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Birdsville Races 2006

christulkchristulk Registered Users Posts: 453 Major grins
edited January 29, 2007 in Journeys
Hello all,

I have posted some of these images on the site before, but thought that a bit of a story about the these iconic races might be interesting, and since it is "promote Australia week" or something in the US, I figured I'd do my bit to promote Oz.

The races are rather famous here in Oz. They started in 1882 and became well known when one of our Prime Ministers visited the event during an election campaign in the 70's (that's what I've been told anyway). Obviously the leader of the Nation has a large media contingent with him, so the races were seen all over the country, and this created a lot of interest.

Birdsville is a very remote place basically in the middle of nowhere but actually in outback Queensland. The place is on the edge of the desert and temperatures in summer often exceed 40 degrees C (104 F). It is very difficult to get to (driving on dirt tracks) so many people fly in for the two day event. The towns population swells from about 100, to around 6000, with the airport accommodating up to 300 aircraft (I think 300 is the max they have seen)

The normally sleepy town comes alive, extra police are flown in, extra workers arrive and the carnival begins. As there is only one pub in town, the accommodation is either your swag, a tent, under the wing of your aircraft or you can hire someones verandah!

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The pub is a small building which was extended a few years back.

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The aircraft park literally across the road from the pub, as you can see here:


The front bar is filled with memorabilia and photography in it cost you a donation the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Here's a shot of the inside:


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A LOT of beer is drunk in this town during the event - literally semi truck loads are brought in. The empty's are useful!

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Each night the partying goes on until the wee hours of the morning, but before sun up, all the empties are cleaned up, and you wouldn't know there had been a few thousand people drinking in the streets.

A before and after series (kind of)

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The after race entertainment is also 'fun'.
There is a guy named Fred Brophy who runs a fight tent. The idea is you agree to fight one of his troupe, and if you win, you get $50, but if you draw or lose you get nothing. It is all very theatrical, the lights on the tent come on, and a drum starts to beat, slowly..bang...bang..bang heralding the commencement of the fights. Fred gets up on stage and introduces his fighters, some of whom are women. He then gets drunken fools to agree to fight them. The gates open and you pay the $15 entry fee to watch some poor soul get flogged.

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This is Fred Brophy

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Fred is banned in most states except for Queensland....

There are some races there also!

The track is bereft of grass (as his the ENTIRE town - except for the footy oval!)

and the fashions on the field are always interesting!?

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There are a few interesting things in town, the local cafe for one:

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and seeing the line up for the phone, as there is no mobile phone coverage.

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A few years ago they built a new bakery in the town, which must get most of its revenue from the one race weekend, and I thought the sign on the door was pretty good:

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This was my one and only time to the races, it was far more 'behaved' than I imagined, as people were all there for a good time and there was hardly any trouble - one guy got booked for relieving himself on a police car, while the police were in it!

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It is a great experience , so if you get the chance, it is definitely worth doing at least once..

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C&C always welcomed.

Cheers

Chris

http://christulk.smugmug.com

'alot' is two words "a_______lot":D

Comments

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    pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,698 moderator
    edited January 25, 2007
    This thread is the cat's pajamas!!

    ROTFLMAO - OZZIE HUMOR!!

    Great shots Chris ---- But why not show us them in the medium size rather than small?? Just change the S IN THE URL TO M
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
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    ian408ian408 Administrators Posts: 21,914 moderator
    edited January 25, 2007
    hahaha!

    Sounds like a great weekend too!
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
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    christulkchristulk Registered Users Posts: 453 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2007
    pathfinder wrote:
    This thread is the cat's pajamas!!

    ROTFLMAO - OZZIE HUMOR!!

    Great shots Chris ---- But why not show us them in the medium size rather than small?? Just change the S IN THE URL TO M

    I didn't realise right till the end that they were small..sorry! I'll no for next time.
    :D
    I can blame a crying 5 week old and a lack of sleep on my incompitance
    rolleyes1.gif
    C&C always welcomed.

    Cheers

    Chris

    http://christulk.smugmug.com

    'alot' is two words "a_______lot":D
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    pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,698 moderator
    edited January 25, 2007
    You're blaming a 5 years old after all that beer??:D :D

    I fixed it for ya.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
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    SkippySkippy Registered Users Posts: 12,075 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2007
    christulk wrote:
    Hello all,
    There are a few interesting things in town, the local cafe for one:
    This was my one and only time to the races, it was far more 'behaved' than I imagined, as people were all there for a good time and there was hardly any trouble - one guy got booked for relieving himself on a police car, while the police were in it!
    It is a great experience , so if you get the chance, it is definitely worth doing at least once..

    Hi ya Chris, my brother has flown up there a few times, it's kinda the boys weekender sort thing isn't it.

    Im sure there would be some very interesting characters attend the Birdsville Races, and the inside of that pub must be something to behold :D

    Can't say it would be my cup-of-tea, little bit too much on the rough side for me rolleyes1.gif I mean there's roughing it, and there's roughing it rolleyes1.gif

    You got some great shots there ......... Skippy
    .
    .
    Skippy (Australia) - Moderator of "HOLY MACRO" and "OTHER COOL SHOTS"

    ALBUM http://ozzieskip.smugmug.com/

    :skippy Everyone has the right to be stupid, but some people just abuse the privilege :dgrin
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    coldclimbcoldclimb Registered Users Posts: 1,169 Major grins
    edited January 29, 2007
    Great stuff, thanks for the experience!
    John Borland
    www.morffed.com
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    ed_hed_h Registered Users Posts: 191 Major grins
    edited January 29, 2007
    94147729-M.jpg

    This is something i thought had been banned by now, it was always a crowd pleaser at the Darwin show.
    thanks for posting.
    Ed
    A dog is for life, not just Christmas
    http://www.dogshome.org.au/
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