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Quirky Events in Country and Outback NSW

Broken Heel Festival CREDIT: Destination NSW

Fireworks and entertainment during the Broken Heel Festival at the Palace Hotel, Broken Hill.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Quirky Events in
Country and Outback NSW

Broken Heel Festival CREDIT: Destination NSW

Fireworks and entertainment during the Broken Heel Festival at the Palace Hotel, Broken Hill.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

With mountains, rainforest, farmland, desert and a dramatic coast, it’s no surprise that New South Wales is home to people as diverse as its landscape, with an interesting collection of quirky interests and pastimes. Here are some of the fun events taking place across the state throughout the year. 

Broken Heel Festival, Broken Hill 

In September, the Broken Heel Festival parties its way around Broken Hill and Silverton in the NSW Outback. Over three outrageous days, disco divas and drag queens take to the stage to perform tributes to the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which was filmed at various locations in the area, as well as in Sydney. Glambassadors such as Philmah Bocks and Art Simone are joined by a parade of performers in a wild celebration of cabaret, comedy, opera and live music at the Palace Hotel in Broken Hill and the Silverton Hotel. While in the area, explore the Living Desert and Sculptures reserve with its sandstone sculptures, or go on a tour of Mutawintji National Park. 

Parkes Elvis Festival 

At Parkes, a five-hour drive from Sydney in Country NSW, fans of the King come to town for five days each January (the week of Elvis’s birthday) for the annual Parkes Elvis Festival. Events include the Elvis Express train journey from Sydney, parades, Elvis tribute competitions with more performances than you can shake a hip at, burlesque and 1950s make-up workshops, gospel concerts, vintage car displays and a whole lot of fun.  

Broken Heel Festival CREDIT: Destination NSW

Host Maude Boate entertaining guests aboard the Silver Stiletto train bound for the Broken Heel Festival.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Broken Heel Festival CREDIT: Destination NSW

Host Maude Boate entertaining guests aboard the Silver Stiletto train bound for the Broken Heel Festival.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Parkes Elvis Festival CREDIT: Destination NSW

Parkes Elvis Festival Parade

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Parkes Elvis Festival CREDIT: Destination NSW

Parkes Elvis Festival Parade

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Trundle Abba Festival  

In May, it’s usually the turn of Abba fans to take over a country town as they descend in long blonde wigs and sequined flares on Trundle, a 40-minute drive from Parkes, for the Trundle Abba Festival. (Note that the 2021 event has been cancelled.) The one-day appreciation of all things Abba features popular Australian Abba tribute band Bjorn Again. While in the area, check out the Parkes Observatory radio telescope, made famous in the movie The Dish, and visit the Peak Hill gold mine. 

Deni Ute Muster, Deniliquin 

A workhorse of Country and Outback NSW, the utility vehicle, or ‘ute’ is celebrated in unique style at the Deni Ute Muster in Deniliquin, a 7.5-hour drive from Sydney. Deniliquin claims to be Ute Capital of the World — it certainly looks that way over the October long weekend when this festival of utes and country and rock music takes place in a paddock outside of town. Around 20,000 people attend the event, and most will arrive in a ute to join in the muster. There are driving competitions, including one for best ‘circle work’ (for the driver who can turn the most circles in one minute), and a Show N Shine competition for the best presented ute, best classic ute and even the ute with most flags. After the muster, check out the majestic river red gums of the Murray Valley National Park wetlands, a 40-minute drive from Deniliquin. 

Sheep festivals 

At Booligal, an eight-hour drive from Sydney in Outback NSW, it’s sheep that draws the crowds. Held at the Booligal Cricket Ground in April, the Booligal Sheep Races begin with judging the best decorated sheep, before moving on to the serious business of the races. Visit nearby Lachlan Valley Nature Reserve to spot galahs, wedge-tailed eagles, kangaroos and emus.  

And in the pretty Hunter Valley town of Merriwa, a 3.5-hour drive north of Sydney, locals have been celebrating their merino sheep population with the Festival of the Fleeces in June since 1990. The weekend highlights include a working sheep dog displays and penning contests. A favourite event is the Running of the Sheep, when more than 200 sheep parade through town in little red socks. 

Deni Ute Muster, Deniliquin CREDIT: Zowie Crump

Ute competing in a Deni Ute Muster driving challenge in Deniliquin.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Deni Ute Muster, Deniliquin CREDIT: Zowie Crump

Ute competing in a Deni Ute Muster driving challenge in Deniliquin.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Windmill, Booligal CREDIT: Destination NSW

Windmill located in the Riverina town of Booligal.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Windmill, Booligal CREDIT: Destination NSW

Windmill located in the Riverina town of Booligal.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

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