It was just as well ............ when we drove through Birdsville it was busy as expected but when we went out to the free camping area between Birdsville and the Diamantina River, we were blown away with the large number of groups already there and also the number of caravans. Birdsville is a town with a normal population of 115 people, during the racing carnival it grows to estimated 7,000 people (which we thought were already here!)
|Birdsville Race track, racing first Saturday in September|
|At least 2,000 caravans seemed to be camping out from town|
|Will we all fit??|
|The first time for our new camp fire, cooking stew.|
The Shell service station is across from the caravan park, this was also the general store with a small selection of essential supplies and some fresh vegies. The workshop was always busy repairing tyres and recovering vehicles which needed assistance.
|There was always a long line up for fuel, with only 2 service stations in town, Shell being the most popular even though 3 cents a litre more than the Mogas.|
On Wednesday the carnival activities started, they had yoga sessions in the morning for the early risers a fun run (6.5km) from the race track to town across the old Diamentina crossing.
|Fun Run on Wednesday|
|The crowd gathers in front of the Hotel for the Equine Games|
|Entertainment before and during the games|
|The crowd is building in and outside the pub|
|Enterained by S. T. Ruth and her "pool boy" while jockeys are getting ready, you can see here the beer can is used to roll the string around and pulls the horses to the finish line.|
|She's a real cracker of a girl !!|
|Crowd gathered as the games continued|
From Tuesday 2/9 through to Sunday 7/9 the organizers had planned different entertainment for the multitudes enjoyment & raising money for RFDS including: History of the Birdsville Races - the concept of this iconic race meeting & how it came to be; Cultural Presentation - traditional owners of the Wangkangurru & Yarluyandi land; Photographic Exhibition - local entries showing landscape & characters of the Diamantina; Movies - Last Mail from Birdsville & The Back of Beyond; Book signings - Sue Williams; Bush Cricket; RFDS Cocktail Party; Fred Brophy's Boxing Troupe; Music Concerts + free live entertainment at the Birdsville Pub from 6pm onwards, plus many more. We thought the organizers did a fantastic job both in providing entertainment and facilities throughout the carnival.
|Some lads dressed in hessian sacks traveled in a Oldsmobile to Birdsville|
|Fred Brophy announcing the boxers|
|Lucky enough to get a set under the pavilion|
|These are NOT the jockeys, we caught the bus to the races with this lot, it's a wonder it stopped. Many people and groups dress up in all sorts of attire for the races.|
|General admission area|
|A lot more refined, corporate tent area.|
|The Birdsville Cup, my horse ran 4th ...... bugger!!|
|Another icon at Birdsville is the Bakery - a must visit!|
|Enjoying a Curried Camel pie ...... yum|
There was a mass exodus Saturday after the race, Sunday and Monday morning. We waited until after the rush and left after lunch Monday, heading south down the track.