IMAGINE dancing to music amidst the sand dunes of the Simpson Desert, watching the bravest cowboys battle to stay in the saddle and soaking in the horse racing action on the track with a champagne in hand at one of this year’s ‘Outback Eventures’.
Outback locals are welcoming the start of the region’s annual events season this month, with singers, songwriters, stallholders and performers relocating to Queensland’s outback towns from other parts of Australia to prepare for a unique collection of multi-day festivals, races, rodeos and shows.
This year’s new addition to the calendar is the Vision Splendid Film Festival in Winton, which has already generated plenty of attention both in and outside of the region, drawing visitors from around the world.
Yet, the most popular event is the Birdsville Race in September, dubbed as the ‘Melbourne Cup of the Outback’ and recognised among the winners at the 2013 Outback Queensland Tourism Awards.
According to locals, other events not to be missed include the Tree of Knowledge Festival in Barcaldine; the Big Red Run in Birdsville; the Camel Races and Camp Oven Cook-Off in Bedourie; The Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo; Opera in the Outback in Mount Surprise; and the Cunnamulla Fella Festival.
Shire councils and mayors are excited by the spike in tourism, around this time of the year, particularly for the positivity that it brings to the community.
Outback Queensland Tourism Association’s General Manager, Lloyd Mills, said it was humbling to see the effort that many locals put into the events, with many supporters and performers bringing their entire family to the outback for up to six months just to prepare for the season.
“There really is something special about this time of the year, so it’s really perfect time to pack your bags for an Outback Queensland adventure, or at least start planning one,” said Mr Mills.
“Our doors are open, the region is ready and the people are more eager than ever before to welcome visitors, so I encourage the rest of the nation to show its support,” he said.
“We truly believe that there is an event to suit everyone’s tastes, from history buffs to fitness fanatics, dressage enthusiasts and music lovers.”
See the full list of upcoming ‘Outback Eventures’, from April to December 2014, on the Tourism & Events Queensland website or visit Outback Queensland’s Facebook page here.