BIRDSVILLE’S ICONIC EVENTS

Caravan World - - Birdsville -

Birdsville Races

The iconic Birdsville Races have ar­guably put Birdsville on the tourist map.

Part of the an­nual Simp­son Desert Rac­ing Car­ni­val also in­cor­po­rat­ing the Be­dourie Races and Rodeo and The Be­toota Races, The Birdsville Races now take place each Septem­ber (this year it’s 6-7 Septem­ber) and of­fers a rich purse of $200,000.

Be­gun in 1882, a princely sum of 200 pounds was of­fered to the win­ner among the 150 own­ers, man­agers and stock­men who had gath­ered.

The event is now run by the Birdsville Race Club and at­tracts more than 6000 at­ten­dees. You can just imag­ine how the camp­ing ar­eas swell dur­ing this time… The cur­rent track, which was es­tab­lished in the 1930s about 3km south­west of town, is 2000m in cir­cum­fer­ence and sits on a clay­pan amidst sur­round­ing sand dunes. It’s about as ‘out­back’ as you can get. The long­est race is the 1600m Birdsville Cup.

Big Red Bash

What be­gan as an in­ti­mate mu­sic fes­ti­val on part of the Adria Downs Sta­tion prop­erty for 300 peo­ple in 2013 has now swelled to an an­nual pil­grim­age for 9000 mu­sic lovers each year.

Billed as Aus­tralia’s most re­mote mu­sic fes­ti­val set against the back­drop of the 30m-high Big Red Dune, it’s a three-day, three-night bucket list camp­ing and mu­sic ad­ven­ture — and you can even bring the dog along with you, too.

This year’s fes­ti­val (16-18 July) will fea­ture Midnight Oil along with ARIA award-win­ners The Liv­ing End, Richard Clap­ton, 1927, Kasey Cham­bers and Wendy Matthews, as well as Neil Mur­ray and Bris­bane duo Busby Marou.

There’s also plenty of other fun stuff to do too, such as out­door film screen­ings, the Aus­tralian Out­back Air Gui­tar Cham­pi­onships, dune surf­ing, Fash­ions in the Desert (a wicked take on ‘fash­ions on the field’) and the char­ity RFDS Bashville Drags, where fes­ti­val-go­ers race a 500m dirt course wear­ing colour­ful drag out­fits. Both fash­ion events raise wel­come funds for the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice.

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