Droving gurus heading for Camooweal

THE long cattle drives might be over, but around 80 legends of Australia's droving history will muster in Camooweal this year for the 16th Drovers' Camp Festival over the weekend of August 24 - 26, 2012.

Thousands of visitors would travel from around Australia and the world to join the drovers and get a taste of authentic outback life.

Festival president Liz Flood, said machinery replaced droving on the old stock routes and the number of true blue Australian drovers was decreasing.

The last big cattle muster in Camooweal was twenty three years ago, but Australian stockmen and women return every year for the festival in the town which was once the droving hub of the west.

"We expect around 80 drovers to attend each year," Ms Flood said.

"All of them are over 70, and many are over 80 so time with them is very precious.

"Last year around 3,000 people came to the Drovers' Camp Festival to celebrate Australia's outback history in Camooweal."

She said it was important to keep the bush traditions alive.

"It is wonderful that thousands of visitors feel the same way.

Festival activities include bronco branding, whip cracking, a country music concert, a street parade and yarns with the drovers.

87-year-old former drover Eugene Kostin is a festival regular who said that for him, it's a reunion.

n A weekend pass to the festival is $35.00. Tickets to the Saturday night concert are $25 adult entry, or $2 for 10-17 year olds. Children under 10 are free. Tickets for the Drovers' Ball are available at the door.

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