Spectator Information

  • Camping Along The Track

    Please Note: NO Camping is allowed at the Finke Desert Race Start/Finish line. Saturday is commonly when most campers will head down the track to set up camp for the weekend. All campers are asked to make a gold coin donation to the Finke Desert Race Inc for the pleasure of staying out under the stars. Camping is allowed anywhere throughout the whole 220km course, at your own risk. There are many things to bear in mind:

    Camping Fees

    If you are camping along the Finke track, the majority of the land is private property. If you intend to camp between the start line and Ewaninga rail siding, you may incur a fee. The landholder has the right to do this. If you are unhappy with this, please direct your enquiry to the landholder who will be clearly identified. The Finke Desert Race Club conducts the race on other people’s property and has no control over camping fees. We ask that all campers respect the land they are camping on and bring back any rubbish.

    Campfires

    Campfires - these need to be monitored carefully and fully extinguished when finished with. Please take your own firewood.

    Consideration for others

    Nobody wants to stop you from having a fun filled weekend but be aware of your surroundings. There may be others camping nearby that may not enjoy your particular brand of Death Metal music, use of foul language or anti-social behaviour. Please be considerate to other campers and keep noise to a minimum.

    Dogs

    In the interest of safety, dogs are not permitted at the event or down the track whilst camping.

    Medical Assistence

    If, during your time camping as a spectator you require any medical assistance St John Ambulance are situated at each of the checkpoints along the track from Saturday afternoon until the last bike has passed through on Monday afternoon. Please see Track map for checkpoint locations at Deep Well, Rodinga, Bundooma, Mt Squires and Finke Checkpoint. We also have access to one Paramedic based jet ranger helicopter based at Bundooma checkpoint and two smaller helicopters following the event. These are obviously intended for competitor use, but would be used in the case of an emergency for any patient.

    Landowners

    The land you are camping on during the event is privately owned cattle station property. We are extremely grateful to the station owners, and need to respect the fact that they have allowed us to use their property. Remember to bring your own firewood, take extreme care with all fires and please take your litter home with you. Keep the impact low on their land by sticking to the designated tracks, don’t make your own tracks into the bush, there are hidden dangers you may not be aware of. Keeping our event successful means we need to support the cattleman’s land care programmes and care for our environment.

    Police Presence

    Throughout the whole weekend we have a strong Police presence along the track. They assist us in ensuring our spectators are being safe & responsible, respecting landowners and competitors. Police will conduct random breath testing, watch for speeding (leave racing to the pro’s) and the driving/riding of unregistered vehicles along the road.
  • Camping at Apatula Community (Finke)

    You may be camping at the other end of the racetrack in Finke to help a competitor or just to experience the race from the other end. Camping at Finke gives you the option of taking an alternative route rather than down the race track. You will need travel south on the bitumen to Kulgera (280km from Alice) and then in to Finke community on the dirt (about 120km) This route is commonly used by the support crews, caterers etc as it is a smoother road for larger vehicles to get to Finke and this road will not close. When in Finke, a race camp is established about 2kms from the Aboriginal Community of Aputula. Some 1500 people - competitors, crew and spectators – camp in the race camp. The Aputula Community is a dry community which means no alcohol is allowed. You may consume alcohol in the campgrounds only!
  • Car Parking

    Designated parking areas are available for your convenience. Please heed the directions of the car park attendants. Vehicles are permitted to enter and park on condition that Finke Desert Race Inc, the Northern Territory Government and sponsors are not under any liability whether in contract or in tort and wether for negligence or as an occupier or on any other basis or for any cause of action, for loss of, or damage to, the vehicle or its contents, no matter how or where such may be caused.
  • Dogs

    In the interest of safety, dogs are not permitted at the event or down the track whilst camping.
  • Drinking Responsibly & Alcohol Restrictions

    This is a motor sport event, not a night club. Alcohol and high speed racing are not a good combination. There are hundreds of competitors risking everything to entertain you, so you really don't need to get plastered!

    Due to licensing restrictions you are not permitted to bring your own alcohol to the Start/Finish line or scrutineering.

  • First Aid

    A first aid tent or ambulance will be available at the Start/Finish line and will be easily identifiable. There are also St John representatives at each check point along the race track during the event.

  • How Long To Stay

    If you’re wondering how long you would need to stay in Alice Springs, our answer would be a 5 night stay minimum. Meaning you arrive on the Thursday (day before Scrutineering) and head out on the following Tuesday (day after Race Day 2 and Presentation). For a comfortable stay you would be looking around a 10-12 night stay. This gives you the opportunity to arrive a week before the start of the Event and also means you can enjoy many of the attractions in and around Alice.
  • Live Radio Updates

    Wherever you are watching all the action from or if you are camping along the track you can tune into 783 ABC Alice Springs (783 AM) Radio and 8HA (900 AM) for the latest results updates over the weekend. For a comprehensive wrap of results tune into ABC Radio (783 AM) on Sunday and Monday evening of the race. In Finke Community ABC is broadcast on 106.1 FM.
  • Maps and Diagrams

    Maps of the track and diagrams of the venues are available. They are updated from time to time.

  • Presentation

    Winners take all and stories are told. A night of laughter, sharing of good times and over-exaggerated hand and arm movements! The night kicks off around 8pm at the Alice Springs Convention Centre with class places awarded followed by outright bike and car places. There is food available for purchase and the night goes into the small hours of the morning, so prepare for a big one! Presentation night is free for competitors and pit crew. Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased at the door.
  • Race Days

    Prologue

    Your first taste of Finke racing. All Competitor’s must complete an 8.3km track in a race against the clock to determine their starting position for Race Day 1. The track is typical Red Centre terrain with long straights, tight corners and sandy creek beds. Riders and Drivers can’t go out thinking they have to go flat chat, in the past the track has claimed it’s fair share of unsuspecting victims including pre-race favourites. By going too hard in Prologue it could result in a Race Day 1 start time they might not be too happy with! This is a great bit of racing to watch before you head down the track camping. See map of Prologue Track.

    Race Day 1

    Cars are first to tackle the 230km track and bikes follow later in the morning. Start times and sequences can be found on the official web site and in the Supplementary Regulations. There is a time limit of 4 hours to complete the first 230km leg of the course. If bike competitors do not make it down to Finke with the 4 hour time limit they are out of the race and do not start day two as they are out of time. The Clerk of Course has the right to stop any competitor and prevent his/her continuation in the event if it is deemed impractical for that competitor to complete the course within the required time limit. Cars are allowed to start on Day 2 as the AORC considers it a separate race. Competitors must pass through each of the 4 checkpoints situated along the track. There are also 3 designated fuel stops also dotted along the track for the bikes; however, the buggies do not stop to refuel. Once competitors get to Finke they must sign off to let officials know they are alive and well so we don’t send out a search party for you in the early hours of the morning. Any competitor who fails to complete the course must notify one of the Official Sweep Vehicles as soon as possible! See map of race track.

    Race Day 2

    Today, competitors do exactly what they did yesterday, but in reverse. They follow the exact same track that they went down on, so it should make it that little bit easier for them as they now know what to expect. Cars are again the first to leave and bikes leave Finke later in the morning, both on corrected time as calculated from day one’s journey. See the Competitor Supp Regs if you are interested in the race day procedures. Starting times will normally be posted on the website the night before. Any competitor who fails to complete the course must notify one of the Official Sweep Vehicles or a Checkpoint as soon as possible! Otherwise we’ll be looking for them all night long while they are having a good time at presentation – this may get them into some serious trouble with the officials looking for them! Race day two also has the best thing about Finke…crossing the finish line! After two gruelling days of full on racing it gives competitors the best feeling that they have made it ‘there and back’ which is one of the most renowned achievements in Australian enduro and off road racing.
  • Race Results

    Scoreboards will display start, checkpoint and finish times at the Alice Springs Start/Finish Line next to the competitor relations office. Results for Race Day 1 and start times for Race Day 2 will be available at Finke Checkpoint and on the website. Some copies of the results from Day 1 will be available at the catering tent at Finke. The results will also be constantly updated on the event’s official website.

  • Road Closures During the Event

    Another issue to be aware of when camping is the road closures. Parts of our racetrack are public roads which are officially closed during racing, therefore most campers will set up Saturday and stay put until racing is over on Monday afternoon. These roads are closed at 6am on Sunday morning (Race day 1) until 6pm on Monday night, and the same applies on Monday (Race day 2). Although it may appear that the race is over, medical, disabled and sweep vehicles may still be operating on the track. The first 80km of road before Checkpoint 1 (Deep Well) remains open at all times. Please see maps for further detail of checkpoint locations.
  • Safety First

    You will need to extremely aware of safety both for yourselves and our competitors. If you are camping with young children, please watch them at all times and stand well back from the track during racing. Don’t wander on the track, it may look clear but you can’t be sure of what is coming at you at race speeds. Standing on the outside of corners can be dangerous, so avoid this at all times – car and bikes are travelling at very high speeds in dusty conditions! Our competitors are focused on their race and are not looking for you, your kids or your dog – leave your dog at home! It is their track from 6am – 6pm, give them the respect they deserve! Avoid driving up and down the access road (next to the racetrack) during racing as the dust and traffic can be very distracting and dangerous for our competitors.
  • Scrutineering

    Scrutineering is held at the Start/Finish Line (not Blatherskite Park) from 5.00pm to 9.00pm. This is where all competitor’s (bikes, quads and buggy’s) must have their machine and clothing checked and passed for racing. While scrutineering is going on, all bikes and cars are on display, food and drink stalls are in operation, official merchandise is also on sale Approximately 3000 people attend scrutineering so the place is packed. It’s a great place to get up close and personal with the riders/drivers and their amazing machinery. Additionally you can get a bite to eat, relax, catch up with mates, and get a great feel for the weekend to come.

  • Visitor Information

    For more information you can visit the Central Australian Tourism Visitor Centre in Gregory Terrace while here in Alice or you can browse several web sites for popular and great ‘off the beaten track’ sight-seeing. For example:

  • Weather in Alice

    You might be in the middle of the desert, but this time of the year when the sun goes down at night temperatures can be freezing, make sure you pack plenty of jumpers, jackets, blankets and a beanie to keep warm. When the sun does break through during the day it can still pack a punch and burn unprotected skin so remember you slip-slop-slap routine. Average daily temperature for June is around 20 degrees, Sunrise around 7am and Sunset at 6pm. Rain over the race weekend is not unheard of so be prepared.
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