Unusual Camel Cup is The Race That Stops Outback Australia

in Australia

Most of the time the residents of the Australian Outback are happy to enjoy life at a slower pace.

But every July the Northern Territory town of Alice Springs comes alive as it celebrates the annual Camel Cup.

While horses are obliging animals, camel jockeys are faced with a much tougher task. The beasts live up to their cantankerous reputations, which can result in some interesting antics. They might sit down on the track, or leave it altogether if the whim takes them! They’re also prone to spitting and biting their rivals, which only adds to the fun.

But once they get going, camels aren’t a bad way to get about. They can maintain a speed of 40 km/h for around an hour, and reach up to 65 kays when sprinting.

While the series of camel races are the main event, there’s more to lure spectators including market stalls and live entertainment. Some of the biggest crowd pleasers are rickshaw races, belly dancers, live music, and a uniquely central Australian take on “Fashions in the Field.”

The first Camel Cup was raced in 1970 when two locals raced camels down the dry Todd River as a bet. It drew quite a crowd of curious spectators who enjoyed the race so much it became a regular fixture on the Northern Territory calendar. This year the Camel Cup celebrates its 40th anniversary on July 10.

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