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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Hook Island

Hook Island, Whitsunday Area
No visit to the Whitsundays is complete without seeing a few islands and Hook Island offers spectacular natural surroundings and excellent snorkelling and diving sites. The second largest island in the Cumberland group, it is 58 square kilometres in size and includes sheltered, picturesque bays, deep fjord-like inlets, ideal sailing and kayaking conditions, multiple moorings and safe anchorages, pristine fringing reefs, secluded beach campsites and the opportunity to see abundant wildlife including sea eagles, kites and ospreys, turtles, reef fish, dolphins, manta rays and humpback whales frolicking in Whitsunday Passage (between June to September).

Nara Inlet

Whitsundays, Whitsunday Area
Nestled in the south east end of the Whitsundays’ Hook Island is Nara Inlet, a secluded bay with tranquil waters that reflect the dense forestry that covers the island’s steep hills. The clear water acts as a window to the fringing reef and is known for its sheltered anchorage and easy access to the island.

Hill Inlet

Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Hill Inlet in the Whitsundays is a stunning inlet located at the northern end of Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. As the tide shifts, the white sand and blue hues of the inlet blend seamlessly to create a breathtaking mosaic.

Lindeman Island

Lindeman Island, Mackay Area
Its natural beauty and breathtaking Whitsunday scenery makes Lindeman Island one of the most spectacular tropical islands in Australia. Complemented by temperate days and nights, Lindeman Island was one of the first Whitsunday islands to be developed.

Pinnacles, The

Hook Island, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Arguably the best dive site in the Whitsundays, with hard corals comparing favourably to those seen on the outer Great Barrier Reef. The best dive is off the western beach, adjacent to the Woodpile and swim east at a depth of seven to 15 metres.

Long Island

Long Island, Whitsunday Area
With 13 kilometres of extensive walking tracks, stunning lookouts, protected bays and beautiful secluded beaches, Long Island is well worth a visit. Much of the island is national park and you can enjoy bush walks, exploring the fringing coral reef, snorkelling off the beaches or relaxing under the coconut palms.

Daydream Island

Daydream Island, Whitsunday Area
Daydream Island has been impacted by recent weather events in Queensland. Please make contact with Daydream Island Resort and Spa information regarding bookings and travel plans. Daydream Island is the closest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays to the mainland shore at Airlie Beach.

Langford Island

Whitsundays, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Langford Island, near Hayman Island in the northern Whitsundays is a popular spot with sailors, divers and snorkellers. Many of the bareboats and crewed sailing boats will anchor near Langford Island. Langford Island is relatively small, but features a long sand spit that all but disappears at high tide.

Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island, Whitsunday Area
Hamilton Island is nestled amongst the Whitsunday Islands, a group of 74 islands just off the Queensland coast, at the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Hamilton Island is one of the most popular Whitsunday islands offering an idyllic island experience.

Butterfly Bay - Hook Island

Hook Island, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
A popular bareboat anchorage, Butterfly Bay is situated on the northern side of Hook Island. There are limited public moorings and snorkelling can be enjoyed along the bay edge or just off the beach. Offering coral outcrops with shallow walls, the bay is populated by many small, colourful reef fish species.
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