That eccentric celebration of all things Aussie and outback, the Outback Festival is on again. The festival is held every two years in Winton, Queensland, drawing visitors from across the country and overseas to experience the quirky and fun side of life in the Outback.
The festival is famous for its signature event, the Quilton Australian Dunny Derby, which involves 20 teams of six building and racing their own â€œdunnyâ€ around an obstacle course from a Le Mans start. It may be the only race in Australia where the jockeyâ€™s underpants are supplied and worn on the outside!
The Dunny Derby caps off a five day program of events that also includes the Outback Friday Spectacular, this year headlined by country music favourite, Beccy Cole. Other live music acts include the tribute bands The Beatniks and the Beach Boyz.
Australia's leading exponent of marionettes, Puppeteer David Hamilton, will entertain audiences with his unique blend of puppetry, music and song. Budding young puppeteers can even hone their craft with David at free puppetry workshops for children.
The Outback Festival has sports fans covered, with some gruelling sporting challenges planned, including the toughest, flattest cycling event in the outback. The Brodie Agencies/Ergon Energy Century Cycle Challenge takes participants on a metric (100km) or imperial century (160km) ride on a fully sealed road, starting and finishing in Winton.
Thereâ€™s also the Outback Iron Man, Iron Women and Iron Junior events and the Masters of the Outback.
If your sporting talents are more of the â€œbackyardâ€ variety, the festival has bushmanâ€™s egg throwing, whip cracking, crustacean racing and True Blue Aussie Sports such as marbles, cow poo throwing and roo poo shooting.
Australiaâ€™s Strongest Man, Derek Boyer, will once again be at the festival to impress the crowds with his record breaking strongman challenges. In 2011 Derek broke a Guinness World Record at the festival by flipping a car 10 times down Wintonâ€™s main street.
The Outback Festival also attracts bush poets from across Australia, who keep the crowds entertained with their cheeky verses at a series of breakfasts.
Truckies will descend on Winton for the 6th Truckies Reunion featuring a truck backing competition, show â€˜n shine and vintage and veteran models. One of Wintonâ€™s many attractions which is sure to appeal to truckies is the Diamantina Heritage Truck and Machinery Museum.
The five-day Outback Festival is held during the Queensland school holidays in Spring, the best time of the year to enjoy the Australian Outback, when the days and nights are mild.
Now in its 41st year, the Outback Festival, a winner of the Festivals and Events Award at the 2012 Outback Queensland Tourism Awards.
To cater for visitors, Winton will once again host a comfortable tent community, Club Paterson, with pre-erected tents and optional breakfasts supplied at very reasonable prices. Winton also offers limited caravan and motorhome camping, motel and hotel accommodation. Station stays are also an option.
Highlight events include:
- Quilton Australian Dunny Derby ($5,000 in prize money and trophies)
- Outback Iron Man, and Iron Woman ($5,000 in prize money and trophies)
- Outback Iron Juniors
- Masters of the Outback ($2,000 in prize money and trophies)
- Ergon Energy/Brodie Agencies Century Cycle Challenge
- Puppet Mania shows and workshops with renowned puppeteer David Hamilton
- Outback Whip Cracking Championships and workshops
- Relax with sporting legends at the Legends of Sport charity dinner
- World Crayfish Derby Racing Meeting, the â€˜Melbourne Cupâ€™ of crustacean racing
- Bushmanâ€™s Egg Throwing, Wool Bale Rolling and Outback Sports
- Grand Parade Spectacular
- Mardi Gras and Afghan Bazaar
- Five big music concerts, with Beccy Cole headlining the Friday Outback Spectacular concert
- Bush Poets Breakfasts over three days
- Derek Boyer, Australiaâ€™s â€˜Strongest Manâ€™, will perform strongman challenges
- Kids Country featuring meggsie cart races, teddy bearsâ€™ picnic and skateboarding workshops.
Winton is 1300kms from Queenslandâ€™s capital, Brisbane and has a population of 900 people. During the Outback Festival the population swells to around 3000 people.
It was in Winton that Australiaâ€™s unofficial national anthem, Waltzing Matilda, was written by AB (Banjo) Paterson and first performed in public at the North Gregory Hotel. Today people can still enjoy a drink at the famous historic pub and visit the modern interactive Waltzing Matilda Centre, the worldâ€™s only tourist attraction dedicated to a song.
Winton is the birthplace of Qantas, Australiaâ€™s national airline, and the home of Aussie bush poetry. The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum is located on a dramatic mesa just 24 kilometres from Winton. Itâ€™s a natural history museum housing the world's largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils. Also near Winton is Lark Quarry, a 93 million year old fossilised dinosaur stampede, the only trackway of its kind in the world.
To visit Winton, drive the fully sealed Matilda Highway or take a flight, coach or train/coach service. For travel and accommodation options or more information about this unique Aussie event, visit www.outbackfestival.org
The Outback Festival is supported by the Tourism and Events Queensland Regional Development Program (TEQRDP) and has benefited from a $100,000 investment to assist with development and growth of the festival. The TEQRDP is a state-wide initiative committed to enhancing events in regional Queensland as well as assisting in the establishment of new events.
MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Contact Ms Robyn Stephens OAM â€“ Festival Co-ordinator (0429 806 140 or 07 4657 1558), email
for more information, interviews or coverage.
PHOTOGRAPHS: View available images at the photo gallery, www.outbackfestival.org and request reproduction quality images by emailing Rachel Grant, Festival Publicist,
or phone 0416 222 653