Festival Date: 30th April – 2nd May 2010
Daly Waters is a small Northern Territory town. Within the Jingili people’s traditional lands, it was later discovered by Europeans on their way north as they navigated through the red centre from the south coast, and settled because of its proximity to fresh water.
The town is the location of Australia’s first International Airport, where planes would stop to refuel before heading on to Singapore. It’s also the site of the Northern Territory’s oldest pub, a popular stopping point for travellers going north from Alice Springs to Darwin, or south from Darwin to Alice Springs.
And once a year Daly Waters comes to life with the arrival of the annual “Daly Waters Campdraft, Rodeo and Gymkhana” – a real outback experience!
Over the three days, there’s a variety of outback, adrenalin pumping rodeo events to check out… as well as some that you can join in on. Here’s a beginners guide to some of the events on show.
This is the original Aussie Rules. A sport unique to Australia, a horse rider must separate a bovine out from a small herd in a defined area. The rider then must block the animal two or three times so that the judge can see that the rider has the bovine under control. The rider must then navigate the animal through two pegs and out a gate… all within 40 seconds!
A rodeo event that’s particularly for the girls. The rider takes their horse into the arena, and rides it in the shape of a shamrock. The “leafs” of the shamrock are market out by barrels – hence the name. Once the rider has looped around the three barrels and then exits the arena, the event is complete. It’s a time based competition, fastest rider wins… and only one rider at a time of course.
Bronc and bull riding
Perhaps an event that epitomises the rodeo – jump on to a furious bucking bronc (horse) or bull, and stay on until you get thrown off. The idea is to keep only one hand on the horse or bull for at least 8 seconds, if your other hand touches the animal within that time, you’re disqualified. Not for the feint hearted.
Anyone willing to give the barrel race, the bronc ride or bull ride a go, just enter upon arrival
Night time entertainment
Live music will play on the evening of the 1st of May and will be well worth stickin’ about for. Of course, food and beverages will be available throughout the festivities! Yee haw!
GETTING TO DALY WATERS
Daly Waters is a good days drive from Darwin (approximately 7 hours). Just head south out of Darwin toward the Stuart Highway. If you’re going to take a couple of days to cruise about the region, the Kakadu National Park is en route. Turn off on State Highway 36, or 21 heading east. Otherwise, just follow the Stuart Highway all the way and turn west on to Daly Waters Kalala Road. It’s a pretty small town, so you’ll be able to locate the rodeo grounds easily.
WHERE TO STAY IN DALY WATERS
Daly Waters Pub
The Historic Daly Waters Pub
This historic pub has a variety of accommodation options – and a fantastic place to duck in and quench your thirst or grab a bite to eat. This event is a popular one, so you may struggle to get a accommodation here during the rodeo (that’s the benefit of having a campervan!)
Address: Stuart St, Daly Waters
OTHER EVENTS IN DALY WATERS
ANZAC Day Dawn Service – ANZAC Day is the formal memorial holiday of respect in Australia and New Zealand to mark the sacrifices of the armed forces during various military combats. The date is 25 April, which marks a battle in Gallipoli, Turkey in 1915 where a large number of Australian and New Zealand personnel perished.
The Royal Australian Air Force will conduct the dawn service on the day – they have a base in Daly Waters. The Daly Waters Pub will offer a free breakfast with a rum. There’s also an opportunity to try your hand at “two up” an Australian military gambling game reserved for ANZAC Day. It involves flipping two coins and betting on whether they will turn up two heads, two tails or one of each.
COMMENT & WIN
If you’ve been to rodeo before, tell us about your experience in the comments section below and go in to win a beach towel
NEXT WEEKS BLOG…
Keep your eyes peeled next Thursday’s BLOG, 1 April, 2010, where we’ll be profiling Tasting Australia, Adelaide.
Over & out
Ricki & the Backpacker crew