THE famous outback town of Birdsville is gearing up for the region’s biggest annual event, with the 2017 Birdsville Races kicking off on September 1.
This year marks the 135th anniversary of the race, which is billed as the ‘Melbourne Cup of the Outback’. The 13-race program offers up a combined prize-purse of $200,000, and it brings plenty of tourists to the small outback town that’s widely known as the gateway to the Simpson Desert.
The normally subdued town has a population of just 115 people, but that number explodes during race week, with an expected 6000-7000 visitors saddling up their fourbies and making the trek.
The two-day race event will take place on the Friday and Saturday, with plenty of entertainment taking place in the lead up to (and during) the races including live music, comedy, film nights and cocktail parties.
In particular, the Royal Flying Doctor Service will host a 6.1km fun run on Wednesday, August 30, to raise funds that’ll go towards ensuring the vital service remains strong in the outback.
A number of accommodation options are available: Birdsville Caravan Park, Tent City, Birdsville Hotel/Motel, and at the free riverside camps alongside Diamantina River (between the racecourse and town). Ensure you check with each option before you depart!
Single-day race tickets will be available at the gates, while Souvenir Medallion two-day racing passes will go on sale at the Birdsville Race Club Merchandise and Ticketing Office (located at Wirrarri Visitor Information Centre) from August 28.
Tick off a bucket-list item and experience the Birdsville Races in 2017. Get your tickets here: www.birdsvilleraces.com