Camel Cup, Alice Springs, Northern Territory


The outback's answer to the Melbourne Cup. Every year at Alice Springs locals and tourists come together to witness the annual Camel Cup. This long-running tradition - a fundraiser for the Lions Club - began in 1970 after a pub bet, but proved so popular the charity decided to hold it on an annual basis. In 2004 the race became a bit more official when the government of Afghanistan announced it will sponsor the cup - in recognition of the contribution of early Afghans to the development of the Australian outback. Also they will send their ambassador to Australia and New Zealand, Mahmoud Saikal, to present a trophy to the winner of the race. Afghan cameleers were crucial in major exploration and settling of the remote regins of Australia between 1860 and 1930. The 34th annual Camel Cup carnival will was held at Alice Springs' Blatherskite Park with 30 camels fighting it out in nine races.

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