Julia Creek is a small Outback situated in McKinlay Shire, Northern Queensland. Once a year, Julia Creek hosts an increasingly popular event, the Dirt & Dust Festival, which spans across 3 days and offers visitors a festival packed full of entertainment and activities, including triathlon races, an Artesian Express Outback horse racing event, nightly outdoor concerts and live entertainment, and the famous Dirt & Dust Bull Ride.
Dirt & Dust Festival Triathlon
The concept of holding a triathlon at Julia Creek’s formidable terrain was first born in 1994 as a way to put the then-small town on the map. Regular and junior triathlons were soon being run, with iconic figures like Brad Beven cheering the participants on. The Julia Creek Dirt & Dust triathlon went on to become a part of the Saucony Adventure Series for skilled triathletes in 1997.
With each consecutive year, the triathlon sees more and more attendants, despite it being known as one of the more challenging triathlon terrains in the area. The triathlon is separated into various age and gender categories, and typically spans across 2 days of the Dirt & Dust Festival. $8,000 in prize money is available for the triathlon’s winners.
Winners of the 2015 Triathlon
The 2015 Senior Julia Creek Dirt & Dust Festival Triathlon team category winners included the male team The Outback Scrubbers in first place, followed by unisex teams Celebs in second place and Las Minets claiming third place.
The individual category for the triathlon was won by 4 time winner Sam Betten, who claimed a top triathlon prize of $1,000. Edward Dawson followed in second place, winning an $800 prize, and Connor McKay secured third place and won $500 in prize money.
Artesian Express Horse Racing Event
The Julia Creek Dirt & Dust Festival Turf Club also hosts a premier racing event during the Dirt and Dust Festival. The Turf Club holds an annual BHP Billiton Artesian Express horse race, which commences after the triathlon has been completed. This race offers premium Australian country racing, as well as a Fashion on the Fields competition, games and activities for children and plenty of facilities for food and refreshments while enjoying totes betting action.
Julia Creek PBR Bull Ride
Other events held at the Julia Creek Dirt & Dust Festival include nightly live concerts performed by local Australian artists, and the PBR Bull Ride, which takes place at the Julia Creek Dirt & Dust Bull Riding Arena. Some of Australia’s most accomplished bull riders take on equally tough bulls, making for 3 hours’ worth of outdoor entertainment. This event offers up to $8,000 in prize money, and all points won by the professional bull riders who take part will count towards qualifying for the PBR Australian Cup Series, which will see the top local bull rider gain entry to the prestigious PBR World Finals hosted in Las Vegas.
The 2015 champion of the Julia Creek Dirt & Dust Festival PBR event was rider Ryan Storey, who rode the bull Spin to Win and was awarded 86.5 points by judges, contributing to his overall lead of 168.5 points.