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Birdsville The Real Outback

Visit the Birdsville Hotel

As far as outback pubs go, the Birdsville Hotel is about iconic as they get. The place is over 130 years old and has endured floods, cyclones and fires (the place burned down in 1979). Stepping through the front door you’ll be met with a ‘G’day’ from both the bartender and fellow travellers alike. The front bar carries a decent range of beers (particularly considering how remote the place is), and they’re quite literally the only thing in town that’s ice cold. Take your beer out onto the porch to enjoy the sunset before tucking into dinner. Behind the pub are 27 motel style rooms, providing welcome creature comfort for those who might have been camping  on the drive to Birdsville.

Big Red sunset tour

A stunning place in its own right, Big Red is the first major dune you’ll cross as you head west into the Simpson Desert from Birdsville. As the lights get low and the temperatures start dropping, it’s the perfect backdrop for sunset drinks and nibbles. Kylie from Desert Edge Tours offers Big Red tours departing from the Birdsville Hotel. The tour kicks off with a quick lap of town before heading out to Big Red itself. The approach and ascent to the 30 metre (98 foot) tall dune can be challenging at the best of times, so when there’s been rain or lots of visitors it’s quite the show. A cold beer or wine atop the dune with your fellow travellers is the highlight of visits to Birdsville.

Birdsville Bakery

The Birdsville Bakery is a must visit, whether it’s for a coffee before hitting the road again or for their famous pies and pastries featuring some of the local fauna. The bakery is hard to miss, situated just opposite the Birdsville oval, and in viewing distance from the pub. The interiors are full of history and character, including the many celebrities that have visited over the years. The place is also rumoured to bring great fortune to visitors - Malcolm Turnbull visited Birdsville and ate a Curried Camel Pie only two weeks before becoming Prime Minister of Australia.

The Birdsville Races

An iconic Australian event, the Birdsville Races is held on the first weekend of September each year. Often dubbed the Melbourne Cup of the Outback, more than 6,000 punters make the journey to Birdsville each year to try their luck and enjoy the spectacle. The horse races themselves are only one aspect of the weekend, with plenty of other activities (of both a competitive and non-competitive nature) on offer in the town. The Birdsville Hotel becomes the centre of attention after the sun goes down, with festivities continuing well into the night.

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