Here in the land of the legendary Min Min Light, thousands gather annually at the Boulia Camel Races to see camels hurtle down through a plume of red dust over two days of professional camel racing.
Beyond camel racing, we’ve got your outback adventure covered with live entertainment and novelty fun too, where you’re sure to make a swag full of new mates along the way.
When is it
Join us from 14 - 16 July 2023.
Can’t make it in 2023? Keep the third weekend of July free in your calendar in the future.
Our general entry tickets have you covered for the whole weekend at the Boulia Racecourse.
Where is Boulia
You’ll find our tiny town (population: 230) in the heart of Outback Queensland Channel Country along the Outback Way.
Surrounded by Mitchell & Flinders grass plains, Boulia was once part of an inland sea, home to a mass of marine reptiles.
The trip to Boulia promises to be all part of the adventure, whether you come by road, rail or air.
If you’re hitting the wide-open roads like most,
Mount Isa: 304km
Alice Springs: 821km
Find out more about getting to Boulia here.
How Camel Racing Works
The name speaks for itself, where you’ll marvel these 800 kilogram “ships of the desert” and their jockey as they race down Boulia’s track for the finish line.
Heats are over 400 metres, beginning Saturday morning before place‑getters progress to 1000 metre heats by the afternoon. The final? You’ll be barracking for your favourite long-legged beauty over 1500 metres ‑ Australia’s Longest Camel Race ‑ on the Sunday.
The races are often unpredictable and make it great for spectating. If you’re feeling lucky... the bookies can be found trackside to take your bets.
Facts for first timers:
- Jockeys sit on small saddle pads behind the camels hump
- There are no reigns for the jockeys to hold! The camels steer themselves down the track
- The racetrack is a U shape, with the camels racing clockwise
- The maximum number of camels per race is 18
Where to Stay
Camping onsite at the races is included in all Boulia Camel Races entry tickets, yippee!
There’s plenty of room, so pick your favourite spot, build a campfire and make yourself at home for up to 10 days. Free camping onsite is permitted from Sunday 9th to Monday 17th July 2023.
Campsite facilities include toilets and hot showers. The campground is non-powered but generators are welcome.
We know the temperatures in Boulia can cause a fair chill overnight, so our generous local volunteers have you covered with free firewood cut up and ready to keep you cosy all night long. Just don’t forget to pack some marshmallows to make the most of your campfire building efforts.
If you didn’t think it could get any better, your friends on all-fours are welcome to join on the camping experience too.
Camping not your style? Stay in a luxury bell tent on‑site for the ultimate luxe experience or book yourself a bed at one of our motels in town and take the shuttle bus operating throughout the weekend to get you track-side.
Find all your accommodation information here.
Entertainment & Fun
The whole program of events is a blast for the entire family from novelty race competitions to live music to fireworks.
When the dust has settled on the racetrack for the day, don’t forget to watch the stunning outback sunset put on a show too – it’s included free with your race ticket. As the stars come out to play, look up for the fireworks display and BYO dance moves for our live music line-up.
By Sunday afternoon, we’ll have you kicking off your shoes for your own chance to kick up some red dust on the racetrack in our footraces and other novelty fun.
Spot the Min Min Light
Fact or folklore, we reckon it’s worth trying your luck to see these glowing lights known as one of Australia’s greatest unsolved mysteries.
Locals are no strangers to these eerie balls of light, having been part of Boulia life for hundreds of years. They are said to be about the size of a football, most commonly appearing to be around the eye level or slightly higher, often spotted dancing and darting around.
While Min Min Light sightings have increased since European settlement, earlier Aboriginal history too tells a legend of the mysterious lights.
But remember... you don’t find the lights, they find you.
The Min Min Encounter Centre is your next best experience to the real deal. You’ll meet eccentric true-blue characters who will tell you their tales of the mysterious light.
Get a glimpse of the outback from above
Take a break from the racetrack for a different view. Take to the skies in a helicopter during the weekend and you might just mistake Boulia for Mars! Trust us, the spectacular landscapes of Boulia, the mighty Simpson Desert and surrounds are breathtaking!
Just don’t forget your camera for this ride.
There’s plenty of time throughout the weekend for your chance to experience Boulia from above with flights operating all weekend long from the racecourse.
Check out Boulia
No matter where you’re travelling from, plan your adventure ahead to make sure you’ve got time to embrace everything that Boulia has to offer.
- Stop at the Boulia Heritage Centre to see world‑class marine fossils, an insight into the prehistoric predators of the deep
- See iconic Australian outback wildlife from kangaroos, to emus and brolgas throughout town
- Snap a selfie crossing with Boulia’s levitating zebra crossing, the town’s colourful murals found or 30-feet tall windmill
- Step back in time at Boulia’s Stonehouse Cottage; built in 1888, it was the first structural home in Boulia
Venture further afield to the rare Waddi Trees, the Middleton Hotel for a cold one or pack a picnic to sit by the waterhole at the historic Police Barracks.
So, will we see you in Boulia for the Melbourne Cup of Camel Racing in July?