Take one dusty desert town in outback Australia.
Add a race meeting held just once a year. Throw in some destination dining, a fair whack of beer, fashion parades and some tent boxing for the brave or foolhardy.
The countdown to the 135th Birdsville Races is well and truly on, with Australia’s most iconic outback experience now less than a week away.
Event organisers are preparing for an influx of thousands to the tiny town on the edge of the Simpson Desert, which has a regular population of 115 people.
The town usually swells to host between 6,000-7,000 visitors over the bumper race weekend, which this year runs from September 1-2.
The historic event – billed by locals as the "Melbourne Cup of the Outback" – comprises a 13-race program and a jam-packed schedule of outback entertainment and activities – from film and comedy nights, to live music, Fashion in the Fields, cocktail parties, gourmet trackside dining and Fred Brophy’s famous travelling boxing troupe.
The race program offers up a combined prize-purse of $200,000, plus a further $12,500 in QTIS (Queensland Thoroughbred Incentive Scheme) bonuses – making it outback Queensland’s richest two-day horse-race meet.
The 2017 Birdsville Races will once again support the Royal Flying Doctor Service, hosting a 6.1km fun run on Wednesday, August 30, to help fundraise for the vital service in their remote region.
Tickets to the Birdsville Races are still on sale through www.birdsvilleraces.com.