleaning activities, as teams of five push and pull the dunny (with one dunny jockey sitting on his royal throne) to the finish line.  

Want to know what else you can see race in Outback Queensland?

Check out our featured events page here

OR for a full list of events, head to:  http://www.outbackqueensland.com.au/events-calendar/


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