Do you need a reason to start your Outback road trip? Here are the things to Outback Queensland that will make you pack your bags right now! I’m talking Outback stargazing, cowboy rodeos, horseracing, street parades, and Australia’s “best butt” competition.

Take your pick from Dirt n Dust at Julia Creek, Opera in the Outback, golf at the Outback Queensland Masters, watching movies at the Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival, placing a ringside bet on the Boulia Camel Races, or the Outback Festival in Winton.

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Outback Queensland Events Julia Creek Dirt n Dust

Get dirty at the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival

The tiny town of Julia Creek invites runners, rodeo riders, jockeys, and visitors to their famous DirtNDust Festival in April every year. It’s the event that kicks off the Outback visitor season, bringing more than 2,000 people into the town of less than 400.  The funniest event of the festival is Australia’s Best Butt competition. Anyone can compete in the Friday night heat with the crowing of Australia’s Best Butt on Saturday night.  They say it’s as much fun as you can with your clothes on! The program includes a race day, rodeo and live music concert under the stars.

WHEN: 19 to 20 April 2024

WHERE: Julia Creek, Outback Queensland

Here’s how to have a dirty weekend in Julia Creek

Festival of Outback Opera

Festival of Outback Opera at Australian Age of Dinosaurs

Festival of Outback Opera

Embark on an enchanting musical journey that combines the magic of opera with the awe-inspiring landscapes of Outback Queensland. Immerse yourself in the world-class opera performances and unforgettable experiences awaiting you in the charming towns of Winton and Longreach.

In May each year a gifted ensemble of performers and musicians from Opera Queensland grace iconic Outback Queensland landmarks, breathing life into operatic classics and captivating you with modern pieces.

Prepare to be captivated by the magnificent Royal Theatre, be transported to ancient times at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs, feel the spirit of the legendary Waltzing Matilda Centre, and bask in the beauty of Camden Park Station. Enjoy live concerts, be surprised with pop-up performances, engage in thought-provoking panel discussions, and even join in the Pub Choir harmonies!

Let the power of music and the allure of Outback Queensland create an unforgettable journey for every music lover.

WHEN: May 14 – 20

WHERE: Winton and Longreach

Find out more from Opera Queensland.

Outback queensland events Festival of Outback Opera
Things to do in Outback Queensland -river lights


Experience the mesmerizing Outback skies at the Festival of the Outback Skies. Enjoy art workshops, installations, and cooking demos. Dine under the stars, stargaze with telescopes, and light up the lake with lanterns. Relax with live music and lake activities, including a thrilling raft race. The Festival of Outback Skies is is a unique Outback event celebrating nature’s beauty and creativity.

WHEN: 3 to 5 May 2024

WHERE: Hughenden, Outback Queensland


Get ready to saddle up and join the excitement – it’s Rodeo time! Mark your calendars for the Nebo Rodeo on May 18, 2024, proudly brought to you in partnership with the Nebo Hotel. Prepare for an unforgettable weekend packed with entertainment for all ages. Kick off the festivities on Friday night with the Nebo Hotel Street Party, featuring free kids’ entertainment, stalls, a mini eat street, and electrifying live performances from top Australian talent. Stay tuned for the lineup announcement – it’s going to be epic!

WHEN: 18 May 2024

WHERE: Nebo, Outback Queensland

Outback Queensland Masters 2019

Outback Queensland Masters IMAGE: Tourism and Events Queensland

Outback Queensland Masters Gold

Located at five destinations in the heart of the outback, the Outback Queensland Masters (coined OQM by the locals) is Australia’s most remote golf series. It spans over 2,000 kilometres across Queensland’s Outback and attracts everyone from mad golf enthusiasts and amateurs to first-time golfers. They are all competing for the $10,000 hole-in-one opportunities across five locations. It’s all golf by day and dine under the stars of the Milky Way by night.  The competition runs from June to JulyFind further information on the website.

Milky Way in Winton

The Milky Way in Winton is just one of the things you’ll see at Vision Splendid. IMAGE: Tourism and Events Queensland

Vision Splendid

Go beyond the beaches this winter and venture to Australia’s Hollywood of the Outback for the festival that unites dreamers, explorers, filmmakers, and seekers. The Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival includes screenings under the stars in Winton’s 104-year-old Royal Open Air Cinema. 

WHEN: 21 to 29 June 2024

WHERE: Winton, Outback Queensland

Outback Queensland Events Boulia Camel Races

Outback Queensland Events – Boulia Camel Races IMAGE: Tourism and Events Queensland

And they are off for the Boulia Camel Races!

It’s known as the ‘Melbourne Cup of Camel Racing’. The Boulia Camel Races attract professional camel racing teams from across Australia, all with hopes of winning the 1500m Boulia Camel Cup! Held out on the cusp of the Simpson Desert, it’s the longest, toughest and most prestigious camel race in Australia and is an epic experience for competitors and spectators alike. Celebrating 25 years of camel racing in Boulia, travellers are urged to experience this bucket list Outback Queensland in July. More information on their website

Outback Queensland Events – And they are off in the Boulia Camel Races! IMAGE: Tourism and Events Queensland

There're off -Outback Queensland Events

The ‘Melbourne Cup of the Outback’ – the Birdsville Races

Billed as the ‘Melbourne Cup of the Outback’, the Birdsville Races began as a small bush meet in 1882. Boy, have they grown!  Now they are a bucket list experience for everyone from intrepid travellers, and racing enthusiasts to grey nomads and culture vultures. People start heading to Outback Queensland from the beginning of August for the races. They set up camp early to enjoy the lead-up events of yabby races and street parties. The races make the little township of Birdsville on the edge of Queensland’s Simpson Desert surge from around 115 to more than 6,000 sightseers for a two-day, 13-race program. There’s also a strong line-up of entertainment, cocktail parties and even Fred Brophy’s famous travelling boxing troupe. The races also support the Birdsville Races’ fundraising for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). Tickets for the races start from $44.40 which are held in late August/early September.  Check here for the details.
Live Music Main Street Winton

Outback Queensland Events – Live music for the Winton Outback Festival

Winton Outback Festival

Extend your winter trip to make it to the ultimate Outback Festival with five days of fun and outback hospitality. With signature events such as the Quilton Australian Dunny Derby, this festival has been an unmissable outback experience since 1972. It’s five days of quintessential fun in September with warm outback hospitality and nightly live entertainment celebrating all things outback. Aussie events include wool bale rolling, whip cracking championships, bushman’s egg throwing, and little swaggies kids activities. Sports fans can test their skills with the Outback Century Cycle Challenge. It’s the toughest, flattest cycling event in the Outback. There are also the Outback Iron Man, Woman and Junior events. With an amazing lineup of Australian performers, bush poet breakfasts and sunset dining, this is an event not to miss. Find further information on the website.

More to see in the Queensland Outback

Outback Queensland Events – Dining at the Winton Outback Festival

Outback Festival Winton