Thursday, October 6, 2011


Back home again and what a whirlwind couple of weeks.
The Winton Outback Festival was a great week and can now be crossed off the bucket list but  I don’t know whether we will go back again.  Financially it was worth it though.

We arrived at about 6.30pm at the local show grounds and as Phil and Rod had arrived earlier they had a spot saved for us next door.  Within about 30 minutes we had the basics set up and it was into drinkies time.  Doug, Marie and Maureen arrived the next day at about lunch time.
Doug, Marie and I on the racetrack

Rod and Maureen

Stuart and Phil
We were set up in the main street right in front of the stage and except for Friday when everything moved to the sports grounds for the Dunny Derby that was our place of business for the week.
Events held throughout the week included egg throwing to be caught by a partner many many mitres down the street -

                                                                               – OR NOT!
 Whip cracking, wool bale rolling, fencing gear carrying and many more events that suited the outback of Australia.  Ages ranged from about 5 to about 70 for these events which were graded in their difficulty according to age and gender.
Stuart photographed these door panels in one of the old hotels in the main street depicting Banjo Pattersons Swagman and the music and lyrics to the famous song.

The highlight of the week for these types of events was the arrival of Australia’s strongest man Derek Boyer who while being presided over by a representative of the Guinness Book of Records attempted to beat his own record of rolling a 500kg car 10m times in 5 minutes.  This he did in under 5 minutes but didn’t beat his existing record.  In doing so he injured a muscle in his back and the paramedics were there to assist.
Derek rolling the 500kg car down the main street of Winton
Upon success of Derek's car roll
An interesting point I found out about Derek was that he is a type 1 diabetic and self medicates every day.  This is of special interest to me because of a grandson who is also type 1.  When I spoke to him he said to tell Joel that it will never be an impediment unless he allows it to be.

The Dunny Derby held in Winton every 2 years has world wide notoriety as being the only one of its kind in the world (apparently)  These structures?? Are built like an old Australian outback ????house on wheels with a pulling frame out front and must be pulled over the course with a person sitting on the throne.  Along the way they must alight the vehicle and pick up rolls of toilet paper (what else).  The best thing about the whole even is that the money won went to the charity they represented.

That night was a line up of stars including Adam Harvey to entertain a couple of thousand people.
Adam Harvey

Saturday was back to the main street with a lineup of finals of the iron man and woman events and finished with an Elvis impersonator Dean Vegas to round off a successful week according to organisors.
Elvis aka Dean Vegas performing in the street to the crowds
The story goes that he is standing for Mayor of the Gold Coast at the next elections

We planned to get away on Sunday around lunchtime but wanted to see Australias strongest men Derek Boyer push a semi and 4 wagons along the road.
Being interviewed by Neale Stuart (The voice of the Outback)

As he was still suffering from the injury he sustained earlier in the week he decided to leg press the road train by putting his feet on the bull bar of a 4 wheel drive parked facing the semi.
                                                          He moved it about ½ a mitre. 
Not satisfied with 4 he added an extra 2 wagons to the push.

We got away as planned after an early, light lunch at the Matilda Centre with Phil and Rod who were leaving for home on Tuesday.  With about 100km of dirt road to cover I was a bit worried about dust getting in the van but that wasn’t the problem.  Just as we were coming down into a creek with very rough terrain the van jumped off the tow ball and hit the dirt.  We got across the bridge with it dragging in the dirt and pulled up with the driver of a vehicle following us coming to our assistance. A quality found mainly in the bush.  The trailer mate managed to lift the van back onto the beast and with a bit of straightening out of the catch we were on our way again.

A great couple of weeks but good to be home again.

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