Many of us dream about taking off into the setting sun, heading West (or East for those in the West) and leaving the rat race behind us. Lately I have been chatting to numerous friends to see where they would love to take off to and although many seem to want to head North, a large number have expressed interest in the Birdsville Races, Lake Eyre and/or the Big Red Bash at Birdsville, so I thought I do a little investigating.

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Many sites I visited say it is possible to do the trip in a 2 wheel drive vehicle, but knowing the changeability of the weather in Outback Australia, chatting to a few who have completed the trip and the spattering of vehicle remains around the area, we would advise a small convoy of all wheel/4 wheel drive vehicles – Just in case.

And don’t forget the frontal protection!

The Big Red Bash

A must do for anyone seeking an outback adventure.

2017 will see more than 7000 music fans from all over Australia and beyond heading to the remote outback destination for three unforgettable days against the backdrop of The Big Red dune itself, known as Nappanerica. It’s close to 40 metres high and borders the Simpson Desert, 35km from Birdsville and more than 1600km from our East Coast Bullbars office here in Brisbane.tobirdsvilleThe festival takes place in the breathtaking surrounds of the real Australian outback.

The perfect excuse  to make that great Aussie Outback Adventure you’ve been dreaming off all those years. This year’s Birdsville Big Red Bash headlines  Missy Higgins & Lee Kernaghan’s Legends of Country, starting on Tuesday July 4, 2017. Other artists include  James Reyne, Mark Seymour and Lee Kernaghan, as well as Kate Ceberano, Ray Ryder, Ian Moss and Russell Morris.big-red2

Celebrate the beauty and freedom of Australia’s epic outback as part of your new 4WD adventure.

Lake Eyre

The Diamantina River has always been a destination I have dreamed of, as I had heard stories and legends about it from a few elders from various regions over many years, and never realised it fed the massive expanse of Lake Eyre. Now officially known by it’s traditional name Kati Thand, Lake Eyre is the lowest natural point in Australia, at approximately 15 m (49 ft) below sea level. On the rare occasions that it fills, it is the largest lake in Australia covering 9,500 km2 (3,668 sq mi). The shallow Lake Eyre basin and is found in South Australia more than 700 km (435 mi) north of Adelaide.

When the lake is full, it has the same salinity level as the sea, but salinity increases as the lake dries up and the water evaporates. The influx of water turns this arid, remote landscape in to an abundant, lively mass of colour and sound, brimming with wildflowers and bird life. The lake has only filled to capacity three times in the last 150 years, but it does fill to a substantial level on a regular basis, boasting the Lake Eyre Yatch Races and would have to be one of the most treasured outback experiences for anyone, anywhere.

Birdsville Races

The first Birdsville race meeting held on the 20th, 21st, and 22nd of September (1882) at the former town of Diamantina Crossing, and at the time newly formed and named Birdsville. Attended by nearly 150 station owners, managers, stockmen, and other employees, the weather was delightful. Nearly 200 pounds was raised by public subscription, which speaks well for the prosperous condition of the district at the time.

Many of Australia’s pioneering European explorers traveled through the Birdsville district well before the town was gazetted. Monuments to acknowledge the feats of Captain Charles Sturt, Burke & Wills, Madigan and others are located throughout the town.birdsville_sign

With 3 hotels, a cordial factory, blacksmith store, market gardens, police and customs facilities, the newly named Birdsville supported a population of over 300 around 1900. Federation in 1901 saw the customs depot closing, causing the slow death of the town with population slowly dwindling to approximately 50 throughout the 1950’s. Thanks to the Livestock trade keeping the region lively enough for a bountiful tourism industry to flourish and add value to cattle, tourism is now the major industry in the area.

Birdsville Cup is now a gazetted thoroughbred race and a must add to anyone’s bucket list.

Have you been on an outback adventure? We’d love to hear from you, so share your stories and photos with us. marketing@ecb.com.au or follow us and post your stories and images on our Facebook Page.

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