Australia’s weird festivals
The Camel Cup, Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Like horse racing, but weirder. In Alice Springs camels compete every July for the coveted Camel Cup, drawing about 5000 spectators, who stay for other attractions such as markets, rickshaw racing and perhaps a drink or two to toast the champion.
Key date: 14 July 2018
Running of the Sheep, Boorowa, New South Wales
Spain has the Running of the Bulls so naturally, Australia has the Running of the Sheep, the finishing touch to the annual, free Irish Woolfest, held every October in Boorowa. The sheep are herded through the streets by a local, Farmer Ashley, and his friendly pack of kelpie dogs.
Key date: 1 October 2017
The Compass Cup Cow Race, Mount Compass, South Australia
In writing this piece it’s become clear that Australians really do like a race, and that they’ll race literally anything. This particular race (Compass Cup Cow Race) embraces the chaos and hilarity of untrained cows „racing” – loosely speaking – to raise money for the local community.
Beer Can Regatta, Darwin, Northern Territory
You know what we don’t think each time we finish a beer? “We should totally build a boat from this can” but that’s why the creative people of Darwin are here. These fine people have created the Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta where beer cans are turned into boats and raced. It’s almost brilliant when you think about it.
Key date: 22 July 2018
Henley on Todd Regatta, Alice Springs, Northern Territory
The desert is not really the place you think of when you think “boat race” but Alice Springs says otherwise. 20,000 spectators come every year to watch competitors run their elaborately built „boats” down the dry riverbed during the Henley on Todd Regatta. Fancy dress is encouraged.