Kulin Bush Races
What To Expect
Wednesday to Friday
The camp site opens on Wednesday prior to the races, with many visitors arriving early to gain a desirable camping spot. While the Bush Races volunteers are busy preparing for race day, visitors are able to take a walk in the bush and explore the local tourist attractions including Jilakin Rock and Jilakin Lake. Many make a day trip to Kulin and/or surrounding towns, which enables visitors to appreciate the unique qualities of the agricultural areas.
If you are in Kulin from Wednesday to Friday morning, visit some of the local attractions: Butler’s Garage and Museum, Kulin Gallery Girls, Kulin Community Arts Council and the Kulin Community Hall, which encompasses a display by the Kulin Quilters. Visitors are encouraged to check out local shopping and support local businesses.
Friday evening has become popular with our guests, with bands, entertainment, home prepared cuisine and great bar facilities, open from 3pm – 11pm.
For the young ones, an underage disco is closely supervised to provide a safe and fun environment to rock the evening away.
An important interruption to the evening is the famous ‘Mini Tin Horse Race’ with all proceeds being donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
morning wakeup call
As the sun rises over Jilakin Lake, the ‘Last Post’, echoes around the packed campground. A group of Vietnam Veterans conduct a moving service at Camp Hart located east of the main camping ground. The commemorative service is a reminder of the human sacrifice made to afford us the freedom we are blessed with today.
The memorial service is followed by complimentary tea and toast, supplied by Kulin Bush Races.
The Saturday events begin
The weekend horse events commence with either gymkhana and/or barrel racing. This remains an optional event depending on nominations. Each year, the program is revisited, and a decision made to compliment the weekends’ program.
During the morning, entertainment commences with food venues open and coffee available, creating a carnival atmosphere. The excitement ramps up with activities for the children, which usually includes: climbing wall, laser tag, McDonald’s farm animals, Kids Tent activities, bouncy castles, and many other adventurous events for children of all ages.
The crowd continues to swell as people stream in from the camping area to witness the opening parade, usually a combination of farm machinery, both new and old.
The scene is set for an afternoon of horse racing, with patrons lining up to place a bet, bidding to buy a horse in the ever -popular Calcutta. The crowd lines the fence to witness the excitement generated by eight massive horses pounding their way to the finish line.
Other guests are content to sit back in the comfort of the Marquee Bar quietly sipping a bubbly or a beer, enjoying the cuisine and having a casual chat. Kulin Bush Races offers a casual and friendly atmosphere for everyone.
Between horse races, the non stop events include: sheep races, tug of war, hobby horse races and other fun events. Following the final horse race, a very entertaining dog race is run, usually with greyhounds and local pet dogs of various breeds. Prior to race day, the owners have a trial run with their dogs, however the owners are more competitive than their dogs. The novelty race is always a hit with the crowd.
As the dust settles after the dog race, the cry goes up “Heads or Tails” and the throng gathers around the two-up ring. The noise deafening and the laughter infectious as the pennies fly.
Night comes alive
The sun now gone, the marquee is a hive of activity; music, food, beverages and dancing. The main bar is humming; the fire is lit, and one of the three evening bands break the silence, which certainly attracts the crowd’s attention as they race to the ‘Mosh Pit’. With an encore, the first of the fireworks explodes into life. Twenty minutes of intense light and sound, keeps the audience in stunned silence, followed by an eruption of applause to match the fireworks grand finale.
With hardly a pause, the second band fires up to entertain the crowd, everyone dancing to the music that echoes around the racetrack. Then the third band takes over to provide the final entertainment of the evening. The Bush Races atmosphere is highly charged with everyone having a great time as they dance the night away.
The call is made for “last drinks” as the bar closes. In less than six hours, Kulin Bush Races will host the Great Aussie Revival breakfast. The stragglers slowly drift to the camping ground, while volunteers work on a quick clean-up ready for the morning.
Great Aussie Revival Breakfast
The work crew assemble at daybreak; cleaning debris from the marquee and preparing the Great Aussie Revival Breakfast which commences at 6.30am.
Following a hearty breakfast, patrons wander back to their campsites to pack up and make ready for their trip home. The volunteers continue with the clean-up, disassembling the marquee and packing up the equipment. On reflection, Kulin Bush Races is another great week in the bush with many visitors satisfied with fabulous country hospitality following an amazing event.