Event: Birdsville Races

Image: Outback Qld Tourism

When you think of horse races in Australia, the first thing that comes to mind for most people is the style, sophistication and status of the Melbourne Cup. Well, those Melbournians can have their ‘birdcage’ marquees, Moet and Chandon and Alex Perry dresses. If you want to see a race meeting that is authentically Australian… The Birdsville races is where it’s at!

Australian’s love nothing more than a yarn with mates, a cold beer and a bit of a bet (this can be on anything from a horse race to two flies crawling up a wall) so it’s little wonder that from the very start Birdsville races were a hit. The Birdsville cup carnival comprises of a 13 race program with a prize pool of $200,000. The races have become an icon in Australia and known throughout the world.

Image: Outback Qld Tourism

Rain, Hail Or Shine

With the first race meeting being held from 20th – 22nd September in 1882 which was well supported by over 150 local station owners, stockmen, staff and other families enjoying the social outing and fantastic weather. They managed to raise almost 200 pounds that day. Since then the Birdsville races has been firmly established on the outback events calendar and many a bucket list.

The only time in its history that the race was cancelled was in 2007 with the outbreak of Equine Influenza which saw a complete ban on all horse movement. Each year the organisers raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service so they can continue the wonderful work that they do for those in the bush.

Image: Outback Qld Tourism

Keepin’ It Classy

Don’t go thinking that the Birdsville races is just an excuse for a bunch of bogans in Jackie Howe singlets and thongs to get on the drink and make a lot of noise (although there probably are a few of those) the Birdsville Races knows how to rock a fancy frock just as well as those in the city with the Akubra Fashions on the Field plus for the lucky few who secure their packages early access to the trackside marquee sees them enjoy gourmet dining, beer and wine, live music and VIP trackside access. For the mere mortals who miss out all is not lost with a variety of live music, performers, fun events and activities throughout the race week.

Image: Outback Qld Tourism

All Needs Met

Accommodation when experiencing the Birdsville races has a million-star rating. Camping is available on the banks of the Diamantina River in between the racecourse and town (waste receptacles and portable toilets provided) and also in ‘Tent city’ where a campsite is provided in conjunction with Diamantina Shire Council and Rent-a-tent. Here you can hire a tent and use the portable amenities. Perfect for those who have flown or don’t have camping equipment.

All roads to Birdsville are unsealed (dirt / gravel) so remember to take care and proper precautions in travelling on outback roads. The speed limit is 100 kilometres in Queensland unless signposted. Make sure you have adequate supplies of fuel, water, food, medical supplies and spare tyres and emergency contact numbers in case you need them.

Tick Birdsville off your bucket list, experience wonderful outback hospitality and fun and help support the RFDS!

Image: Outback Qld Tourism

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