We are Nutbush Record Holders!

We’ve briefly mentioned this, and those who follow our social media pages would have seen photos, but this year we participated in the Nutbush World Record Attempt.

We got so many messages and were tagged in many posts about it being on the news back home too, so you may have even seen us on there!

Both of us, and Jacquie, all went in it, but Duck was recording his radio show so missed out (that worked out well for him, can’t say he was disappointed in missing it 😂)

The previous record was 2,878 and we smashed it with 4,084 dancers!!

We all lined up in rows (we were in row 4) on the arena and danced for a full 5 1/2 minutes to Tina Turner’s hit Nutbush City Limits. You don’t realise how long that song is until you need to dance the whole time!

WE ARE RECORD HOLDERS!

All funds from the $15 per person entry fee goes straight to the Royal Flying Doctor Service. This year you could also pay double to guarantee a spot in the first row. Just this event alone raised $65,000 for them.

Our days at the Big Red Bash

Whilst the concerts don’t generally start until around 12 or 1pm each day, there is still plenty to do. And this event isn’t just about music, it also raises alot of money for the Royal Flying Doctors Service. Entry into the drag race and nutbush alone raise a significant amount of money for this amazing and much needed organisation. We hope we will never require their assistance, but we do regularly donate and take comfort in the knowledge that they will be there to help if ever needed in our remote travels.

The Bashville Drags are hilarious, men (and some woman and kids) dress up in drag and funny costumes and run down big red and through the campground, before parading on stage where the winners are picked. It really is a sight to see, you’ll never see so many men fondling their boobies 😛

Each year there is a Nutbush World Record attempt which we entered this year. George was far from excited about this, but it’s all for a good cause and we all ended up having a bit of fun. Doing the nutbush for 5 1/2 min is hard work!

Whilst there was a lot of sitting back and people watching at camp, we also took a few walks around Bashville checking out the vendors and food trucks. Ran into Adele from Caravanning With Kids, who we’ve been dealing with for years so was nice to finally meet her in person. We also went for a wander round the camp ground on a Recon R2 hunting expedition! We ended up finding a few, we just wanted to see if we could chat with current owners to get the real life comments on the camper we are buying. Nothing like first hand experience.

With our media passes we were able to get backstage so that was exciting to see the concert and crowd from a different perspective.

Of course climbing Big Red is a highlight for a lot of people. We went up to watch the sunset, but plenty of people were up there for sunrise each day. There was morning yoga up there each day and throughout the day there was volleyball and sand boarding. A couple even got married up there on one of the first days!

The Australian Book of Records were right next to us and over the course of the event they had people beating records, one young girl in particular who hoola hooped nonstop for 1 hour, 31 min.

Other activities available included camel rides and helicopter flights, both of which were very popular.

Betoota and beyond

Our stay at the Betoota Pub was great, camped out the back with the most amazing outback sunset that was constantly changing, the colours were like nothing you see in the city.

None of us had been to the pub before and whilst we are glad we visited, we didn’t even step foot inside! The line was so long with people wanting to get inside that we took our photos and had a look around outside, but will visit again down the track when it’s not so busy.

The town of Betoota has a population of zero and the pub is literally the only thing in town! This hotel ran for 44 years before shutting it in 1997 and becoming derelict. Someone took on the big job of cleaning and refurbishing the hotel and it reopened again over 20 years later in 2020.

So we walked back to camp and spent the night by the fire and the amazing sunset and night sky. This was our last night camping with Steve from MDC as he will be camping with the MDC Owners Group once we head to the bash. For this last night we also met and were joined by Vaughan, the owner of MDC Campers & Caravans. It was a great night all round.

It was an early pack up in the dark (and cold!) the next morning for the drive to Birdsville. Love the early morning, watching the sun rise as we drove along, no-one on the roads, except for hundreds of birds soaring above. This really is the life.

We arrived in Birdsville around 9am, went straight to fuel up with only 2 vehicles in front of us. We later spoke to people who arrived later in the day and were lined up over the bridge on the approach to Birdsville and waited over 2 hours for fuel … and the diesel eventually ran out too! Well worth getting up at 6am!

Duck went and grabbed our passes for us and we headed off to Bashville – about 35km or so from Birdsville. It did take us quite a while to get in, probably about 2.5 hours in total, but it’s a huge job to get this many people in and set up so we weren’t complaining.

Camping fun in outback QLD

After a night camped at Eulo we left to start the drive to Windorah, our home for the night.

An easy drive of about 500 km on mainly sealed roads, but the landscape is so green. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen it so green out here. Areas that were bone dry and rich red dirt during our last trip out this way are now covered in differing colours of green grasses and shrubs.

Plenty more traffic heading our way today too and everyone you speak to is heading to the bash. Every conversation starts with ‘where you headed?’ or ‘off to the bash?’

Arrived in Windorah late yesterday afternoon and headed straight to fuel up. With one fuel station in this small town, and being a major thoroughfare for a lot of the 10,000 people making their way to the bash, you can imagine the lines and wait times! Luckily we are early and didn’t need to wait too long.

We had intended on camping behind the servo as Duck knows the owner, but their pet donkey wouldn’t let us in the gate! It was hilarious watching it all unfold and we weren’t sure if he was friendly and just wanted play, whether he wanted to escape or whether he wanted to kill us 😂, plus, once we got through that gate we had a horse to deal with at the next one! There was an evil looking cow also eying us off, so guard donkey got his way and we decided to move on!

So we headed off back out of town to free camp on the banks of the Cooper Creek, but after a little rain yesterday that wasn’t an appealing site at all, so back to a rest area we headed which was on mainly gravel and far less muddy!

Ended up being a great night, even the small amount of rain didn’t worry us.

Today we are off to Betoota to camp at the pub. None of us have been before so are looking forward to checking out the iconic pub. The pub is literally the only thing in town!

Quick side note … it pays to check fuel prices as we filled up yesterday in Thargomindah at 21 cents a litre cheaper than the others! FuelCharge app is a lifesaver with outback travel.

Bound for the bash

So it’s finally arrived and we are off to the Big Red Bash! An early start to day as we headed out to North Richmond to meet the first of our travelling companions for the next week or so, then off over the mountain to meet another just out of Lithgow.

That first night we pulled in to the little pub in Byrock called the Mulga Creek Pub and camped out the back. Of course you can’t stay at a great country pub without having a beer or two, so we headed over for dinner and drinks. Great food, great service, friendly staff and locals and a great little pub all round.

Day two we continued our journey towards Birdsville, via the Dowling Track, an easy 4WD track. We had a quick lunch stop at Hungerford and a quick visit to the Royal Mail Hotel. This pub was established in 1875 and is the last remaining pub used by Cobb & Co as a staging point enroute from Bourke to Thargomindah.

Ended up in Eulo where we decided to stay the night in a nice little free camp by the river. Quite busy with travellers, but still plenty of space around. Beautiful sky at sunset, we love our outback sunsets and can’t wait for the next week where they will hopefully just keep getting better.

This was also the day that George made his radio debut! He’d been so nervous about it for days, but he didn’t need to worry, he did great! All recorded from our camp on the river in front of the camp fire.

Stay tuned for more on this soon where we will share a link to his segment on The Camping & Off Road Radio Show so you can listen on replay!

We arrive at Bashville

The area where the concert is held is on a privately owned organic cattle farm which gets converted into ‘Bashville’, a mini pop up village in the middle of the desert. The workers build everything from scratch on site, including the stage, toilets and even road markings, laneways and campsites.

This year we are camped right on The Plaza with direct view of the stage, no need to even leave camp to watch the concerts. Couldn’t have a better campsite and friends to share it with. Pays to know the right people!

We arrived two days before the concert started so had plenty of time to settle in, buy our merchandise and check out the stall holders before the actual concerts started.

We are camped next to one of the food vendors and have all visited a few times already trying out their food, nice people, yummy food and very conveniently located!

It already feels like we’ve been away from home for a month, doesn’t take long to relax once you hit the outback. Our days are spent wandering around the bash site, chatting with people, sitting and back and drinking beer by the fire … what more could you want!

We’ve had plenty of people visiting, including Greg Donovan, the owner of the event. What a great guy he is, and when you hear the story of how this all came about, it’s quite interesting.

The Redarc guys have been around helping with a few charging issues, a few of the MDC Owners Group came to visit and lots of fans who listen to The Duck on the radio or podcast, everyone is so friendly and great to talk to.

There are 3 days of concerts which generally run from about 1-8pm each day. Mornings are filled with different activities run by the event, or you can simply relax and do your own thing. Around our camp Duck was working on a podcast interviewing Jimmy Barnes, and Shelly also did her first interview, link will follow at some point!

The first of the concert days started yesterday with 7 different artists performing, finishing with Jon Stevens, he was awesome. Cannot wait for the next few days.