Simpson Desert Racing Carnival Trail

Multiple Locations

Set against the backdrop of the famed Simpson Desert, the Simpson Desert Racing Carnival gives the local community, punters, tourists, jockeys, owners and trainers alike the opportunity to come from near and far and celebrate country racing at its best. This 15 Day itinerary follows the thrills and spills of three Outback Racing events, the Betoota Races (last weekend in August), Birdsville Races (first weekend in September) and the Bedourie Races and Rodeo (second weekend in September).

Journey Details

Duration
N/A
Distance
354 Kilometres

Activities

  • Birdwatching
  • Camping
  • Off Road Driving

Other Information

Family Friendly:

Family friendly – please refer to operator's website for services and facilities.

Full Itinerary

Bedourie

Arrive in Bedourie early. Check in to the Bedourie Outback Visitors Centre and then check out the town's sites. Wander around the historic Mud Hut, marvel at the street art sculpture, have a beer at the Bedourie Royal Hotel, or test your putting skills at the Bedourie Outback Golf Course. Next day revitalise your spirits with an early morning dip in the hot Artesian Spa then spend your day relaxing in preparation for a wild night of Outback action at the Bedourie Rodeo. The Bedourie Races and Rodeo are held on the second weekend in September.

Rev up your engines early for the Bedourie Ute and Travellers Muster, which attracts competitors from all around the country keen to pay homage to the good 'ol Aussie ute. But lets not exclude the RV's and motorhomes, there's even a prize for the entry furthest from home. It's then down to the racecourse for the start of the Bedourie Races. Experience the first race break through the barriers with top betting facilities, food and refreshments and plenty of entrainment on hand. Don't forget to wear pink and help 'Dress the Desert Pink' to raise money for Breast Cancer research.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Suggested Stops
Bedourie
Betoota

Kick off your racing trifecta with the Betoota Races held on the last Saturday in August. Renowned as the race that brings a ghost town back to life, this country race meet prides itself on being family friendly. So grab your swag and join the fun of a six-race program with fashions on the field, food and refreshments. Come sundown there's live entertainment and auction, then you can camp under the stars at the racetrack - there's even hot showers! Betoota was a thriving town at the turn of the century as a post for collecting state taxes for goods travelling between states. Up until 1997 it had a population of one - the hotel owner. He closed the doors of the hotel in 1997 and it has been closed ever since. Betoota is located halfway between Windorah and Birdsville.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way
Suggested Stops
Betoota
Betoota to Birdsville

En-route to Birdsville, enjoy the impressive Dreamtime Serpent sculpture west of Betoota, and magnificent views at Deon's Lookout. In Birdsville try a famous Birdsville Bakery Curried Camel Pie, and visit the Wirrarri Visitor Centre for all the latest racing information, race tickets and official souvenirs, or browse the artworks.

Three days of jam-packed fun includes the buskers at the market stalls, screening of the 'Back of Beyond' at the Shire Hall, the Birdsville Hotel's Equine Fun Day or the world famous Fred Brophy's Boxing Troupe.

The Birdsville Races are on the first weekend in September. Start Saturday morning with Race Calcuttas, wine and spirit tastings at the Birdsville Hotel. At the racetrack, enjoy the quality Outback racing, Fashions on the Field and trackside marquee packages. When dust finally settles, return to the Birdsville Hotel to ponder your winnings (or losses) over a beer or two.

A late morning races 'recovery' breakfast is held on Sunday at the Birdsville Hotel. Then relax and enjoy a picnic lunch at the Old Diamantina Crossing with time later to explore the region - hire a canoe and go fishing by the Jardine Waterhole or take the Four Wheel Drive and try conquering Big Red.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Distance 167 kms
Route Type One Way
Suggested Stops
Betoota to Birdsville
Birdsville to Bedourie

Meander along the Bilby Way from Birdsville to Bedourie which winds its way past some of the region's most extraordinary sites. Stop overnight at Carcoory Ruins, a National Trust landmark once owned by Sidney Kidman. Or pitch your tent at Cuttaburra Crossing and get up close to the amazing array of birdlife that inhabits this permanent waterhole and renowned wetland on Eyre Creek.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Distance 191 kms
Route Type One Way
Suggested Stops
Birdsville to Bedourie

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Hope Island

Hope Island, Gold Coast Area
You would expect anticipation to be fairly high when travelling to a place called Hope Island and this destination doesn't disappoint. But rather than being named after the positive emotion, it actually borrowed its name from a colonial aristocrat Captain Louis Hope who was granted land at the mouth of the Coomera River in recognition of his sugar industry contributions.

Scottish Prince Dive Site

Southport, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
The Scottish Prince, 800 metres off the Gold Coast’s Southport Spit, features the wreck of a three steel-masted, 64 metre iron barque ship. The Scottish Prince sank as it was sailing from Glasgow, Scotland to Brisbane with a cargo of whiskey, mousetraps, linen and other assorted cargo, with only the hull of the ship remaining.

Biggera Waters

Biggera Waters, Gold Coast Area
Beautiful Biggera Creek lent this suburb its name which is famous for its heritage-listed "land's end" site, but there is nothing final about a visit here. Those searching for a sedate spot in the northern part of the coast will adore a trip here, opposite the bustling Broadwater and the sizzling Gold Coast Spit and across from Wavebreak Island.

The Spit

Main Beach, Gold Coast Area
“The Spit” is the northern most section of the famous Gold Coast stretch of beach incorporating Main Beach and Surfers Paradise all the way south to Coolangatta. As the name suggests, The Spit extends into the seaway and is the gateway between the Gold Coast Broadwater and the open ocean.

Oxenford

Oxenford, Gold Coast Area
It's difficult to believe but this rather unassuming suburb, which lies just off the Pacific Highway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, is home to some of the best movie-making facilities in Australia.

Southport

Southport, Gold Coast Area
If you squint into the sunshine and cast your mind back a little over a century, you can almost picture the Southport of old, one of the Gold Coast's earliest and most fashionable seaside destinations.

Pine Ridge Conservation Park

Runaway Bay, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
Discover one of the last remaining wallum banksia stands on the Gold Coast in this small park featuring banskia woodland, heath and paperbark swamp forests. While dune vegetation on the Gold Coast has all but disappeared due to urban development, the remaining patch of wallum heath protected in this small park is culturally important to the Kombumerri-Ngarangwal people.

South Stradbroke Island

South Stradbroke Island, Gold Coast Area
Step aside Gilligan. Should you ever find yourself stranded on South Stradbroke Island or 'South Straddie' as the locals like to call her, then you can count your lucky stars. For you are visiting a Gold Coast destination as pretty as Ginger and as down-to-earth as Mary Ann.

Gold Coast Oceanway

Main Beach, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
Even die-hard Gold Coast fans may not realise this but there is an official section of the coast known as the Gold Coast Oceanway, a 36-kilometre network of pathways which connects The Spit at the north to Point Danger in the south.

The Seaway Dive Site

Southport, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
The Seaway is the most popular shore diving site in Queensland, and is found at the mouth of the Nerang River at Southport. There are several different areas that can be dived at The Seaway, with the Short Pipe and Sand Pipe area the most popular, and the easiest to access.
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