Gold Coast Explorer since Jan 2010. Always on the lookout for fun, family things to enjoy with my four kids.
Published May 10th 2014
Race day is a great day
Some of the best days out are often the impromptu. Our trip to Murwillumbah races was no exception. The invitation to the races was readily accepted, it was one of those "Let's do it" moments, when a racehorse owning friend mentioned her horse was running. The drive to the course, from the Gold Coast, is only about 45 mins. Shortly after crossing the border into NSW, the countryside changes, with lush green farmland and fields of sugarcane. Combined with the lazy flow of the River Tweed next to the road, makes for a scenic drive south.
The Murwillumbah race venue is a country course, offering quite a different experience compared with the glitz and glamour of the Magic Millions racing scene on the Gold Coast. The Murwillumbah course, located 3kms out of town, is home to the Tweed River Jockey Club. The setting is stunning, as Mount Warning (the highest most easterly peak in Australia) forms a majestic backdrop. The experience is true country racing. It's not a large venue (track circumference is 1600m), so it's easy to watch the activity in the saddling enclosure, place your bet and be back at the rails for the race. You can't enter the stable area but can watch all the pre and post race activity, in addition to enjoying the action of the race itself. It's thrilling, fast and the horses are stunning. The jockeys are slight and small, colourful in their vibrant silks. Their tiny saddles seem so inadequate for balance and control at speed.
Cheering for our horse was very exciting, as the horses thundered down the home straight. We were rewarded with a convincing win as horse and jockey flew over the finish line, well ahead of the rest of the field. The day just got better as we sipped champagne and collected our winnings.
The Tweed River Jockey Club has 11 race meetings annually. The feature event of the year, which attracts out of towners, in addition to the support of the local community, is the Murwillumbah Cup, hosted on the last Sunday of June. Another big event at the racecourse is the Melbourne Cup Day, which is the first Tuesday in November. The venue offers picnic areas as well as trackside dinning and makes for a fun family day out. Click here for more info.
Put "Go to the races" on your bucket list, take a country drive to Murwillumbah and enjoy a great family friendly day at the races. It's a day well spent.
What's next - Kentucky Derby, Royal Ascot or the Grand National….?
Directions: Take the Murwillumbah turn-off from the Pacific Motorway. Just past the Condong Sugar Mill, look out for a small 'Racecourse' sign - turn right here and drive through the canefields for a couple of kilometers and turn right again into Racecourse Road. Be aware, if you are a visitor to the area, that the time may be different between New South Wales & Queensland, depending on the time of year.