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Born to Run

24 to 29 June 2017 


Getting There

Birdsville is located in the heart of Australia, on the edge of the famous Simpson desert. It is not a leisurely 2-3 hours drive from the capital city, but that's the beauty… It is in the middle of bloody nowhere!

Transport Options

We know that you may find getting to Birdsville a little bit daunting if you have never been before, but there are a number of travel options available to those coming to Big Red Run.

It’s a long way to go, but the road trip (if this is how you choose to travel) is all part of the adventure!

Let’s just run through your main transport options below.

1. By Car

Drive your own

Birdsville is around 1,900 km from Sydney (allow 2.5 days drive), 1,600 km from Brisbane (allow 2 days drive) and 1,200 km from Adelaide (allow 1.5 days drive). It is accessible by 2WD, however if you want to venture into the desert itself at some stage you will require a 4WD vehicle. Most people coming to Birdsville usually do so in a 4wd.

So, you can make a bee line to Birdsville or alternatively you can take your time and do some outback touring and sightseeing on the way!

Car Pooling

If any competitors or spectators are intending to drive to the event, and have a spare seat or two they may wish to offer to offer this to another competitor to help split the cost of petrol. Event organisers will establish a dedicated Facebook group for participants to connect prior to the event, and this is a great way to arrange car pooling.

4 WD Hire

If you don't have your own 4WD, you might consider hiring one. This is a fun way to explore the desert and take you further than a regular 2WD.

2. By Bus

For those who don't fancy the long drive themselves, this is an option for you to consider.

A charter bus from Adelaide is an option available to take people to and from Big Red Run and Little Red Run. The bus option ensures you arrive in Birdsville the afternoon of Thursday 22nd June. There will be time to relax and explore the town, before registrations and briefings take place on Friday 23rd June. There is limited capacity on the bus, so passengers should book early to avoid disappointment. 

The return bus trip is $550 and includes 2 nights shared accommodation at Marree Hotel. A $200 non refundable deposit is required upon booking, the balance of $350 is due 6 weeks prior to departure. 

The bus itinerary is as follows:

Wednesday 21st June 2017

  • Depart Adelaide Bus Terminal (Franklin Street, Adelaide) 7.30am
  • Travel Adelaide to Marree 
  • Overnight at Marree Hotel 
Thursday 22nd June 2017
  • Travel Marree to Birdsville, arriving in Birdsville mid to late afternoon
Friday 30th June 2017
  • Depart Birdsville approx 8.00am.
  • Travel Birdsville to Marree
  • Overnight at Marree Hotel
Saturday 1st July 2017
  • Travel Marree to Adelaide
  • Arrive in Adelaide approx 2pm. Drop offs will be made at both Adelaide Bus Terminal on Franklin Street, and Adelaide Domestic Terminal
Please note that if the Birdsville Track is closed, the bus will need to make a diversion, adding significant kms to the journey. This will mean a 24hr trip (travelling through the night), to ensure the bus arrives in Birdsville in time for the event. This is unlikely, but a possibility that passengers should be aware of. 

3. By Plane


The only commercial flights into Birdsville are on the REX Airlines flights that service remote outback Queensland townships. The airplanes that service these towns are small 36 seater aircraft which fly only a couple of times each week, which is why availability is limited. The routes are designed to transport passengers and mail between the small townships to major regional centres like Brisbane and Mt Isa. For these reasons, the flights will land and take off at several different towns on the scheduled route, picking up and dropping off mail and passengers, and re-fuelling along the way. The flights are comfortable, and they are a great way to see some of outback Queensland from the air!

Brisbane to Birdsville Return

This is the quickest and most direct flight to get to Birdsville for Big Red Run. This flight will ensure that you are in Birdsville the day before registrations and race briefings for runners and volunteers begin. It will also ensure that you are able to attend the post race celebrations and presentation dinner, before flying out the following day.

Bookings can be made at

Travel dates to suit Big Red Run:

Brisbane to Birdsville

Depart Brisbane Thursday 22nd June 2017, 7.55am

Arrive Birdsville Thursday 22nd June 2017, 2.25pm

Birdsville to Brisbane

Depart Birdsville Friday 30th June 2017, 10.50am

Arrive Brisbane Friday 30th June 2017, 5.15pm

Once these flights are completely booked out, race organisers will contact REX Airlines and ask them to consider adding an additional flight to cope with the extra demand. We recommend runners book their airfares early - it's both cheaper, and will indicate to REX Airlines the high demand for flights on these dates. 

Additional Advice

We recommend that passengers check baggage allowances, and details about the recommended transfer times between connecting flights. The Rex Airlines flights are not like your regular intercity flights, where a missed flight means you can just grab the next one. The next flight is not for days, meaning you will miss the event. Please take these transfer times seriously, and if you are booking connecting flights, ensure you are able to arrive at the Rex Airline terminal with plenty of time to check in. The baggage limits on these flights are usually strictly adhered to, especially when they are booked close to capacity as is expected of these flights.

Further Assistance

Should you require further assistance with your travel options or flights to Big Red Run, please contact us, we will be more than happy to speak with you about various options available either via email or phone.

Private Charter Flights

You may choose to get together with a group of friends and arrange your own private charter flight to Birdsville. This is a great way to get a Birdseye view of the amazing Simpson Desert and outback. The closest and therefore cheapest place to fly from is Alice Springs.

Contact Chartair if you are interested and they can provide you with a quote.

There are also many other charter flight operators that you may wish to contact about charter flights.

Fly Your Own Plane

If you or one of your spectators happen to have your own plane, you can fly in to Birdsville and you park your plane at the airport during the event and fly home afterwards. Did you know that each year at Birdsville Race time the Birdsville airport has the most number of private planes on the tarmac in the Southern Hemisphere!


So all in all, there are plenty of options for you to get to Birdsville, so don’t let the distance put you off. At least 8,000 people make the trip every year to the Birdsville Races!

The Big Red Run is not just a race, it’s an outback adventure, and getting there is part of the adventure.

So keep in touch and don’t forget we are here to help you with any advice about the best transport options for getting to and from Birdsville for the Big Red Run and Little Red Run.

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