Thousands of visitors answered the call from the tiny town of Julia Creek in Outback Queensland to participate in the 2023 Julia Creek DirtNDust Festival, staged 21st to 23rdApril, a short 1,628 km from their nearest capital city of Brisbane.

“We’re so excited with the number of visitors who answered our call to join in the fun of this year’s festival,” said Festival President, Sheree Pratt of Julia Creek. “We’re estimating a crowd of some 3,000 people, but will release official figures when we have time to crunch the numbers.  It’s pretty amazing for our town of less than 500 people.”

Competitors in the South 32 DnD Adventure Run

“With all our accommodation booked out, we even brought in glamping tents to the festival this year, plus camping onsite between the festival grounds and racetrack” explains Sheree.

“There were literally hundreds of competitors from social and serious runners in the South 32 Adventure Run to cowboys who competed in the DirtNDust Rodeo with junior competitors in The Julia Creek Hotel Mini Bull Juniors 9 – 12 years, and The Copper String 2.0 Mini Bulls 13-15 year competitions to the elite rodeo riders who competed in the QEM Open Saddle Bronc and Multicom Bull Ride, many travelling from across Queensland and the East Coast of Australia to compete, not to mention the visitors donning their best dressed at the Artesian Express Horse Race at the Julia Creek Turf Club.”

DirtnDust Rodeo
Multicom Resources Artesian Express Races

“Although only a small part of the festival, but one of the absolute funniest events of the festival would have to be Australia’s Best Butt competition. Literally anyone can compete, and we had heats on the Friday night with the crowing of Australia’s Best Butt on the Saturday night.  It’s all in good fun” chuckles Sheree. 

The winners of the illustrious title of the 2023 Australian Best Butt winners are Mollie Graham and Viddy Pahee, both from Mount Isa.

“The South 32 Adventure Run this year attracted a record crowd of nearly 200 runners, doubling in the number of runners we had last year in 2022.”

2023 Australian Best Butt winners are Mollie Graham and Viddy Pahee, both from Mount Isa.

The Australian Best Butts Competition MC, Justin Vardy explains,” The competitors join me on the stage and it’s the crowds’ cheers who determine the winners of Australia’s Best Butt Competition.”


750+ burgers, 5,000+ beers are expected to be sold, 60 rodeo cowboys, 60+ runners, with a bonus 98 flies and 100g of mud per visitor!


Australia’s Best Butt Origins

It all started when a power outage happened during a live Mental As Anything set at the Julia Creek DirtNDust Festival. Instead of panic, someone had the bright idea of grabbing a torch and starting a dance competition… and so began one of the toughest events over the DirtNDust weekend – Australia’s Best Butt!

Julia Creek DirtNDust Festival origin dates back twenty-eight years ago to 1994 and began, like all good outback tales, at the bar in the Julia Creek Town and Country Club. A conversation was held between locals as to how they could get Julia Creek on the map and bring the community together. The group decided on an event that would incorporate the harsh outback surroundings, during a time that visitors didn’t traditionally visit Outback Queensland. Today the program includes a rodeo, adventure run, horse racing, live concerts under the stars, and an ever expanding camp ground.


Get the full lowdown

The Dirt n Dust Festival is staged in the rural town of Julia Creek, 646 kilometres west ofTownsville along the Overlanders Way, and an adventurous seventeen and a half hour road trip  (1,628km) north west of Brisbane. 

The Julia Creek Dirt N Dust Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.


Photographer Credit – Matt Williams

Photographer Credit – Jo Thieme


Festival President, Sheree Pratt  M 0427 421 959

Media Support Krista Hauritz E M 0421 148 098

Cameraman & news footage, Pete Murray