Almost everyone will have heard of the Birdsville Races and many people come to this tiny town in the first week of September to enjoy not only the races, but all the other activities that accompany them.
While the town is usually tiny and quiet, during this week it expands significantly as up to 6000 visitors from the surrounding outback regions and many from all over the country – and other countries – come to enjoy what is on.
What is on in Birdsville
Starting in 1882 as a way to show off some local horses, the Birdsville Races now boasts 13 horse races that are held on a clay pan just outside Birdsville. It is one of the few race tracks in Australia that are run anti-clockwise. It is not only races that can be enjoyed during this weekend, but many other events as well, many of which raise funds for charitable causes such as the Flying Doctor. You can:
- Enjoy a little history of the Birdsville races in the community hall
- Watch or participate in the Fun Run
- Go to a Cocktail Party
- Enjoy the entertainment of a Boxing Troupe
- Go to Live Entertainment
Where to Stay
The tiny caravan park is not available for bookings during the week of the Birdsville Races. Instead, the sites are let out on a first come, first served basis.
There is also free camping along the banks of the Diamantina River, with the council providing rubbish bins and portable toilets in limited numbers.
Another option to consider is the tent city set up near the centre of town for people who fly in, or have no caravan. Many people do choose this option because it is such a long way to drive to Birdsville. In fact, you could leave your Goldstream RV happily ensconced in another caravan park at Longreach or another town for the weekend if you don’t fancy the long haul to Birdsville over those unsealed roads. You could then fly in for the weekend.
What to Watch for
If you do drive to Birdsville it is essential to watch out for dust. It is so thick that when another car or a road train comes along, it is often impossible to see through it. So make sure that you really can see what is coming if you try to overtake any other vehicle – and keep well over to the left when other vehicles are passing you.