Ju­lia Creek’s weird and won­der­ful do

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

IT must be one of Aus­tralia’s most colour­ful Out­back fes­ti­vals, which is say­ing some­thing.

The Ju­lia Creek Dirt ‘N’ Dust Fes­ti­val, now in its 23rd year, is an out­back ex­pe­ri­ence for cu­ri­ous vis­i­tors and Aussies of all ages.

While ex­treme sports afi­ciona­dos flock to the gru­elling triathlon, it’s the nov­elty events that re­ally make it the out­back ex­trav­a­ganza loved by lo­cals and trav­ellers.

The Fes­ti­val takes place from April 7-9 2017, of­fer­ing a wide ar­ray of events, from the renowned triathlon to bog snorkelling and cow pat throw­ing.

The three-day pro­gram is thought to be un­like any other event in the world, and cer­tainly in Aus­tralia. Per­haps best known for its pun­ish­ing Dirt ‘N’ Dust Triathlon, Aus­tralia’s first non-coastal run of­fers a par­tic­u­larly tough race, con­sid­er­ing the Out­back heat and strong winds.

This event con­sists of an 800m swim, 25km cy­cle and 5km run and has seen sev­eral world-class ath­letes and Olympians com­pet­ing for the $8000 prize pool in pre­vi­ous years.

Regis­tra­tions for the 2017 event are open now: more de­tails can be found at the of­fi­cial web­site.

More than the triathlon, the unique and quirky out­back fes­ti­val is the ul­ti­mate bucket-list ex­pe­ri­ence, with events in­clud­ing bog snorkelling, bull rid­ing, fly swat­ting, cow pat throw­ing and even “Aus­tralia’s Best Butt Com­pe­ti­tion”.

In ad­di­tion will be live en­ter­tain­ment in­clud­ing mu­sic, the Arte­sian Ex­press Horse Races on the re­mote dirt track, and a track­side Coun­try Tastes Lun­cheon.

“This is an ad­ven­ture wait­ing to hap­pen,” says Stephen Malone, pres­i­dent of the Ju­lia Creek Dirt ‘N’ Dust Fes­ti­val.

“It of­fers some­thing for ev­ery­one – ath­letes, fam­i­lies, peo­ple of all ages and stages will have a ball.”

Ju­lia Creek is in mid-north Queens­land, about 17 hours drive from Bris­bane and 250km east of the clos­est airport at Mount Isa. The small town’s pop­u­la­tion will swell to over 3,500 for the long week­end in April, in a cel­e­bra­tion of the town’s his­tory, ad­ven­ture and coun­try hos­pi­tal­ity. The best way to travel is by road, al­low­ing you to stop and ex­pe­ri­ence the spe­cial char­ac­ter of the towns along the way.

For those who don’t want to drive them­selves, Ad­ven­ture Aus­tralia Treks and Tours are of­fer­ing 4WD pack­ages with highly trained and knowl­edge­able tour guide pro­fes­sion­als al­low­ing vis­i­tors the op­por­tu­nity to sit back and fo­cus on en­joy­ing their trip while still pro­vid­ing an au­then­tic out­back ex­pe­ri­ence. Other modes of trans­port in­clud­ing bus, Re­gional Ex­press air­lines and In­lan­der trains.

The Dirt ‘N’ Dust Fes­ti­val is from Fri­day, April 7 to Sun­day April 9, in Ju­lia Creek, Queens­land. The town is and is known for its farm­ing and min­ing in­dus­tries and has one of Queens­land’s hottest and harsh­est cli­mates.

Pic­ture: LEE CARSALDINE

Se­nior Triathlon com­peti­tors get down and dirty

Pic­ture: RICHARD GRAY

Arte­sian Ex­press Horse Races fash­ion day

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