Annual Outback Events
From iconic shindigs like the Big Red Bash that swell the populations of remote towns to quirky and memorable events that have shaped Australia's outback culture, there's plenty happening throughout the year.
Check out our events calendar before planning your outback adventure.
Birdsville Bronco Branding, Campdraft and Rodeo
Experience the fast-moving action and traditional bush skills as teams tough it out to be the quickest to brand cattle using the traditional method of bush branding. The weekend also features a campdraft competition and a much-anticipated sunset rodeo. Live music and dancing add to the atmosphere while crowds cheer on their favourite bushmen and women
Marree Camel Cup
For a race meet with a difference, the Camel Cup is hard to go past. The 13-race program features a Calcutta on the Cup, fashions in the field, live entertainment, plus food and bar facilities. Add to that donkey races, dog races, a hole in one competition, tug-of-war (with a camel), plenty to keep the kids out of your hair, and you’ve got a great family day out.
Birdsville Big Red Bash
One of the biggest and best Aussie rock concert happens every year at Big Red on the outskirts of Birdsville under the open skies of the Simpson Desert. Bring the family (even the dog), pitch a tent and take in the atmosphere of this three-night concert featuring the cream of Australian Rock, and plenty of daytime activities, events, and entertainment.
One of the best times to visit Birdsville is during its annual race carnival when the town comes alive, and the population swells to over 7,000 people. Visitors converge from all over Australia for two days of quality outback racing and three great nights of live entertainment in an event that takes on the mantle of the Melbourne Cup of the Outback.
An annual weekend of horse racing and gymkhana competition usually run the weekend before the Birdsville Races in late August. The races are one of the last true ‘picnic’ horse racing meets with unregistered racehorses, on-course bookies, food and bar facilities, fashions on the field, novelty races for the children and adults, plus music and entertainment.
The Great Outback Pub Crawl
Definitely a pub crawl with a difference. This one might take you a couple of weeks though, but the historic and iconic pubs, the characters, the drive, and the scenery between drinks will be worth it. Start anywhere you like on The Outback Loop®, but pubs worthy of a visit include:
- Prairie Hotel — Try the Feral Food Platter and a pint of Fargher Lager
- Lyndhurst Hotel — Grab quick beer before starting up the Strzelecki
- Innamincka Hotel — The ‘Outamincka’ bar is fab, as is a Cooper Creek cruise
- Birdsville Hotel — A beer in Australia’s most famous pub? Tick!
- Mt Dare Hotel — You’ll need a 4WD to get there and a Desert Pass to go further
- Pink Roadhouse, Oodnadatta — Drink in the Pink
- William Creek Hotel — A quintessential pub in the middle of nowhere
- Marree Hotel — Oodnadatta or Birdsville track? Have a beer and decide
It's unique, it's untouched, it's incredible. There are so many words that you can use to describe the area. Everyone will have a different opinion on it. Just be prepared to be amazed. That's the thing. Be prepared for an experience.