The Road Ahead : April 2013
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU THE ROAD AHEAD APR/MAY 2013 40 TRAVEL | QUEENSLAND GREAT ESCAPE MAIN IMAGE: THEY'RE OFF AND RACING AT JULIA CREEK (COURTESY TOURISM QUEENSLAND). FOR MORE OUTBACK 'EVENTURES', GO TO ROADAHEAD.COM. Gregory Downs River Canoe Race Gregory, May 5 How far would you paddle for a beer? Forty-three kilometres of rapids, drops and fast-flowing bends doesn't seem so bad when there's a 'coldie' waiting at the other end. In 1976, four guys had such a good time paddling down the Gregory River to the pub they decided to turn their adventure into an annual race. Today, 2000 fun-lovers descend on the banks of the Gregory River to enjoy a weekend of flat and rapid canoe racing. northwestcanoeclub.org.au Poddy Dodgers Festival Croydon, June 21-23 Put on your blue jeans, boots and dust of that cowboy hat to head west for the Poddy Dodgers Festival -- an event with its tongue planted firmly in its cheek. Enjoy the 'world title' wild cow milking, greasy pig chase, mutton busting ride and tug-of-war for the littlies. If chasing a greasy pig sounds too hard, why not cook one? Join the camp oven cooking competition where outback chefs battle it out. croydon.qld.gov.au have a fair dinkum outback 'eventure' THERE ARE ONLY mere kilometres separating the beach from the bush in Queensland, but if you've never 'gone outback', make 2013 the year to finally get some red dirt on those wheels. This year, Outback Queensland is gearing up for an action- packed calendar of more than 200 adventurous 'eventures', which will see bulls, bikes and butts battle it out for the best in show. You're guaranteed memorable moments with plenty of fair-dinkum drovers and cowboys, ice-cold beer and fully loaded burgers and pies. Head west and roll out your swag at one of these localities to discover what Outback Queensland is all about: DirtnDust Festival Julia Creek, April 19-21 Join in the 3000 spectators who flock to the small town of Julia Creek for the annual DirtnDust Festival. This three-day event sees cowboys (and girls) prime their rump in the hope of being crowned Australia's Best Bum. If derrieres in denim don't grab your attention, flex your outback muscle with the bike and bull events. They breed them tough in the outback, and it's only fitting that the events match the rugged landscape. Watch as fit folks face off in an outback triathlon where bikes cover corrugated dirt roads, swimmers wade through near-bog conditions and runners race through the blistering desert heat. dirtndust.com Tree of Knowledge Festival Barcaldine, May 4-7 Join the herd of visitors who flock to the Tree of Knowledge Festival in Barcaldine to rock out to the Hillbilly Goats Band and have a flutter on the goat races. The festival celebrates all that the original tree stood for, recognising its shady boughs -- under which the shearing strikes were organised in the 1800s -- giving birth to the political movement now known as the Australian Labor Party. Though the original tree met a poisonous demise, an $8 million monument built to commemorate it claims pride of place in the centre of town. Rev heads can fire up their engines with the annual drag race and polish up their wheels for the show-car competition over this long weekend. treeofknowledge.com.au STORY HANNAH STATHAM PLAN: Prepare a trip to this and other Queensland regions by visiting RACQ's trip planner at racq.com.