Everything you need to know about the Thangool Cup

Get set to experience the best outback country racing of Central Queensland this country has to offer! It may not be the Melbourne Cup that stops the nation, but we guarantee that the Thangool Cup will have you reminiscing for months to come. Held annually each September, the Thangool Cup is a great day out for all ages. There is no better way to immerse yourself in a (unique) day of the country life than planning your trip to experience the regions most talked about event. Never heard of the Thangool Cup? Rest assured – we’ve got you covered. Read on for all you need to know.

how to get to thangool

Located in Central Queensland, in the Banana Shire, Thangool is a popular small rural village on the Burnett Highway. From Brisbane, the trip is an easy 6-hour drive – a perfect destination for a long weekender holiday. Or, If you are travelling from Gladstone, head 100 km south-west toward Biloela, then 12 km south-east and you have arrived at your destination (insert google maps voice).

The Thangool Cup is held at the Thangool Race Track, Forde Park, Thangool-Lookerbie Road, Thangool, a short distance from the township.

Ensure you plan your trip by checking out other things to do and see while you are in the area, there are so many unique experiences to be had. You may just feel you want to stay that little bit longer!

Mount Scoria, the musical mountain.

what to Expect at the thangool cup

The Thangool Cup is by far the stand out event of the Spring racing season. Held annually in September punters love the experience of the raised green lawns of Forde Park Racecourse. The crowd get swept away in the excitement of the running of the Thangool Cup.

Immerse yourself in the colour and excitement as the jockeys and horses race towards the winner’s post. Experience the spacious green lawns of the racecourse and mingle with the locals as if you’ve always lived here!

Set up a nice spot on the grassy hill with your friends and family overlooking the track with a BYO picnic. If you are keen to keep it simple, catering and hospitality packages are available and you can also book a table or marquee at no cost! Head to the Thangool Race Club Website to download a booking form or to enquire about catering. The Club is licensed, so no need to BYO.

“It was a very well behaved crowd. I had a nice time and would come again”. – Rhonda Hall

If you can’t make the annual Cup in September, rest assured, another seven race days are held through the year. These racing events are a big attraction for punters who love to see country racing at its best.

what is the entry cost to thangool cup?

The best thing about getting away from crowded places is that there is so much to experience and enjoy without having to reach deep into your pockets.  Entry to the races is low-cost, and betting is optional of course! A free bus departs from the Target carpark so you can enjoy a day out, a few glasses of bubbly and know you will be looked after on your return home. Keep up to date with race times and bus departures on the Thangool Race Club Facebook page.

where to stay in thangool

Thangool and the surrounding areas have so many choices when it comes to staying that little bit longer. There are a handful of accommodation choices right in the heart of town but if you prefer to get out and amongst it, we recommend camping or caravanning as that’s the best way to experience the region for all its worth. The closest camping available to Thangool is free at Lawgi Hall, just south on the A3 (you can’t miss it!). Set up camp against the backdrop of a popular large iconic mural.

Just down the track is Biloela with more camping and caravanning options available. Queensland Heritage Park on Exhibition Ave offers 48-hour, affordable powered and unpowered campsites.

If you wanted to traverse a little further, we highly recommend exploring the incredible experience of Kroombit Tops, Greycliffe Homestead & Mt Scoria.

A section of the Razorback Track, Kroombit Tops

what to wear to the thangool cup

Whilst you can pretty much guarantee the fashion police won’t be doing the rounds at the Thangool Cup, there are a few tips you may find handy when choosing your outfit for the big day.

With the code ‘Dress to Impress’ we recommend digging deep for your ‘glad rags’ and join the great tradition of dressing up for the big day at the Cup. Dust off the handbags, heels, suits and sunnies in preparation for a great day at the track.

The weather will be warming up nicely in September, so don’t forget the sunscreen and best to avoid the non-breathable fabrics (leave that taffeta number in the back of your wardrobe). And remember, proceed with caution when wearing heels and think about where you will be spending your day at the races (Grass + stilettos + champagne = accident waiting to happen)!

Fashions on the field at Thangool Cup

Explore more of the sandstone wonders

Beat the crowds and step outside the norm for your next holiday – come and visit some of the unique favourite experiences of the Banana Shire. There are more than a dozen self-drive tour itineraries on the Sandstone Wonders website that helps you to plan your next adventure in the region.

For more details download the Sandstone Wonders regional brochure or pop into one of the local Sandstone Wonders Visitor Information Centres to get up-to-date visitor tips, brochures and maps.
Or check out some of the suggested self-drive tours.

Extra resources to find camping spots: Caravanning Queensland  , Find a Campsite  or the Camp Australia App

Book your camping spot
If you are planning to camp in a designated camp ground or National Park ensure you book and obtain the necessary permit.
Book online at  www.qld.gov.au/camping or phone 13QGOV (13 74 68). Charges may apply.
For more on camping in the Sandstone Wonders read here. 

And please help to care for our precious places and leave them clean as you go. Remember: take only photographs, leave only footprints.