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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Sunny NQ Mareeba offers True Blue two week mix of icon Australian country action

This one really has a  kick, Mareeba Rodeo.
This one really has a kick,
Mareeba Rodeo.

Queensland's iconic Mareeba Rodeo and Festival, 65th Rodeo and seventh Annual Agricultural Show runs from June 28 to July 13. The Rodeo will be held on the July 12 and 13 at Kerribee Park Rodeo Grounds.

Last year about 13,000 people attend the two-day rodeo, including locals, national and international tourists.

This was an increase of 14 percent on the previous year and the growth is expected to continue.

There are over 350 competitors from all over Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and international competitors.

Top level competition and entertainment gives spectators plenty to watch over two days of full-on rodeo action from 7.30am each day. Events include bull ride, saddle bronc, steer wrestling, ladies and and junior events, Mazda Teams Relay, Interstate Rodeo Challenge Qld-v-NSW. There is a State of Origin Challenge between Queensland and New South Wales competitors. Teams compete in Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc, Steer Wrestling, Barrel Race and Breakaway Roping. Team members are matched against an opponent and that is the only person they have to beat to gain points for their team.

High octane bull power, Mareeba Rodeo.
High octane bull power, Mareeba Rodeo.

Time event competitors compete side by side. For example 2 barrel-racers or 2 steer-wrestlers at the same time so spectators can see who wins the match-up for their team. Points are awarded for each match-up.

The first Mareeba Rodeo was held in July 1949 affiliated with the Australian Rough Riders Association (ARRA). In 1949, in typical bush style, the Mareeba Rodeo pioneer committee used do-it-yourself, muscle, sweat and whatever was handy to get the show rolling.

This meant that the first secretary's office was a big marquee and some of the fencing was early model cars parked in a semi-circle.

The Festival runs for two weeks and covers a variety of functions and competitions including: Junior Cowpokes; Festival Queen Competition and Ball, Garden Competition; Western Dress and Foyer Competition; Horse Sports; Cutting; Indoor and Outdoor Bowls; Cycling; Golf; Speedway and Art Exhibition.

The fortnight culminates with the Downtown Parade and crowning of the Festival Queen on Friday night. Then it is the big weekend of the Rodeo and Agricultural Show which includes Woodchops and Stud Beef Exhibit.

Mareeba is on the Atherton Tablelands of North Queenland about 64 km from coastal Cairns. It is 417m above sea level.

The Mareeba District Rodeo Association Inc. is a not for profit organisation that provides the opportunity for the greater Mareeba District to celebrate all that makes the area unique.

The Festival and Rodeo allows local sporting bodies and community groups to fund raise.

All the best from the Bush, Mareeba Rodeo.
All the best from the Bush, Mareeba Rodeo.

The Rodeo Festival Queen Competition started in 1959 and is open to unmarried women aged 16-25 years who live in the (former) Mareeba Shire. Entrants are judged on rodeo knowledge, appearance, poise and personality.

The entrants, along with the Matrons of Honour, attend many functions during Festival Week. The announcement of the Queen, Princess and Most Popular Entrant is made after the Downtown Parade and is a widely anticipated part of the rodeo festivities.

The 2014 Mareeba Rodeo Festival starts on June 28 with the Junior Cowpokes Competition and Walkamin Country Music Club Concert.

The Parade of queen entrants, floats, horses and trade displays is held on the Friday night of the Rodeo weekend and usually attracts crowds of around 4000 people. The Parade starts at 7.45pm and completes two circuits of Byrnes Street. At the conclusion of the parade, the Rodeo Festival Queen is crowned at the main stage.

The following weekend is the Mareeba Rodeo Ball on Friday July 4 which kicks off a varied weekend of sports and activities which include Art Show, Bocce, Tennis, Indoor Bowls, Lawn Bowls, Golf, and Cutting.

Over the Rodeo weekend Kerribee Park Camping Grounds is free (fees apply at any other time), Campers pay the rodeo gate admission fee for the weekend.

The gate is manned from Thursday morning through to Sunday afternoon. Anyone coming in from Friday morning, until 7am Saturday must purchase a Weekend Pass. Weekend Passes include free camping and hot showers over the Rodeo Weekend, and free car parking inside the grounds.

Day passes are only available and valid from 7am on the day of arrival, and do not permit entrance to the camping area.

Weekend Family Passes are $80 for 2 adults and 2 children and are available for pre-purchase only from the Rodeo Office. Weekend Passes for pensioners and Seniors Card holders are $25. Child 6-17 years costs $10.

Beaut Ute, Mareeba Rodeo.
Beaut Ute, Mareeba Rodeo.

Kerribee Park Rodeo Grounds are open year round as a quiet camping ground for travellers and holiday makers (no permanent residents). From November to March the camping ground is also open to genuine seasonal workers.

The camping grounds offer:

Quiet, friendly atmosphere with room to move.

Wild kangaroos grazing around the park.

Over 100 powered sites.

Plenty of unpowered sites.

Gas hot showers.

Toilet/shower with disabled access.

Mobile phone reception.

Dump point (for residence only).


Pets are permitted.

Resident caretakers.

No bookings are taken for sites.

For the rest of the year Kerribee Park Rodeo Grounds is open as a quiet camping ground for travellers and holiday makers (no permanent residents). Costs are: Per camp per night, powered site, single $15. Unpowered site single $10. Powered site double $17. Unpowered site double $14.

Each additional person Powered and Unpowered sites $7. Children under five free.

There are caravan parks in Mareeba and surrounding areas.

As Mareeba is less than an hour from Cairns or Port Douglas, visitors have the option of finding accommodation in these areas and driving to the Rodeo Grounds on each day.

Mareeba Rodeo grounds.
Mareeba Rodeo grounds.

Mareeba Info Centre touring attraction in its own right

Mareeba Heritage Museum and Tourist Information Centre is an attraction in its own right. Sure travellers get their touring questions answered seven days a week, but there is a lot more to the centre at 345 Byrnes St, Centenary Park, Mareeba.

The Museum has 23 displays which include aboriginal culture, a unique motor rail ambulance, settlers hut with memorabilia from the regions history, turn of the century telephone exchange and a printing press.

The insights on show also include items from industry, dairy, tobacco, mining and communications. The biggest display, which went into place last year, covers the tobacco industry from 1930 to 2004.

There is also a historic railway carriage and blacksmiths shop in the backyard. This a comfortable North Queensland road touring experience which starts with plenty of parking space, leads to wide cool verandahs with wheelchair access and has the travel essential which is noted in surveys as a must have - clean toilets.

The township of Mareeba is an hours drive via the Kuranda Range road north west of Cairns. The drive passes through amazing landscape changes from the coastal rainforest regions to the savannah bush lands so typical to Australia.

From Mareeba the townships of Dimbulah and Chillagoe are about 45 minutes and two hours away respectively.

Chillagoe is renowned for its famous limestone caves and mining history. South from Mareeba through Atherton and Herberton the quiet country roads lead to Irvinebank.

At the turn of the century John Moffat controlled a vast mining operation, then equivalent to today's BHP-Billiton, from Irvinebank. Visitors can enter the private world of this legendary financier and tycoon and visit Loudoun House Museum.

The Mareeba Heritage Museum and Tourist Information Centre has the local knowledge to add to the experiences available to visitors. The centre is open from 8am to 4pm. 

Atherton Information Centre are can do people.

Atherton Information Centre find answers.
Atherton Information Centre find answers.

The Atherton Information Centre is a fully accredited member of the Queensland Information Centre Association. Located in the centre of the Atherton Tablelands, the Information Centre is positioned near attractions, tours and accommodation on the corner of Main and Silo Roads, Atherton.

The centre aims to effectively promote local businesses, encourage people to shop locally stay locally and enable them to find local employment.

The centre strives for excellence in all the services and information it provides.

The range of tourism services provided include:

Bookings – local, Cape York and Queensland accommodation, tours and attractions. Itinerary planning.

Tourism packs for individuals and also groups.

Re-location packs for newcomers moving to the area.

Road conditions from the RACQ.

Weather conditions from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Transportation info - bus timetable, taxi details, and bus tours.

Sporting information, venues and times.

Church Services - venues, times and directions.

Doctors, dentists and chemists information.

Fact sheets on local subjects for school children.

Arts and culture - details of art galleries and displays.

Walking and cycling clubs - meetings and areas.

Camping areas - National Parks, caravan parks and campgrounds.

Accommodation including camping, cabins, hotels, motels, bed & breakfast, and luxury destinations.

Maps- the centre has Hema maps covering all states of Australia plus UBD’s, and motoring books for 4WD and truck drivers. Bookings for all attractions and accommodation in and around the Atherton Tablelands, Cooktown, Daintree and Cape Tribulation.

Prices of all the major attractions, including Skyrail, the Kuranda Train, hot air ballooning, reef trip companies, horse riding, helicopter flights, microlight flights, scenic flights with light airplanes. Prices of Cape York, Daintree and Cape Tribulation tour companies.

The Atherton Information Centre is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm.

It is closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Unique de Brueys turn tropic fruit into fine wines

The Winery and Cellar Door of the the unique de Brueys Boutique Winery and Functions Venue, is located near Mareeba at their 15ha mango orchard on the Atherton Tablelands/Cairns Highlands, North Queensland. Bob and Elaine de Brueys moved to the property from Cairns in the late nineties and the first Cellar Door opened for business in July 2003.

Tropical fruit trees were planted to supply fruit for wines they planned including jaboticaba, lychee, mulberry and bush cherry (native Nth Qld fruit exclusive to de Brueys). Stage Two of the project started in 2005, with the excavation and construction of the underground wine cellar, followed by the new Cellar Door and Function Room.

Bob and Elaine say Mareeba, is an ideal centre in which to live and establish a winery because the area is renowned for its abundance and availability of tropical fruits. It is close to the international airport and tourist centre of Cairns (50 minutes drive by car). Mareeba's high elevation on the Tablelands to the west of Cairns (500m), results in low humidity and cooler days and nights.

de Brueys took out the Best Liqueur trophy with two of their liqueurs at the Australian Fruit Wine Awards with Best Liqeur for their Flagship Coffee Elixir and Tropical Temptation. Their fruit wines are also Aust Fruit Wine Award winners.

de Brueys Boutique Wines is on the Cairns side of Mareeba (2km from the main Highway, off Tinaroo Creek Road).

Driving to Mareeba from Cairns or Kuranda along the Kennedy Highway, turn left into Tinaroo Creek Road at the big shed just before entering Mareeba, then almost immediately right into Fichera Road, following the Boutique Winery signs.

Pioneer attitude drives NQ Golden Drop

Golden Drop Winery is the family owned and operated business of Charles Nastasi and wife Lucy, together with their sons, Sam and wife Jackie, Dino and wife Maria, daughter Grace, and sister Lena. In 1975 Charles Nastasi decided to diversify from tobacco and planted his first 3,600 mango trees near Mareeba on North Queensland's Atherton Tableland. His plantation now has more than 17,500 trees, which makes it one of the biggest mango plantation in Australia.

But when the fruit industry showed signs of instability Charles chose to diversify into producing commercially viable wine from mangoes. Some thought it could not be done. Making wine from mangoes is technically very different from producing grape wines and required a great deal of research and development.

In 1992 Charles and his two sons, Sam and Dino started researching wine making and established a winery on their Biboohra property, near Mareeba. Golden Pride Wineries successfully launched their first commercial wines a dry, a medium, and a sweet wine in early 1999.

At that time the winery was the first commercial Mango Winery in the world.

Tourists from all over the world now visit the winery daily. In addition to tropical mango wines, they enjoy Citrus Cellos, Mango Port, and Golden Mango liqueur style wine.

"Our aims were to produce a commercially viable wine from mangoes, and to develop a unique

100 percent solely owned and operated Australian tourism attraction and we have succeeded",

Charles Nastasi says.

Mareeba Rodeo sponsors plaque 2013
Mareeba Rodeo sponsors plaque 2013

Editors note: For the third year running GoSeeAustralia is among the major Mareeba event sponsors.

Weather: During the day the average Mareeba July temperature is 25.4°C (highest 34.9°C), but the temperature drops down to an average 11°C at night (lowest 0.7°C).

So take a hat and sunscreen for the day and a coat for the night. Cairns is a 65 kilometres drive to the east and Atherton is 30 kilometres to the south both via the Kennedy Hwy. Travelling north on the Peninsula Development Road, Port Douglas is about 95 kilometres by sealed road.

The Gulf Savannah Way runs 135 kilometres west to Chillagoe on mostly sealed roads.

For more information
contact: Garth Morrison
Editor Go See Australia and Go See New Zealand Directory
Hillbilly Deluxe, Mareeba Rodeo.
Hillbilly Deluxe, Mareeba Rodeo.
Looking over the edge, Mareeba Rodeo
Looking over the edge, Mareeba Rodeo
Riding for a fall, Mareeba Rodeo
Riding for a fall, Mareeba Rodeo
Who is throwing who, Mareeba Rodeo
Who is throwing who, Mareeba Rodeo

Mareeba Rodeo and Festival

Don't miss our Rodeo and Festival.
Starts 28th June till 13th July.
Visit our website for further information

Mareeba Rodeo and Festival
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de Brueys Boutique Winery & Function Venue

Visit our Cellar Door and sample our world class Fruit Wine, Port and Liqueurs
Delivery Australia Wide

de Brueys Boutique Winery & Function Venue
Email Us
Our Website

Golden Pride Winery - Golden Drop Wines
Golden Pride Winery - Golden Drop Wines

sample our lovely Mango Wines,
Citrus Cellos,
Mango Port, & Golden Mango liqueur style wine
Delivery Australia wide!

Email Us
Our Website

Mareeba Heritage Museum & Visitor Information Centre
Mareeba Heritage Museum & Visitor Information Centre

See the displays  housed in a Heritage Style Museum which includes a shop selling souvenirs & art and crafts.

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