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Professional camel racing is galloping back stronger than ever onto the events scene this year, with the iconic Boulia Camel Races next weekend set to welcome one of its biggest crowds as tourists 'hump it' to the tiny Queensland Outback town for the event.

Cameleers too are eager to get back onto the sand of the Outback racing tracks, after Covid-19 halted all racing events in their tracks last year.  Camel trainers are already enroute to Boulia, thirsty for a win at Australia's richest camel races and the prestige of winning the Thirsty Camel Cup, the most coveted win on the racing circuit.

Boulia Camel Races 2019

A record $45,000 prize money will be up for grabs across the two days of professional camel races, a fitting reward for the thousands of kilometres travelled and months of training undertaken by camel racing teams, who come from as far as Shepparton in Victoria and Anna Bay in New South Wales.

Run over 1500m, the Thirsty Camel Cup is the longest camel race in Australia and attracted its apt new name this year, thanks to sponsoring partner Thirsty Camel Bottleshops.  The Thirsty Camel Cup will be defended by reigning champion, local Boulia Camel trainers Dannileah Stewart and Ronnie Callope, whose camel Wason won the Cup in stunning form in 2019, for their first Cup win on home soil.

Camel racing teams will experience their first professional race of the season this weekend in Bedourie, where the Bedourie Camel Races serve as an ideal warm-up to the big Boulia Camel Races 'just up the road' next weekend, 16-18 July.

"Most visitors bring their own camping or caravan set up for the races, but this year we also have a record thirty luxury glamping tents, which all sold out ahead of the races," said event organiser Rebecka Britton.  "It fits well with our reputation to offer this new luxury experience, because for years media have been calling us 'the Melbourne Cup of Camel Races'.  You can guarantee though, there'll always be more Akubras and truckers caps worn by the trackside than fascinators."

Boulia’s population explodes from a mere 300 residents to more than 2,000 for the weekend, stimulating a welcome influx of tourism dollars in what is the town's peak tourism week of the year.  Pre-sold tickets have already exceeded last year's sales, reflecting the strong interest in Queensland Outback travel this year, with the entire region teeming with record numbers of travellers.

By the trackside, multi-award-winning Drag Cabaret Legend “wanda dparke” will be clacking her heels onto the stage in Boulia for the first time, kicking off the entertainment Friday night.  She'll be joined by Winton pair, The Crack-Up Sisters who will also be making a Boulia-debut at the races weekend with their knock-about acrobatics and comedy routines.  Adding to the live music Friday evening will be Linc Phelps, while Luke Geiger and Bareback will keep the party going late into Saturday night.

The full program of entertainment also features helicopter and camel rides, the Great Australian Ride-on Lawn Mower Race, sideshow amusements and Boulia's one-of-a-kind camel tagging competition.  New additions on the program are camp oven cooking demonstrations with Michael Patch - who operates the 'world's biggest camp oven business' and a new 'meet the camel trainers' talk session Friday afternoon.

This year marks the 24th Boulia Camel Races, first held in 1997 and since then cementing itself as a ‘bucket-list’ experience for Outback Queensland adventurers.  Those who venture to Boulia remain vigilant on the lookout for the famed Min Min light, a mysterious phenomenon that continues to be sighted by travellers on Boulia’s remote Outback roads, causing ongoing intrigue.

The Boulia Camel Races is supported by the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

A 3-Day Boulia Camel Races pass is $90 Adult, with free camping included.  Under 18 years are free entry.

Tickets and information at



Photo credit: Aliven Photography

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