The Galah Session

Birdsville Races Countdown!

Birdsville Roadhouse - Friday, August 24, 2012

Races fever has hit Birdsville! There’s only one week until the racecourse gates fly open and Birdsville is already bustling with excited punters. Official events kick off on Wednesday, with food and market stalls setting up early in the week. This Saturday, just over 100 kilometres down the road, the Betoota Race Club is hosting their annual race meet, which is a great stopover event if you’re on your way to Birdsville.

Held in Australia’s smallest town, the Betoota Races attracts a smaller crowd than Birdsville, which means shorter queues at the bar, a chance to have a yarn with locals and the opportunity to bet on some of the same world-class race horses that run in Birdsville. It’s known as the ‘warm-up party’ for the Birdsville Races and, although it’s primarily a family event, live entertainment amuses the grownups until well into the night.

If you don’t mind a bit of driving, the Windorah International Yabbie Races are held on the main street of Windorah on Wednesday evening. Yabbies are auctioned off and raced while hundreds of travellers and locals alike watch on, enjoying the live music and plentiful food available, before they head to Birdsville.

The Birdsville Races are undoubtedly the main attraction on the Simpson Desert Racing Carnival calendar and this year we’re celebrating their 130th year. The Birdsville Race Club and Birdsville community work hard all year to provide exceptional on and off-track entertainment. The official race days are Friday August 31st and Saturday September 1st, but off-track events commence on Wednesday.

Over the weekend and early next week, Birdsville will slowly transform to accommodate the estimated 8000 people that flock here for the races. Food vans and market stalls will set up in the streets, Fred Brophy will erect his iconic boxing tent, the last of its kind in the world, and we’ll stock our shelves with food, souvenirs, camping gear and top up the fuel tanks. The RAAF Roulettes will also drop in to Birdsville, performing an aerobatic show that will the highlight event.

While the official race program is available from the Birdsville Race Club and information about pub entertainment can be obtained from the Birdsville Hotel, we quizzed our staff to see what they enjoyed most about the races and what their hot tips for a great races experience are.

Photo courtesy Birdsville Race Club

Bronwynne: I love the races when they’re over! No, even though it’s the most stressful week all year, I do love the Lions Club BBQ. They use local beef, they’re friendly, well priced and it’s supporting a good cause. My tip for a great experience is to be patient – we’re only a little town of 100 people and we try really hard to put on a great event for everyone that comes, so please be patient with us! It’ll make us a lot more relaxed, too. Oh, and check out our souvenir shed next door – we had great fun coming up with ideas for special races souvenirs!

Barnes’y: I love the atmosphere of race week. There are always plenty of characters around, everyone’s in a good mood and there’s excitement in the air. I also never miss the charity auction at Fred Brophy’s tent on the Saturday night. I buy something every year! My tip is to drive here in a high-clearance vehicle. If you don’t have one, borrow one because it’ll make your trip a lot safer and relaxing as you won’t have to worry so much about busting tyres or damaging your car with rocks.

Kathy: One really fun part of races is the Thursday afternoon ‘Equine Fun Day’ events outside the pub that were invented in 2007 when the races were cancelled due to equine flu. It’s good seeing everyone get involved in the funny games and races and it signifies the beginning of race weekend. I also love the following ‘mad’ Monday at the pub because it’s a chance for the staff to relax after their hardest week all year. My tip is for the ladies – don’t bother wearing heels. The dust at the racecourse and the rocky ground in Birdsville isn’t made for them.

Kelly: My favourite part of any race meet is fashions on the field. I love wearing a nice dress and hat and I don’t listen to Kathy – I bring out the heels anyway, although it’s not always the best choice. I also love having a flutter on the horses and trawling the stalls for quirky knickknacks. This year I’m definitely buying a ‘done me dough at the Birdsville Races’ t-shirt from the Roadhouse because I always loose all my money at the races, one way or another. My tip is to bring plenty of cash with you because the line at the ATM is always torturously long.

Sam: I like the duck shooting game! Oh, someone just said that doesn’t come anymore. Well, I like the pizza man – it means I don’t have to cook all week and there’s no better food than pizza anyway. Different food vans come every year so I really hope the pizza one come this year, otherwise I won’t know what to do! Last year I think I ate pizza every night he was here. My tip for the races is don’t eat the pizza or there’ll be none left for me! Really though, I recommend you pre-buy your ticket for Fred Brophy’s boxing show because that way you’ll get to go in first and score a good seat.

So who’s coming to the races? See you there!  

2012 Outback Snaps Competition

Birdsville Roadhouse - Thursday, June 21, 2012

As the sun sets over red, windswept dunes, an eager photographer leans over her tripod to capture the moment. Simultaneously, a family in a 4WD is careening up the face of Big Red, the tallest sand dune in the Simpson Desert. An onlooker snaps a photo of them emerging from a cloud of red dust as they mount the crest. Across town, a group of motorbike riders are practicing for the following day’s gymkhana. With a camera in hand, they perform jumps and wheel stands, taking turns to ride and photograph.

The outback is a place of mesmerizing beauty, unique events and lifelong adventure. When this essence of the outback is captured on film, it should be celebrated and shared. Therefore the Birdsville Roadhouse, together with the Birdsville community, is launching the inaugural 2012 Outback Snaps photography competition.

Amongst the residents of Birdsville, there are some very talented amateur photographers. Their photos are displayed in the Wirrarri Information Centre, in an exhibition titled ‘On The Land’. These photographs are shared and enjoyed by the community and travellers alike and exemplify why us locals love the outback so much.

However, we know that amongst the thousands of travellers who we meet in Birdsville each year, there are so many who adore the area as much as we do. Whether you’re serious photographers, experienced bushies or holiday makers with a simple camera, we think that amongst you, there must be some fabulous photos of the outback, Birdsville and your memorable adventures.

Therefore, we are calling on everyone who has photographs of the Birdsville area, both local and those who have passed through, to submit them to our Outback Snaps competition.

There are three categories, monthly prizes and an overall winner that will be announced in December. Lorraine Kath, a photographer from Mt Leonard Station who was instrumental in founding the Birdsville Photography Group, will judge the competition. Her book, My Colours, is a beautifully presented gallery of award-winning photographic work that is available for purchase at numerous locations around Birdsville.

Lorraine’s interest in photography developed after the birth of her children, who she enjoyed photographing as they grew. Living on a cattle station further encouraged her to capture unique moments of life on the land on film.

She will be looking for photographs that capture the essence of the outback, preferably the channel country region, are well composed and fit into one of the three competition categories.

Categories:

4WD Adventure – depicts the spirit of escaping to the outback in your 4WD. Photos can be of your vehicle, a sticky situation or a picturesque moment that you have only experienced because you have set out on a 4WD adventure.

Nature – it’s the landscape, wildlife and sunsets that make the outback, and in particular the channel country, so utterly charming. Any photo focusing on the beauty of the region can be entered in this category.

Action and Events – some of country’s most unique events are held in the outback, and there’s always some sort of action occurring in Birdsville and surrounds. This broad category draws together all images depicting unusual events and action-filled outback experiences.

To enter, email a maximum of five photos to competitions@birdsvilleroadhouse.com.au with a caption, your name, hometown and the category of your photo. We will then put them in the online competition gallery for viewing and will email winning entrants each month.

We look forward to seeing your photographs and displaying them for people to enjoy the spirit of the outback that you have captured.


Birdsville - the busiest place in the world?!

Birdsville Roadhouse - Sunday, June 17, 2012

A cartoonist called Lynn Johnston once said, “An apology is the superglue of life. It can repair just about anything”. So, we would like to repair our reputation as Birdsville's best source of news by apologising for our absence on the Galah Session over the past few weeks, which is due to an incredibly busy month in Birdsville.

We’ve had interesting characters reach town after achieving amazing physical feats, we’ve competed in the Finke Desert Race in Alice Springs and have become an official sponsor of The Long Walk Home, Jenna Brook’s walk across the Simpson Desert.

It was Jenna’s walk that inspired German cyclist Walter Leven to dedicate his planned 6000-kilometre four-month-long outback ride to raising money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. After weeks of communication, Walter and Jenna finally met in Birdsville and chatted about the RFDS, their training and the outback over a cuppa.


Walter Leven and Jenna Brook.

Shortly after Walter continued on his ride, Birdsville was graced with a visit from Merv Hughes, former Australian Cricketer, to promote the importance of men’s health.

The next day, a very healthy Owen Davies walked into town after a 994-kilometre journey following the Georgina River from Camooweal, far northwest Queensland. He had been travelling with his pack of nine goats for two months and reached Birdsville on the wettest day we’d had all year!


Merv Hughes with Councillor Jody Barr. Photo courtesy Diamantina Shire Council

The day after that, Dick and Pip Smith were in Birdsville visiting friends. They’re supporters of The Long Walk Home and caught up with Jenna at the pub before coming to the Birdsville Roadhouse to check on the progress of our Pro-Lite buggy.

Around this time, travellers James and Steph were stranded in town with a blown head gasket. Luckily, they loved the place and agreed to work at the Roadhouse when we took off for Finke, the greatest off-road race in the country. They’re still here and might be hanging around longer, yay!


Dick Smith and Jenna Brook. Photo courtesy The Long Walk Home

Later that week, a plane made an emergency landing 500 metres short of the Birdsville airstrip and our little town made the national news. Thankfully, no one was hurt and the plane was successfully recovered.

We were just about to leave for Finke when our supply truck got bogged on the Birdsville Track. The track was soft after a couple of days of heavy rain and driver Richard was forced to wait at Mungerannie Hotel until the track reopened and dried out. We finally received our supplies and the Krakka Koldee Racing team hit the road as soon as they were unpacked.


Emergency landing. Photo courtesy the Outback Loop

The Finke Desert Race is an annual 460-kilometre race from Alice Springs to the remote community of Finke and back, along the old Ghan line. This year, there were over 80 buggies and cars competing, as well as almost 600 motorbikes and quads. We were one of 8 Pro-Lite buggies in the race.

Unfortunately, though, a broken rear stub axle and engine problems forced us to withdraw from the race during prologue on the Saturday. We’re now working hard to get the buggy back into shape for the next race. Keep an eye out for Kelly’s Finke coverage in the next issue of Outback Magazine for more information on the race.


The Krakka Koldee driver and navigator team

While we were at Finke, the Birdsville Photography Group held an opening night for their ‘On The Land’ exhibition. Prizes were awarded for the best photographs and all attendees reported having a lovely evening. We saw the exhibition at the Wirrarri Information Centre on our return and were amazed by the high quality of all of the photos. It really is a visual reminder of why we love living in Birdsville.

On Friday, the Birdsville State School P&C committee held their monthly bingo night, which was enjoyed by all and next weekend the Birdsville Social Club is holding their annual horse and motorbike gymkhana. The Krakka Koldee Racing Team might even be demonstrating the speed of their ultra-reliable 1300cc Suzuki-powered buggy on the bike enduro track over the weekend.


Birdsville State School students and staff

Lastly, there’s only a week until Jenna Brook sets off on her ‘Long Walk Home’. As we’re now official sponsors, we can officially recommend that you donate to her walk, which supports the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Phew, we’ve seen a lot of action in the past few weeks! Birdsville may be a small town, but life is certainly eventful. 


Owen Davies in Birdsville. Keep an eye out for Kelly's article about Owen in the next edition of Outback Magazine.


A day in the life: Birdsville Roadhouse

Birdsville Roadhouse - Saturday, May 26, 2012

As the sun rises over the Birdsville billabong, a chorus of birds greets the morning. An orange glow envelops the town and movement begins to stir the dust on the ground. Birdsville, with a population of 100, is nestled in the south-western corner of Queensland, on the edge of the Simpson Desert, and is miles from anywhere.

Four-wheel-drives creep slowly through the streets as their occupants seek fuel and snacks. It’s 194 kilometres to the nearest town and travellers like to hit the road early.

Their first port of call is the Birdsville Roadhouse, the large building that dominates the sparsely built-up town. Owners Bronwynne and Peter Barnes and their staff are chatting over cups of steaming tea, discussing the coming day.

You can read more of 'A Day At The Birdsville Roadhouse' on the Explore Australia blog, which this was written for. The blog provides plenty of other fascinating insights into Australian travel and destinations!

"The Birdsville Track is no big challenge!"

Birdsville Roadhouse - Wednesday, May 23, 2012


As I write, I’m looking at the Krakka Koldee Racing Buggy on the dyno, a mechanism that tests horsepower and health of vehicles. We’re waiting for it to be tested to gauge the success of its rewiring in Brisbane, which explains the absence of blog posts over the past week, sorry!

However, before we left Birdsville, we had the pleasure of meeting a group of three cyclists who are tackling a south-north journey of Australia to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. John Jagoe, 70, Maree Smith, 55, and Murray Suckling, 73, were disappointed with the condition of the Birdsville Track. They expected it to be a much harder, rougher ride!

“The Birdsville Track was far better than we imagined. We thought it would be a challenging ride but there was only a little bit of soft sand and loose gravel, which is difficult on a bike,” Murray told us when we spoke to him in Birdsville.

Their journey is 2200 kilometres long, stretching between the Great Australian Bight and the Gulf of Carpentaria, passing through the Flinders Ranges. Since they left Port Augusta two and a half weeks ago, they said that their best stop was definitely Birdsville.



“Birdsville is far more modern than we expected,” Murray said. “It’s a very friendly community and we’ve stayed here a lot longer than we planned to.”

When the group heard that the Birdsville Social Club was holding their annual Bronco Branding, Rodeo and Camp Draft weekend, they decided to stay and watch. They also attended Sandra’s stargazing session and were amazed by the desert night sky. “This is our fifth day in Birdsville now and we’re still not ready to leave,” Murray said.

The group mentioned that they were also very impressed with facilities at Clayton Station, a farm stay and camping area north of Marree on the Birdsville Track and the staff at the Mungerannie Hotel, just over 300 kilometres south of Birdsville. “Clayton Station camping area had flush toilets in the middle of nowhere!” Maree marvelled. “When we left Mungerannie, we were about 20 kilomtres out and they caught up with us and gave us a box of apples.”

Four years ago, the trio successfully completed a 6100-kilometre east west crossing of Australia from Byron Bay to Steep Point, passing Innamincka and Uluru. This journey took three months and eventually raised over $17,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

It’s travellers like John, Maree and Murray that make living in Birdsville so rewarding. They’re inspiring, fascinating people that we get to know over a few days and who are able to experience the best of outback life in Birdsville.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service is an exceptional cause to support and we thank the people who do. With the closest doctor 700 kilometres away, it’s the RFDS who we call for emergency assistance and who fly in for a fortnightly GP practice.

Birdsville local Jenna Brook is about to embark on a challenging 440-kilometre Simpson Desert Walk to raise money for the RFDS. She has already singlehandedly raised over $14,000. If you would like to donate to the walk, you can head to her website, which also documents her walk preparations. If you would like to donate to John, Maree and Murray’s ride, they ask that you contact the RFDS directly or give them a donation if you see them during their journey.

From all in Birdsville, thank you for supporting a cause that is incredibly important for the survival of remote communities.



Introducing Krakka Koldee Racing

Birdsville Roadhouse - Thursday, April 19, 2012

Many of you will be aware that the Birdsville Roadhouse is associated with the Krakka Koldee off-road racing team. Barnes'y and Sam are working hard to get their new Nissan 350z-powered pro-lite buggy ready for the Finke Desert Race in June.

If you're not familiar with the world of off-road racing, it's a thrilling sport that combines the best of motorsport and rally with four-wheel-drive terrain. For many four-wheel-drive enthusiasts that visit Birdsville, seeing the buggies in the workshop is a source of fascination. They're mean-looking, powerful machines that can conquer almost any type of track.

The Finke Desert Race, a two-day event where buggies (and motorbikes) race from Alice Springs to the small township of Finke, is the most renowned off-road race in Australia. It joins the ranks of Mexico's Baja 1000 as one of the world's most famous off-road races.

Competitors can race a number of different types of buggies ranging from two-seater 'sportsman' buggies with up to 1300cc motors to 'pro' buggies with up to 6000cc motors to 'trophy trucks' with up to 6000cc motors. Most buggies are built with their engines in the back of the vehicle, but trophy trucks have the engine in the front. There is also a separate class for standard four-wheel-drives.

Off-road racing became prominent in Australia in the late 60s. 'Buggy Clubs', or off-road racing clubs, sprung up around the country with increasing amounts of people building buggies or adapting Volkwagen Beetles to suit driving on sand and rough tracks. In the late 70s, Barnes'y bought his first buggy for $50 and joined the Millicent Sand Buggy Club. Since then, he has upgraded through five buggies, and introduced his son, Sam, to the sport. 

Sam began navigating for Barnes'y in 2004 at the Sunraysia 500 in Mildura. Together, and with Bronwynne for support, they've travelled to compete in many races around the country. With Barnes'y at the wheel and Sam in the navigators' seat, they won their class at the Finke Desert Race twice. When Sam started driving, in 2007, he successfully completed many races, culminating in winning his class at the 2009 Finke Desert Race.

Although off-road racing buggies were originally derived from Volkswagen Beetles, a lot has changed over the four decades since the sport's inception in Australia. Buggies have become bigger, tougher and a hell of a lot heavier. Sam says that this has made both positive and negative impacts on the sport. When once it was possible for a DIY buggy builder or mechanic to participate in the sport with some success, it's now too expensive for the every-day person to race competitively. However, for the spectators, bigger, tougher buggies means more spectacular jumps, drifts and stunts in races.

The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport supports the Australian Off-road Championship, which began in 1981. It's comprised of four or five races each year and the winners are calculated on a points-based system over the year. Last years' overall winner was Dave Fellows, of Peter Kittle Motorsports. But, each class of buggies also has their own winner. Barnes'y and Sam were the 'sportsman' class winners numerous times before upgrading to the 'pro-lite' class in which they're yet to race.

After replacing the engine in their new pro-lite buggy, Barnes'y and Sam couldn't get it running smoothly again. When driving, the buggy was misfiring at 6300-6750 revs. It was a mystery problem that couldn't be googled. They tried every possible mechanical solution including replacing sensors, looking for fuel problems, upgrading to shielded wires, testing the exhaust gas breakdown and changing Motec computer programs, all to no avail. 

The buggy is currently being rewired by a specialist in Brisbane and we should be hearing more news about it shortly. Hopefully, the wiring will have fixed the mystery problem and Sam can take it for a few runs near Birdsville to get a feel for the driver's seat before heading off to Finke in June. Wish him luck! 

Both Barnes'y and Sam would like to thank their sponsors; Jaycar ElectronicsPhillip's Foote Restaurant, Birdsville Roadhouse, Teagle Excavations, Millicent Tyre Power and the Outback Loop, for their generous support and patience while developing the new buggy.


*There's just two weeks left to vote for The Galah Session in the Best Australian Blogs 2012 competition. Click here if you would like to vote for us and help put Birdsville and the Krakka Koldee Racing Team on the map!

And the polls are open...

Birdsville Roadhouse - Friday, April 13, 2012

Voting has opened for the Best Australian Blog Awards, which we're nominated for! It's a fantastic initiative of the Sydney Writers' Centre to promote the active Australian blogosphere. As we're such a new blog (less than a month old!) and we're blogging from a remote area, we need your help to get Birdsville on the map. Let's promote our beautiful outback by blogging about it and sharing our news. Click on the button below to vote for us in the People's Choice Awards. All entered blogs are listed in alphabetical order - we're under 'T'. That's 't' for thank you for voting! 


We're nominated for the Best Australian Blog Awards 2012!

Birdsville Roadhouse - Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hello lovely followers! Just a quick note to let you know that people's choice voting opens tomorrow at 5pm for the Best Australian Blog Awards 2012 run by the Sydney Wrtiers' Centre. We've just been nominated and as we're such a new blog, we need your support! Help us get Birdsville on the map by voting. We'll tweet and facebook the voting form as soon as it's available so you can all help us promote our beautiful outback!

First woman to run across the Simpson Desert!

Birdsville Roadhouse - Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Jane Trumper, three kilometres from Birdsville. Photo: Kelly Theobald

Over the past week we’d heard incredulous whispers from travellers that had emerged from the Simpson Desert. Was there really a woman running across the desert? Many of our customers had seen her as they passed her in their four-wheel-drives. They spoke of a small woman with huge determination. Her name is Jane Trumper. She is a 51-year-old mother of three and the first woman ever to run across the Simpson Desert.

On Tuesday afternoon we got word that she would be reaching Birdsville in a matter of minutes. Kelly and Sam went out to meet her as she reached the cattle yards on the outskirts of town. She pumped her arms in the air when she saw them in Onslo, asked how far it was to town and if the pub had a glass of cold white wine waiting for her.

They followed her as she jogged the last two kilometres to the Birdsville Hotel, preceded by the Birdsville Policeman, Neale, with his lights flashing. The pub was buzzing with people as they waited to welcome the amazing woman.

After running 664 kilomtres and climbing over 1200 sand dunes, she was still strong enough to jokingly turn around and start running back. But, as the crowd cheered and photos were taken, the enormity of the feat hit us all.

And why hadn’t we heard about her crossing sooner? Jane’s friend Suse said that Jane didn’t want to publicise the trip too much before they set out, just in case they didn’t make it. They didn’t want any extra pressure.


Jane Trumper (right) and friend Suse as they run into Birdsville. Photo: Kelly Theobald

When we spoke to Jane today, she was busy fielding calls from the ABC, AAP, and other major media outlets, including Mt Isa's North West Star. However, she said that the media attention was surprising. “I’m proud that I did it, but I don’t understand why I’m getting so much attention,” she told Kelly. “I didn’t do it for this! I hardly even consider myself a runner.”

What she did do it for is Bear Cottage, a children’s hospice in Sydney, where her medical student daughter volunteers. “I had to pick something that’s close to my heart,” she said. “I have three healthy kids – I think that anyone’s who’s got a sick kid is going through a hell of a lot more than running 664 kilometres across a desert. They go through this emotional drain every day. If I can do it for ten days, it’s not that hard.”

What was hard was finding a support crew. She placed an ad on the VKS Radio website but in mid-February still only had one vehicle interested. Luckily, she found another vehicle and her American friend, Suse, also decided to join her, running a few kilometres every day. Neither Jane nor Suse had ever met the four members of their support crew. Luckily, it worked out for the best. “The support crew were absolutely awesome,” she says. “They'd only drive five kilometres ahead of me and they’d have cold water and cold drinks ready. Whatever I wanted was right there. They were incredibly patient. I’ve never had anybody do so much for me. Suse set up my tent for me every night and Gary would take it down every morning. Really, I was pretty pampered!”


Jane (left) cheers as she reaches the Birdsville Hotel. Photo: Kelly Theobald

When she set out though, the region was experiencing uncharacteristic April heat. Jane was beginning to question the task ahead of her. “The temperature was 45 degrees on the day I started, April fools day. That was the biggest downer. I thought: ‘what the hell have I started and how the hell am I going to do another nine days if it stays like this?’ It was stinking hot. I drank about 15 litres of fluid that day,” she says. “I was expecting the terrain because I’d been here before so it was the heat, more than anything, that got to me.”

Luckily, it soon cooled and she was able to finish the run with only a few encounters with wildlife. “Emus were chasing me yesterday, which was kind of fun. I’m hoping there are some good photos,” she says. “They were coming up to the road and having a good look but they never got really close because I had a car with me. We had dingoes at our campsite a few nights ago, though”.


Jane after the run with Neale, the Birdsville cop. Photo: Kelly Theobald

Amazingly, Jane feels absolutely fine after her epic run. In fact, she’s ready to do it all again. “I could easily have gone out there today and done another 66 kilometre day. I feel just the way I did on day two.”

Well, Jane. We’re very proud of you and it’s a pleasure to have you in Birdsville for the few days that you’re here. Good luck with your marathon on Sunday (yes, this Sunday!) and we encourage all of our readers to donate to your cause! You can do so here.

If you would like to know more about Jane and her running, including the Simpson Desert crossing, head to her blog.


Jane and her support crew celebrate outside the Birdsville Hotel. Photo: Kelly Theobald


Jane would like to thank her sponsors Hoka One One footwear, Skirt Sports, InJinji and Northside Runners.

Easter Update: Birdsville News

Birdsville Roadhouse - Wednesday, April 04, 2012

For sale at the Birdsville Roadhouse - yum!

As easter approaches the fridges fill with easter eggs, the smell of fresh hot cross buns wafts from the Birdsville Bakery and the freezer is raided for prawns, oysters and fish. This year, as easter is smack bang in the middle of Queensland school holidays, the long weekend also means that we'll be busy with travelers coming through town on their holidays. This week has already been very busy with people traveling through Queensland and many of them are crossing the Simpson Desert. 

The Birdsville Bakery opens tomorrow!

The Birdsville Bakery will be opening tomorrow and we're all very excited to see what will be on the menu this year. I've heard that my favourite finger buns are being replaced with jam scrolls, though. The scrolls are almost as delicious so I think I can live with that. Dusty is also making Hot Cross Buns for the weekend. Until he opens tomorrow, we'll be selling them at the roadhouse. We also have a range of easter eggs in stock if the easter bunny needs to visit your camp on Sunday! The Bakery will be open for breakfast and lunch everyday, starting tomorrow, and dinner on selected nights. Dusty's 'Birdsville Fried Chicken' will be launched tomorrow night, too!

Fresh Hot Cross Buns for sale!

An increasing amount of vehicles are traveling through the Simpson Desert and we sold out of Birdsville 4x4 Club sand flags yesterday. But, they're back in stock due to popular demand. We've had reports that the desert tracks are in good condition and there's lots of animals and flowers around to make the journey even more rewarding. 

Flowers in the desert. Photo: Kelly Theobald

This week we've had warmer than average April temperatures in Birdsville. We're glad that summer is hanging around a little bit longer as the dry heat is much nicer than the freezing winter nights! Luckily it's not too hot though - the mercury briefly reached 39.5 degrees yesterday but the nights are mild and comfortable. 

Pelicans at Cuttaburra Crossing. Photo: Kelly Theobald

The warm weather is also increasing the number of pelicans in the area. If you're traveling between Birdsville and Bedourie, you might have noticed the flocks of pelicans at the Eyre Creek Cuttaburra Crossing. Pelicans love the warm temperatures of inland Australia and after rain they flock to large expanses of water like Lake Eyre and the permanent waterhole at Cuttaburra Crossing. They're also likely to breed around this time of year, but we haven't seen any nesting pelicans ourselves, yet. If you want to see the pelicans, make sure you check to road conditions before you travel. At the time of writing, the Bedourie-Birdsville road is restricted to high-clearance vehicles as water is covering the road at the Cuttaburra Crossing. Drive with caution through the water - at least you'll have lots of time to take photos! 

Just in time for easter, the Birdsville Hotel has released a new menu. So far we've tried the South Australian rump steak and the lip-smacking proscuitto-wrapped Kangaroo fillets served with macadamias and berries. Make sure you try both the Hotel and the Bakery menus while you're in town to experience the best of Birdsville's culinary delights. 

Two Beetles side by side. Sam and Kelly are on the right.

On Monday, a 1966 Volkswagen Beetle arrived in Birdsville. A young couple from Belgium purchased the car in Perth and have been traveling around Australia for a few months. They're about to start a job in Richmond, central Queesnland, and passed through Birdsville on their way there. You may know that the Birdsville Roadhouse's Sam and Kelly recently bought a 1964 Volkwagen Beetle and will be driving it across the Simpson Desert later in the year. It's not often there's two Beetles here, so it was good to get a photo of them together. 

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