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Friday, September 20, 2013

Revellers Flock to Jundah for Beer and Bratwurst Bush-style

Thousands of litres of German beer, tonnes of German sausage, and a troupe of traditional oompah-pah musicians are on their way to remote western Queensland for a unique Oktoberfest with a growing international following.

Jundah’s population is about to swell from less than 100 to well over 500 for the 3-day 2013 Jundah Outback Oktoberfest from Friday October 4 to Sunday October 6.

538900What started as a one-night charity function at the Jundah Hotel in 2010 has grown into a major annual 3-day celebration recognised as one of Queensland’s top events.

“Birdville is famous for its races, but Jundah now has its Oktoberfest,” says local publican Shane Rayment.

“It had attracted international media attention and is getting bigger every year.

“We might be 1,200 kilometres from Brisbane and 12,000 kilometres from Germany, but we’ve had plenty of German visitors say they’ve had more fun at the Jundah Oktoberfest than anywhere.”

The Jundah Outback Oktoberfest is now held in conjunction with the town’s annual race meeting, recalling the origins of Oktoberfest in Bavaria where horse races were held in the presence of the royal family.

But this Outback version takes the theme even further, adding some unique Aussie flavor in the form of the Woolly Caulfield Cup sheep races.

This year also sees the return of the popular 2012 attraction, the Push Pull & Pedal Billy Cart Bash, with billy cart races for all ages.

“Every year we double the amount of beer and bratwurst ordered,” Shane said.
“The crowd just love the authentic atmosphere provided by the large contingent of German backpackers who come to work in the pub.  They wear traditional costume and really get into the spirit things.

“We attract a big crowd of locals from miles around, lots of Outback travellers and even German tourists who’ve heard about our Oktoberfest in the middle of nowhere.”

The Jundah Outback Oktoberfest, billed as the world’s most remote Oktoberfest, began as part of the Angel Flight Outback Trailblazer fundraising rally.

Now in its fourth year and bigger than the organisers could ever have anticipated, it still raises valuable funds for Angel Flight, which provides free non-emergency flights for needy patients travelling to and from medical appointments anywhere in Australia.

Oompah-pah entertainment will be provided by Queensland’s much-loved Bavarian music showband, EuroBand, and guests will enjoy imported German food and beverages, games, dances, colourful costumes, street stalls, and all the racing action.

Accommodation options range from campsites along the Thompson River and powered sites at the Jundah Caravan Park to rooms at the Jundah Hotel.

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The Expeditionist

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