Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Down the track once again

Story and photos Kevin Killey


It had its humble beginnings over a few rums in an outback bar one Christmas Eve a few years ago.

Some doubted it could be staged at all - let alone be a roaring success - but the memories for thousands who in some way participated in the Great Australian Outback Cattle Drive down the Birdsville Track, and the accolades for the drovers and organisers, will live forever.

When, over a six-weeks period, you put together 600 cattle, 170 horses, 640 riders (in various stages) and more than 60 staff and contractors along 514 kilometres of the Birdsville Track, you have one major event.


Some of the paying guests on the drive
wait for their steeds.

Logistically it was one of the largest ever staged in the outback, but already organiser, Paul Victory, the marketing manager of Flinders Ranges and Outback South Australia Tourism, is planning similar mass participation events in the future.

"People came for a horse riding adventure, but they received a lot more," he said when the cattle and final group of riders reached Marree.

"They also got the tour, the tent village (that was transported and erected nine times along the route), the experience, four-wheel-drive tours, Aboriginal culture, national parks, wildlife, the environment and all the elements of the event itself.

"The success of the event has proven that there is very strong worldwide demand for the Australian outback. It has history, charm and romance." Story end

Full story and photos: Issue 24, August/ September 2002

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