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Outback Australia

Birdsville Races
Where: Birdsville, Queensland, Australia
When: First weekend in September
Every year thousands descend on this town in the middle of nowhere, on the periphery of the Simpson Desert, for one of the nation’s most iconic outback events.   They come to witness the horse races, down a few pints at the pub and experience the general merriment that includes travelling boxing tents, rodeo and country music. Action on the racetrack culminates with the Birdsville Cup on the Sunday.

Boulia Camel Cup
Where: Boulia, Queensland, Australia
When: Third weekend in July
They might be gangly, bad tempered and smelly but the camels in Boulia can get up some steam when pressed. This outback event has something for everyone. There’s a sideshow alley, foot races, rides and show bags besides the actual camel races. Live music continues well into the evening.

Lightning Ridge Easter Festival
Where: Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, Australia
When: Easter
The Australian Championship Goat Races are one of the signature events of this annual Easter festival. There are also wheelie bin races, horse races, rodeo, street stalls, fireworks, music and arts and crafts.

Windorah International Yabby Races
Where: Windorah, Queensland, Australia
When: Wednesday night before the Birdsville Races
They don’t move fast but this race of local crustaceans certainly gets the crowd fired up, or it could be the local ale. Racing yabbies are auctioned off before each event and then raced on the main street of the small town. It’s a good stopping point on the way to the Birdsville Races.
Cockroach Racing World Championships

Where: Storey Bridge Hotel, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
When: January 26 (Australia Day)
It’s not exactly outback but this event must be mentioned and besides Brisbane is often thought of as something of a large town and not a city. It’s also a place where the locals don’t celebrate their national holiday by raising flags or holding parades but by racing cockroaches – well some of them anyway. There’s a lot of drinking and uproar and down under fun as stewards bring out the roaches and race them across a short course.

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