Birdsville Races 12 Day Coach Tour from Canberra
THU 1 SEP 14 – MON 11 SEP 14
The first race meeting was held in 1882 as an event for hack and stock horses with a few local spectators. The carnival now includes a 12-race program and prize money in excess of $110 000. The XXXX Gold Birdsville Cup is a much sought after trophy and is famous throughout the world. Situated three kilometres to the South East of the town the track itself is on a claypan alongside the sand dunes.
DAY 1 (D):
HOME TO NYNGAN: Monday 1 September 2014
Welcome to our tour to the Birdsville Races! Today we depart home and make our way through the Blue Mountains onto Mudgee, stopping en-route for comfort and meal breaks. We arrive into Nyngan for our first overnight stay (lunch at own cost / dinner in motel).
Country Manor Motor Inn Nyngan (subject to availability)
DAY 2 (BLD):
NYNGAN TO THARGOMINDAH: Tuesday 2 September 2014
Following breakfast we continue along the Mitchell Highway through to Bourke on the banks of the Darling River. We take a look around, including a visit to Fred Hollows grave. We’ll break to enjoy our picnic lunches then cross the Queensland border to head into Cunnamulla. Our final leg of travel today is through to Thargomindah, situated on the Bulloo River in Channel Country. The town’s claim to fame is that it was Australia’s first town (and third in the world) to produce hydro electric power between 1898 and 1951. The natural water pressure at the town’s bore was used to generate electricity (breakfast & dinner in motel / picnic lunches supplied).
Thargomindah Oasis Motel (subject to availability)
DAY 3 (BLD):
THARGOMINDAH TO INNAMINCKA: Wednesday 3 September 2014
We have a travel day today making our way along the Bulloo Developmental Road with a stop at the famous Dig Tree. This is the site of the cache of food left for the starving members of the South-North transcontinental expedition. Joining Adventure Way, we’ll cross over the border which takes us into Innamincka. The Innamincka region is best known historically because of its association with the tragedy of Burke and Wills expedition but more recently it has become identified as a gas and oil area. Set in a desert region, it relies heavily on water from North Queensland to refill Cooper Creek (breakfast & dinner in motel / picnic lunch en-route).
Innamincka (subject to availability)
DAY 4 (BLD):
INNAMINCKA: Thursday 4 September 2014
Innamincka is at the top end of the Strzelecki Track and just north of the Moomba Gas Fields. We take a look around this morning including a visit to the ruins of the Australian Inland Mission Hostel. Then, as we travel north today, we pass by several bores in the Innamincka Regional Reserve. To the north of the Reserve, in the far north east corner of South Australia, is Cordillo Downs. This is the best known and most famous of the cattle stations in the area. At one stage Cordillo Downs had more buildings and people than Innamincka – with its own Post Office, saddler, blacksmith, a police station that was manned at shearing time and polling boxes during elections! We stop here for lunch before pushing through to Birdsville, situated on the Diamantina River, eight miles north of the South Australian border (breakfast in motel / picnic lunch en-route / dinner at own cost).
Tent City Birdsville (subject to availability)
DAY 5 (-):
BIRDSVILLE RACES: Friday 5 September 2014
We enjoy day 1 of the Birdsville Races today. The first ever race was held in the newly formed town of Birdsville in September 1882 and was attended by nearly 150 station owners, managers and stockmen. Nearly 200 pounds was raised by public subscription, which speaks well for the prosperous condition of the district. The settling took place in Mr Tucker’s hotel, where the amounts were paid over to the respective winners, the usual toasts proposed and duly responded to, after which a meeting was held in the large iron store. Here a jockey club was formed, to be called the “Border Jockey Club”, forty two names being enrolled as members. Stewards were appointed, a working committee elected and the next race meeting fixed for July 1883. It has been an annual tradition ever since (all meals at own cost).
Tent City Birdsville (subject to availability)
DAY 6 :
BIRDSVILLE RACES: Saturday 6 September 2014
Day 2 of the Birdsville races (all meals at own cost).
Tent City Birdsville (subject to availability)
DAY 8 (LD): BIRDSVILLE TO MARREE : Sunday 7 September 2014
We farewell Birdsville this morning and begin our return journey home. We join the notorious Birdsville Track, once used by drovers following the cattle routes from north west Queensland to Marree in the south. It is desolate but beautiful country with the Sturt Stony Desert on our left and the great expanse of the Simpson Desert on our right. Our drive today is in two main sections. From Birdsville it’s just over 300km to the Mungerannie Hotel on the Derwent River. For part of the morning we will travel alongside the Diamantina River. The Diamantina never really dries up, usually flowing during February and August and sometimes even into April and May depending on the monsoons. After our stop at Mungerannie we have another 200km to Marree. For some of the way we will pass through the sandhill country that is the meeting point of the Tirari and Strzelecki Deserts and the lead in point to the Cooper Creek flood plain. Late afternoon after passing through the Dog Fence, we arrive in Marree (breakfast at own cost / lunch at Mungerannie / dinner in motel).
Marree Hotel Motel (subject to availability)
DAY 9 (BD):
MARREE TO PETERBOROUGH: Monday 8 September 2014
This morning we travel via Leigh Creek and Hawker where we’ll stop for a lunch break (own expense). We also have time to visit Jeff Morgans Gallery where we not only see but experience the “Wilpena Panorama”. This is a 360° view as seen from St Mary’s Peak, highest point of Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges. We continue our travels through to the town of Peterborough. Our afternoon visit is at the Motorcycle Museum where there is a very interesting display of collectables with colourful histories attached to them. We have a tour before heading to our overnight accommodation. We’ll enjoy some free time and an early dinner after settling in. After dark we visit Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre to watch South Australia’s first and only Sound and Light show from a historic transcontinental carriage, now transformed into a viewing car and placed on the 85 foot long turntable. This magic light and sound spectacle tells the story of Steamtown and the creation of Peterborough, about Railways in South Australia and the history and personal stories associated with it. Relive the famous visit of General MacArthur in 1942 when he delivered the famous phrase “I shall return” from the platform in Terowie. Learn about the first terrorist attack on Australian soil and the tragic accident of Walloway. Through this sound and light spectacle we will actually experience parts of the last two centuries and become part of it (breakfast & dinner in motel / lunch at own cost).
Roundhouse Motel Peterborough (subject to availability)
DAY 10 (BD): PETERBOROUGH TO MILDURA: Tuesday 9 September 2014
We join the Barrier Highway this morning and make our way through to the copper town of Burra. In 1845 copper was discovered and a town quickly developed into a community of 5000 by 1851 (Adelaide’s population was 18,000 at that time). Today the whole town is on the State Heritage Register preserving its great historical value and mining heritage. From here we head towards the Murray River, following it along to Renmark. After some time to purchase lunch we make a stop at Rustons Rose Garden. This is a 20 acre landscaped rose garden with 40,000 rose bushes and many varieties of day lilies, flowering shrubs and trees. In 1991 David Ruston was elected President of the World Federation of Rose Societies and is the first President of the Australian Heritage Rose Society. We have the opportunity to wander at our leisure through the gardens before reboarding the coach and travelling over the Victorian border to Mildura. On arrival we check into our motel and freshen up for dinner (breakfast & dinner in motel / lunch at own cost).
Quality Resort Inlander Motel Mildura (subject to availability)
DAY 11 (BLD):
MILDURA TO WAGGA WAGGA: Wednesday 10 September 2014
Departing Mildura we cross the border into New South Wales and begin our day’s journey. We stop in Balranald for a break then continue through to Hay. Here we stop for lunch and a visit to Shear Outback. The Australian Shearers Hall of Fame opened on the 26th of January 2002 and was one of the many attractions associated with the Year of the Outback. Shear Outback provides visitors with a contemporary and innovative museum experience. The facility compromises an iconic “purpose built” interpretative centre and a historic working woolshed relocated from Murray Downs Station on the banks of the Murray River. Our afternoon drive sees us arrive late afternoon in Wagga Wagga to check into our motel for our final night on tour (breakfast & dinner in motel / lunch in Hay).
Mercure Wagga Wagga (subject to availability)
DAY 12 (B):
WAGGA WAGGA TO HOME:
Today is a travel day, so after we checkout of our accommodation we make our way back home, with convenience breaks throughout the day. We’ll arrive home later today completing our tour to the Birdsville Races (breakfast in motel / lunch at own cost).
All itineraries are subject to change due to occasional restrictions in opening times/days of some attractions, e.g. churches, wineries etc. We cannot be held responsible for any changes due to closures, inclement weather etc.