Outback adventure awaits volunteer

TOP HAT: Patrick Roach adds some race fashion to an Akubra for the Birdsville Races.
TOP HAT: Patrick Roach adds some race fashion to an Akubra for the Birdsville Races. Amber Macpherson

PATRICK Roach is preparing to tick an accomplishment off his bucket list: volunteering at the Birdsville Races.

The iconic event, known as the outback Melbourne Cup, brings herds of horse racing fanatics to Birdsville on September 1-2.

The town is 1500km west of Brisbane on the edge of the Simpson Desert.

The Noosa North Shore resident isn't any stranger to volunteering, so when the opportunity arose to put his skills to use at the races, he signed up.

"I've always wanted to go and I saw that they had volunteers for the 22-seater bus driving. You needed a licence for it, which I had,” Mr Roach said. "I've volunteered for the Gympie Muster before, and the Noosa Festival of Surfing for the last six years.”

Mr Roach said he's drawn to the change in character that comes out in people when dealing with a tough climate.

"I love that part of Queensland, it's really way, way out,” Mr Roach said.

"When you get out there, it's too hot, it's too extreme, so everything is real.

"You see the real person.

"I went out to Darwin last year, and I've been out to Quilpie.

"I've got a van that I can cook and sleep in. I'm looking forward to it.”

Topics:  birdsville noosa outback queensland volunteer

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