Plumes of striking red dust as horses gallop towards the iconic finishing post are set to return to Birdsville for the two bumper race days on September 6-7.
More than 6,000 intrepid travellers and punters will make the annual pilgrimage to Australia's most remote town on the edge of the Simpson Desert for a jam-packed weekend program of thoroughbred racing and unique outback entertainment.
Tickets to the 137th Birdsville Races are now on-salewith two-day racing passes starting at just $69.90, and trackside hospitality options also available for pre-purchase.
Birdsville Race Club vice president, Gary Brook, warned people to buy their tickets early.
"The OBE Pavilion trackside marquee tickets typically sell-out well ahead of the September race meet," Mr Brook said.
"The Birdsville Races are billed the 'Melbourne Cup of the Outback', however, for a brief moment in time, the famously arid Birdsville race track has been transformed into a rare carpet of lush greenery akin to Flemington Racecourse, thanks to recent floodwaters and rain in the surrounding Channel Country."
Mr Brook said the usually barren track was now as green as the desert track could ever be.
"It's amazing to see. I grew up in Birdsville and have never seen the racecourse as green as it is now," Mr Brook said.
"But come September, the horses will be galloping on dirt again. The desert is an unforgiving environment, and despite us coming into comparably milder winter weather, the harsh conditions will mean the greenery is long gone by the time the Races are on. The red dust kicked up by the horses is an awesome sight to behold in person - and it's a big part of what makes the Birdsville Races experience so special and sought-after."
The Birdsville Races will see the tiny township of Birdsville swell from a general population of 115 to more than 6,000 visitors for a two-day, 13-race program, as well as a stacked line-up of film and live music, cocktail parties and Fred Brophy's famous travelling boxing troupe.
Proudly part of Tourism and Events Queensland's Year of Outback Tourism, the bucket-list experience attracts visitors to Outback Queensland from the beginning of August, who set up camp early to enjoy the region's yabby races, street parties and various other events that lead into the big Friday and Saturday race days.
"There is no better way to experience the journey into Australia's heartland than to participate in the ultimate road trip and join the inaugural Birdsville Races Roadies expedition," Mr Baker said.
"It's the journey itself that is the true essence of what being a Roadie is all about. This is where Roadies will create memories, make lifelong friends, experience the amazing vastness of the great Australian outback - and do it all at their own pace with like-minded Roadies."
Throughout the event, wide open cornflower blue skies and parched red terrain typically creates a stunning backdrop for the race competition, with gourmet fare served at the trackside` marquee catered by renowned Adelaide Hills chef Simon Burr from the Olfactory Inn. Off-track and back in town, the Birdsville Bakery serves up a famous selection of curried camel and kangaroo and claret pies.
The legendary Birdsville Hotel will also once again act as the resident watering hole for racegoers wanting to kick celebrations into the night, while Fashions on the Field will bring colour, character and coutureto race days across six categories for men, women, families and novelty dress.
A much-loved charity element, the Races will also continue its proud support of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, hosting a 6 kilometre fun run to help fundraise for the vital service in the remote region.
The Birdsville Races organising committee comprises a network of current and former residents of Birdsville, all keen to share the magic of the outback races - keeping the event alive and in the psyche of Australian punters.
Each year, horses and trainers make the long haul trek to Birdsville, from places as far away as Darwin, Tamworth and the Sunshine Coast. Upon arrival, they set up camp under gum trees alongside the Diamantina River - creating their own community that has become as tight knit as the long-term residents of the rural township itself.
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