I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
All Hail The Humble Ute
The Deni Ute Muster started in 1999, the result of an idea aiming to get visitors to a rural themed festival in Deniliquin during an otherwise quiet time of the year.
That idea developed into the Deni Play on the Plains Festival, incorporating the Deni World Record Ute Muster.
A lovingly restored Holden FE Ute. Photo: GTO/Wikimedia Commons
Organisers hoped for a turnout of between 500 and 1000 utes. In fact, 2839 turned up and took the Guinness Book of Records title for the largest parade of legally registered utes in the world. A world record which still stands to this day.
Today the event attracts around 25,000 visitors of all ages to Deniliquin, still celebrating that great Aussie icon, the humble ute.
The heart and soul of the Deni Ute Muster is the attempted Guinness World Record breaking Ute and blue singlet count but the festival also presents two huge evening concerts plus a day-stage featuring a veritable who's-who of country music. Headed by Keith Urban, the line-up includes James Reyne, Adam Brand & The Outlaws, John Williamson, Troy Cassar-Daley, Shannon Noll plus a long list of slightly lesser known talent.
The 'SS' has always been a much sought after variant of any Holden vehicle. Photo: Jeremy/Wikimedia Commons
A range of events will be conducted over the weekend including The GME Australian National Circuit Work Championships, the Coates Hire Show & Shine, a Bull Ride Spectacular and the AWPA NSW Whip Cracking Championships. Check out the website www.deniutemuster.com.au for a comprehensive list of what's-on.
This year there'll be 3 separate on-site camping areas. The ute paddock – strictly utes only, Non-ute camping and the Family Camping area where noise restrictions will apply.
Alternatively you can RENT-A-TENT onsite or see the website for a range of alternative, local accommodation options.
A classic EH Holden Ute - not quite the same vehicle that left the GMH production line circa 1964. Photo: Adam.J.W.K/Wikimedia Commons
General Admission tickets are on sale now and cost Adults $249, Junior General Admission (Ages 13 to 18) $125 and Under 13 Free if accompanied by an adult. All General Admission tickets include on-site camping.
You don't have to know what 'circuit work' is, it doesn't matter if you've never cracked a whip or worn a blue singlet. You don't even have to own a ute, but if there's just an ounce of true-blue Aussie blood in you, come September you must head for Deniliquin and this iconic event.
Getting There Deniliquin is 300 kilometres, around a 4-hour drive north of Melbourne via the Hume Freeway/National Highway 31 then the Northern Highway/B75 passing through Kilmore, Heathcote, Elmore, Rochester and Echuca.
1926 Ford Model T - now that's a Ute. Photo: DRDornbusch/Wikimedia Commons
Cost:General Admission tickets are on sale now and cost Adults $249, Junior General Admission (Ages 13 to 18) $125 and Under 13 Free if accompanied by an adult. All General Admission tickets include on-site camping.