Unusual Animal Races in New South Wales, Australia

in Australia

Australians regularly combine their love of sport with their thirst for betting with some wacky animal sporting races.

We’ve looked at the Camel Cup in Alice Springs and cane toad races in Queensland, but it seems New South Wales has the market cornered with three unusual animal races.

In the big smoke of Sydney they’ve got crab races. The Friend in Hand pub in the city’s inner-west holds the crustacean races every Wednesday night to help folks liven up their working week. For $5 you can buy a crab, give it an inspirational name, and see it face off against 30 other competitors. The atmosphere is rowdy and raucous, especially once the crowd enjoys a few cleansing ales.Australia map

The city is also famous for its greyhound races. They might not be as strange as the crab races, but these events are so popular that they’re worth a mention. Visit the newly revamped Wentworth Park Sporting Complex in the inner-city suburb of Glebe to see the doggies chasing the robotic hare every Monday and Saturday night. You don’t need to know anything about the sport to enjoy this evening out.

There’s plenty of time between races to catch up with mates and indulge in a quiet beer, and there’s nothing quite like the thrill of an unexpected win.

Sheep aren’t known for their speed, but the locals in the country town of Booligal in the Riverina district still turn out every October to see these animals race at the annual Booligal Cup. The event was originally conceived as a way to perk up the locals in the drought-stricken 1990s. Back then the sheep were only dressed up in colorful costumes, but in time sheep racing became part of the festivities. As sheep aren’t the smartest of creatures it can take some effort to encourage them to run in the right direction, but that’s all part of the fun of this quirky event.

These unusual animal events may never catch on as international pastimes, but they’re definitely worth experiencing when you’re holidaying in New South Wales.

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