Cape York Events


On this page you have some fun Cape York events.

M
ost are held between May and November, not during the Wet season.


Below are some, and I will add to the list over the years to come.

cooktown festival

Cooktown Festival
Cooktown Festival is held over a three day weekend in early June, and it is one of the best events on the peninsula. In addition to eating competitions, a truck pulling competition, cane toad races and other fun, there is the re-enactment of Cook's landing, which is great to watch.


cooktown show

Cooktown Show
Cooktown Show is held over a weekend in early August, and it is a tiny version of your Royal Easter Show
There are the usual competitions and displays, there is entertainment, but with only a small population, don't expect a heap of rides.


cooktown races

Cooktown Races
The Cooktown Annual Race Meeting is held in the first weekend of November, and it is our own tiny version of Melbourne Cup.
Apart from the horse races there is also the Fashions on the Field competition and as always, drinks and fun.


wallaby creek festival

Wallaby Creek Festival
Wallaby Creek Festival is held over a three day weekend in late September. 
It is different from many other events on this page since the entrance itself costs money and not really a little of it, but it is a popular one with a bunch of performers and activities for families.


mareeba rodeo

Mareeba Rodeo
Mareeba Rodeo is held in mid July every year, over a three day weekend at the Kerribee Park rodeo grounds.
It's a classic outback event which, like other rodeos, is a competition to test cowboys' skills in different rides.


wheelbarrow race

Wheelbarrow Race
The Great Wheelbarrow Race is held on a three day weekend in late May, and it is one of the more unique events up here. 
It's a race from Mareeba to Chillagoe, and racing are - people walking while pushing wheelbarrows. In the old gold rush days a lot of wheelbarrows were pushed this way.

chillagoe festival

Chillagoe Festival
Chillagoe Country Music Festival is a cute little country festival, just like the town itself. It's held over a weekend in late July, starting on Friday with the Town Hall turned into an art gallery with complimentary wine and cheese platters. On Saturday there are the morning markets and entertainment and live music into the night.


chillagoe rodeo

Chillagoe Rodeo aka Bushmans Carnival
Chillagoe Rodeo - aka Chillagoe Bushmans Carnival - is held in the second weekend in May - and is one of the earliest events after the Wet Season. With their dry and sunny climate their skies are so often blue, and their nights always get so cold! There is a Friday night cabaret with a few comps, and Saturday is a full day with all the rides.

mt carbine rodeo

Mt Carbine Bull and Bronc
Mt Carbine Bull and Bronc Ride is another Cape York rodeo, held in early August. It's not a bad one, and the refreshing thing is that instead of sitting in midday sun you watch it into the darkness. Kids rides first, then adults, and once it ends everybody gathers in the bar for live music and party.


laura aboriginal dance festival

Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival
Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival is held over a three day weekend in late June, and is easily the best of all Cape York events. Aboriginal dance groups come from different communities from all over the peninsula to perform their dancing programs that consist of a few different dances each, and are excellent watching.


laura rodeo and races

Laura Rodeo and Races
Laura Rodeo and Races is held a week after the Aboriginal Dance Festival in the end of June, and is one of the three day Cape York events starting with a cabaret on Friday night, and continuing with horse races on Saturday and the rodeo on Sunday. Both are held day time, not in darkness like some other rodeos.


weipa fishing classic

Weipa Fishing Classic
Weipa Fishing Classic is a very popular event held during the Queen's Birthday weekend in early June. Lots of fun fishing, big fish and big prizes to win over the weekend - even if you don't fish! You could walk away with a Sea Jay velocity boat or a Can-Am quad bike, and there are lots of smaller prizes from eskies to fishing rods and reels. Special guests, live music, food stalls, licensed bar.

weipa bull ride

Weipa Bullride
Weipa Bull Ride is a two day weekend event in late August every year, and is one of the better rodeos on the peninsula.
A friday nigh cabaret is followed by the Saturday bullride, which starts in the afternoon and ends in darkness. Bulls only, no horses.

bramwell cup

Bramwell Cup and Bush Carnival
Bramwell Cup and Bush Carnival is a relatively new event, which only started in 2013, but is getting popular. It is held over a three day weekend in early July. The main event is the horse race held on Saturday, while all three days have different events, competitions, rides and nightly live music.


npa cultural festival

NPA Cultural Festival
A brand new event in Bamaga in early October, only started in 2014 and it is not sure yet whether it will be held every year or every second year, but the NPA Cultural Festival is one of the very best Cape York festivals along with our other two indigenous dance festivals.


torres strait cultural festival

Torres Strait Cultural Festival
Torres Strait Cultural Festival is held over three days in late September, every second year. It is up there amongst the best of our events
Torres Strait Islander dancing groups come from different islands from the Strait, to Thursday Island to perform their dancing, which is great watching.

Mareeba Rodeo

Mareeba Rodeo is a typical country event.

I do have mixed feelings about rodeos because of the animal rights.


But they are such classic country events, everywhere in the outback, and as with everything, as the awareness is growing, so are the restrictions and rules.

All we can hope they do even in the outback Australia, and after all I do have to agree it's not a bad watch.


Mareeba Rodeo is held in mid-July every year, at the Kerribee Park rodeo grounds.

   mareeba rodeo

Like other rodeos it's a competition about the cowboys' skills.

   bareback bronc riding

There is bareback and saddle bronc riding, ...

   saddle bronc riding

... there is steer wrestling, ...

   steer wrestling

... bull riding, ...

   bull riding

... as well as other classic rodeo competitive events.

   rodeo food stalls

And like elsewhere, there are the food stalls, amusement rides and other fun.

The Great Wheelbarrow Race

Wheelbarrow Race is one of the crazier Cape York events.

Well I would have though that 140km is a long way to walk, but pushing a wheelbarrow???

Even though it's done in teams (so the distance is divided between the team members), it sure is a fair effort by anyone competing in this and having said that I am thinking I may try one year.

The race goes from Mareeba to Chillagoe, in Cairns outback, along the eastern part of Burke Developmental Road.


It kicks off in Mareeba in a mid-May Friday morning every year.

   wheelbarrow race mareeba

In the end of the first day, the race gets to Dimbulah and everyone camps over there.

   wheelbarrow race dimbulah

The second day - the Saturday - it's from Dimbulah to Almaden, for the second overnight camp.

   wheelbarrow race almaden

And on the third day - the Sunday - the wheelbarrow race continues across
some hilly country from Almaden to Chillagoe, where the race is finished.

   wheelbarrow race chillagoe

It's quite a popular event and great country style fun in case you were interested.

Weipa Bull Ride

Weipa Bull Ride is not a bad rodeo.

It is well organised and compared to some other rodeos more money is spent, more advertising is done, and they also charge you a bit more than small country town rodeos.

Weipa Bull Ride is usually a Friday - Saturday event in late August, starting with a cabaret night on Friday.

   weipa bullride cabaret

On Saturday the bull ride is on,
 
   weipa bullride 2014

... starting with kids and baby bull rides in the afternoon,

   weipa bull ride

... then bigger kids and bigger bulls,

   weipa bullride kids

... and finally, by darkness, the adults with the biggest bulls.

   weipa bull ride adults

There are all kinds of stalls at Weipa Bull Ride like on any other events,

   weipa bullride cape york

... and other fun such as raffles, lolly throw, comedy clowns and live entertainment.

   weipa bull ride cape york

Saturday night after the bull ride also ends up a late night party.



You may also like:

Cairns Events

Port Douglas Events






Plan Your Trip... the FREE Cape York Travel Pocket Guide

cape york travel

Get this 50 pages guide totally for FREE. It contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip. You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you should take, how to get there and get around, where to stay (general info), what will it cost.. and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.


Bring to the Trip... the full Visit Cape York Destination Guide

visit cape york

This comprehensive 300 pages travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. It has information on the peninsula's history and wildlife, climate, dangerous things and other things you should know ( availability, fuelbanking facilities, quarantine requirements, Aboriginal land entry permits and alcohol restrictions..); detailed information on places to see and things to do as well as accommodation and FREE camping spots that will save you the money you paid for this book at least tenfold ;-).



If you liked the books or this website, let others know about it! 

Link to it from your website, your blog, your forum post... Share it on Facebook, Tweet about it...



Every link helps other travellers!

Thank you for doing the right thing and letting others know :-)







What's New?

Ask a Question

YOUR Adventure

YOUR Cape Memories


Keep yourself updated
on the latest -
weather, roads,
free travel tips,
and get the
FREE Cape York
Pocket Guide!


Email

Name

Then


Don't worry - your email address is totally secure.
I use it only to send you the Cape York News.

cape york mechanics

portland roads

west coast hotel cooktown

cape york businesses

A little off the most beaten track, but you can still get some of these into your annual leave length of a trip (you can get most if you have all the details to plan right):

You find them all in the Site Map, along with all the other pages on the site and many more great gems :-)

Old Coach Road

old coach road

Frenchmans Track

frenchmans track

CREB Track

creb track

Falls Track

falls track

Starcke Wakooka Track

starcke wakooka track

Bathurst Head

bathurst head

Running Creek Track

running creek track

Silver Plains

silver plains

Old Coen Track

old coen road

Pennefather

pennefather

Stones Crossing

stones crossing


Skardon River

skardon river

Jardine River Ford

jardine river ford

Ussher Point

ussher point

Sadd Point

sadd point

Mutee Head and Jardine Mouth


mutee head

Escape River and Newcastle Bay 

escape river

Five Beaches Track


beaches loop road

Roko Island Pearl Farm

roko island

Friday Island Pearl Farm

friday island