I headed North on a prospecting trip from Kalgoorlie to the Pilbra leaving the cold winter months behind and looking forward to the winter weather that those living above the tropic of Capricorn enjoy so much. Nights of 15-20 degrees and clear sunny days of 25-30 with very little wind is just perfect.
I arrived at Marble Bar a week prior to the races to find some gold and help pay for the trip, it was quite different country from the southern goldfields but I still managed to find gold close by town on leases held by the the town for prospectors travelling through the region.
The service station which is also the general store, the grocery store and the Post Office is opposite the Iron Clad Hotel and these two buildings pretty well make up what could be called the CBD of Marble Bar.
The Mines Department, the Police Station and a coffee shop are situated nearby in a heritage listed stone building and a few streets away the flashiest public toilets you could imagine that plays music and operates more like a space ship is the spot all travelers visit in Marble Bar.
I headed out to the races a day early to find a camp and was surprised to see so many already there set up for the weekend. Visitors continued to arrive all afternoon and during the night then next morning hundreds more so the camp areas were full and late arrivals found camps further into the spinifex beyond the graded areas.
Visitors from all over Australia along with local station people and miners from Newman, Portheadland and Nullagine were primed up ready for a big weekend. Their camps varied considerably from swags rolled on the ground to every possible camper trailer version to small vans and then those who like to have the flashiest caravans and tow vehicles available soon joined parties around fires and got the weekend off to a flying start with plenty of grog to loosen up with.
Race day arrived and the girls found their special race outfits including high heels whereas the males dress code looked far more relaxing although some must have been given instruction that shorts and thongs were not in order for this occasion.
A huge line up for bar tickets and then another for the bar lasted until their the third race when finally the the punters initial thirst was quenched. The betting ring was full with money money changing hands between punters and bookmakers and the food stalls were flat out as two thousand people all tried to do the same thing at the same time.
Good racing, with plenty of grog and food ensured the outback event was a roaring success and the evening entertainment of a two-up ring, a band and the bar kept the public busy well into the night.
If you enjoy getting away from it all then the Marble Bar Races is a great spot to start and the region has plenty more interesting places to visit.
Until next time.
Steve and Sass.