Entries are now open for the St George 399, which acts as the first round of the 2018 BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship, as well as the CAMS Queensland Off Road Championship. For the 2018 event, which runs from Friday May 4 until Sunday May 6, the track has been subject to a number of updates and changes, with one of the main ones being upping the distance of the iconic event. As well as the race itself, the St George Show will run on the Sunday and this includes a rodeo and fireworks display that night. Check out www.offroadracing.com.au or go to the St George 399 Facebook group for more information and updates.
Mark the dates of July 10-12 in your diaries for the 2018 Big Red Bash. This music extravaganza, held at the base of Australia’s most famous sand dune – Big Red – has grown again for this year. A massive roster of some of the biggest names in Australian music including The Angels, Hoodoo Gurus, John Farnham, Kate Ceberano and The Black Sorrows, to name a few, will be keeping the crowd well entertained. There’ll even be ‘drag’ races (and not of the automotive kind!) and a Fashions in the Desert parade, all with the aim of raising much-needed funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. See www.bigredbash.com.au for more info.
For some of the most exciting desert driving you’ll see anywhere in the world, the Red Centre’s famous Finke Desert Race is an absolute must-see. This epic two-day off-road racing event runs over the June long weekend (June 8-11) and there’s a mix of monster off-road buggies, modified vehicles, quads and dirt bike racing to cater for all motorsport fans. ‘The Finke’ runs from the Red Centre capital of Alice Springs to the Aputula community and then back to Alice. For those who want to get super-close to the action, you can camp along the 250km route for the ultimate outback race experience. For more information, check out www.finkedesertrace.com.au
WAIKERIE HOTEL ARB RIVERLAND ENDURO (SA)
Round four of the ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship (which doubles as Round 4 of the AORRA SA Off Road Racing Championship and Round 4 of the SA Off Road Racing Association Multi Club Series) sees drivers tested on a tough mix of off-road terrain at Murbko. This event, held July 13-15, will showcase excellent driver skills, as competitors thunder through spectacular outback country. www.offroadracing.com.au
The outback Queensland town of Richmond is gearing up for a big weekend from May 4 to May 6, at the event location on Racecourse Road. The Fossil Fest will include a guided museum tour of Kronosaurus Korner on the Friday morning, and this will be followed by an action-packed rodeo on the Friday night. The Saturday is jam-packed: a street parade, the famous bush sprint horse races and even a moon-rock throwing competition will keep visitors entertained, with live entertainment, a fireworks display and local market stalls finishing off the Saturday night. It’ll be a great event. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
The Shark Bay Fishing Fiesta is on again. Keen anglers should note the dates of Friday May 18 to Friday May 25 and get ready for what is more than just a fishing comp. The Fishing Fiesta is run as a celebration of the Shark Bay region and includes numerous fishing comps each day, plus a crazy beer-can regatta, entertainment each night during the festival, and local market days where you get to check out – and purchase – homegrown produce. Check www.sharkbayfishingfiesta.com for more info.
HEAD TO THE CORNER
It’s time to start planning a visit to one of this country’s iconic destinations: Corner Country. This region, encompassing northwest NSW, southwest QLD and northeast SA is packed with great driving on some famous desert tracks.Visiting this region also offers the chance to stand on the junction of all three states. Take your canoe, too; Cooper Creek is a top paddling (and fishing) destination, right next to Innamincka Hotel.