Air Safari

The Birdsville Races

An Aussie Outback Event

The Outback Melbourne Cup!

If you fancy a flutter on the fillies, love to Frock Up for Fashions on the Field or simply want to attend one of the most iconic Aussie Outback events of the year, the Birdsville Races is not to be missed!

And arriving by private plane is the icing on the cake.

Your three day all inclusive, Outback extravaganza kicks off from Sydney with a flight to Tibooburra, with lunch and a tour of the Back of Bourke Exhibition enroute.

After spending the night in one of the most hospitable towns in Outback NSW you will fly to Birdsville on the morning of race day.

After a welcome pint in the famous Birdsville Pub you can head Trackside to place a bet with a bookie if you wish.  Fashions on the Field may also tempt you to strut your stuff before you board your plane, hopefully grinning because of your winnings, and take to the skies, before the sun sets, to reach Innamincka for overnight – the closest outback town with comfortable accommodation.  After dinner and drinks hit the hay in preparation for your flight to Mudgee in the morning.

Your stopover on your flight back to Sydney will be rewarding! A five course gastronomic delight awaits you in The Zin House on the Lowe Wine Estate in Mudgee.  Enjoy local seasonal produce paired with fine wines before returning to Sydney in the early evening.

An exceptional itinerary highlighting the best of Birdsville and surrounding Outback towns this is a weekend to spend with great mates and fabulous friends!

You will love

  • Flying in your private plane
  • Astonishing Outback aerial views
  • Pub Grub & Fine Dining
  • Having a flutter at the races
  • Fashions on the Field
  • Travelling the Outback in style
  • Incredible Outback hospitality



Departing Sydney, at 8:00am from Bankstown Airport, you will fly to Dubbo to refuel – both the plane and yourselves!  Enjoy morning tea before taking to the skies bound for Bourke – a beautiful historic town on the Darling River.  Discover the incredible history of the region on a visit to the Back O’ Bourke Exhibition Centre.  The exhibitions in this modern “museum” tell the remarkable story of Bourke from its origins to its heyday in the late 19th century.

After lunch in Bourke fly to Tibooburra – the historic goldmining town that is the gateway to the splendid Sturt National Park, Cameron Corner (where the 3 Sates of NSW, Queensland & South Australia meet) and the vast outback interior.

You will overnight in Tibooburra enjoying award-winning pub grub and drinks in the famous Family Hotel. The fame of the hotel lies in the remarkable murals that adorn the walls, painted by Clifton Pugh (famous for his portrait of Gough Whitlam which now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery), Russell Drysdale (one of Australia’s most important painters of rural life) and Rick Amor.  Over the years other artists have added to the artwork so that the pub is now a very special kind of outback art gallery.

AccommodationThe Granite Motel

(Please note that our original accommodation – The Tibooburra Hotel – was sadly destroyed by fire recently & hence we have found alternative accommodation).

Flight times: 4h06 – 2 flights – Flying from Bankstown to Bourke (2h35) to refuel and have lunch, before flying onto Tibooburra (1h31).


Fuelled with fine country hospitality and a good nights sleep you will farewell Tibooburra bound for Birdsville early this morning.  Marvel as the rich, red soils grow increasingly deeper in colour the closer you fly to Birdsville and the edge of the Simpson Desert.

During raceweek this tiny town inflates from just over 100 residents to 10,000, with people arriving from far and wide by car, camper and caravan.  But nothing beats flying in on your own private plane!

Enjoy a drink in the iconic Birdsville Hotel before heading to the Birdsville Racecourse to watch horses hoof it around the 1600m racecourse – vying for over $200,000 in prize money and the much sought after trophy, acclaimed throughout the world.

If you are enthusiastic you can contribute to the vibrant carnival atmosphere and participate in Fashions on the Field – the hottest, off track competition of the day. Wear something outrageous, uber elegant, a Melbourne Cup cast off or anything that will have you stand out in the sea of check shirts, moleskin trousers and Akubras!

After an eventful day, and hopefully a win trackside, you will take off before the sun sets bound for Innamincka.

The tiny outback town of Innamincka sits near the South Australian and Queensland border and is the gateway to the vast Innamincka Regional Reserve, on the edge of the Cooper Creek and wedged between the Strzelecki and Sturt Stony desert.

The town initially prospered as a customs depot where tolls were collected from drovers herding their cattle across Channel Country following the Strzelecki Track.  When these taxes were abolished in 1901, Innamincka’s relevance slowly declined and residents moved away. The town was abandoned in 1952 before the the discovery of oil and gas, and an increase in motorists travelling north during the 1960s and ’70s, prompted a revival in its fortunes.

These days Innamincka consists of the Innamincka Trading Post (the General Store) and the Innamincka Hotel – your home for tonight.

Marrying the best of a traditional outback pub with all the conveniences of a modern hotel you will experience contemporary dining, superb friendly service and comfortable accommodation.

Accommodation: The Innamincka Hotel

Flight times: 2h55 – 2 flights – Flying from Tibooburra to Birdsville (1h55) for the day, before flying to Innamicka (1h).


Awake to the sound of the corellas, cockatoos and black kites nesting on the banks of Cooper Creek and watch as pelicans glide by and wedge-tailed eagles soar overhead.  Enjoy breakfast before take off at 8:30am, crossing two state borders, bound for Bourke.  An opportunity to refuel the plane, and the passengers with morning tea, before reboarding for the onward leg to Mudgee.

Mudgee is one of our country’s great wine towns, set on the banks of the pretty Cudgegong River the town still possesses all the character of its 19th century past. Here wineries set on rolling hills serve award-winning drops and epicurean fare and you will dine at the award winning THE ZIN HOUSE on the certified organic & biodynamic farm of the Lowe Family Wine Co known as Tinja.  On arrival you are invited to wander the extensive kitchen gardens, orchards and grazing farmland before sitting down to enjoy five full courses showcasing the seasonal produce grown in these gardens or sourced from across the region.  The matched wines, selected by chief winemaker David Lowe, take things up another notch and are paired with the flavours of each course.

With a full belly you will lift off from Mudgee in the late afternoon and will arrive in Sydney, at Bankstown Airport,  at 6pm.  This marks the end of a wonderful weekend in the Outback.

Flight times: 5h – 3 flights – Flying from Innamicka to Bourke to refuel (2h15) , then onto Mudgee (1h50) for lunch, before the final flight back to Bankstown (55 mins).

Birdsville Races by Air

2 nights / 3 Days
1-3 September 2023

2 nights / 3 Days
1-3 September 2023

AUD $5,350 per person twin share | AUD $200 single supplement

AUD $5,350 per person twin share
AUD $200 single supplement


Destinations: Bourke, Tibooburra (Day 1), Birdsville, Innamincka (Day 2), Mudgee, Bankstown (Day 3)


  • Private chartered aircraft transportation, fuel & airport fees throughout
  • Services of a qualified pilot/s and tour director
  • All accommodation as listed in the itinerary – in twin share rooms (double beds on request)
  • Excursions & activities as per the itinerary (and as detailed below)
  • Private transportation provided to and from excursions & accommodation
  • Any National Park Fees or Permits required for excursions
  • Morning tea in Dubbo
  • Lunch at the Back O’ Bourke Exhibition Centre + tour
  • Lunch at The Birdsville Races
  • Pint in the pub in Birdsville
  • Breakfast and Dinner (with drinks) at the Innamincka Hotel
  • Lunch at The Zin House in Mudgee with paired wines
  • Bottled water onboard the aircraft


  • Transport to and from Bankstown Airport
  • Additional food and beverages other than specified
  • Accommodation upgrades
  • Any additional or optional excursions and/or transfers other than specified
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance
  • Items and/or purchases of a personal nature
  • Funds for betting at The Birdsville Races
  • Any item not specified

Minimum – 10 travellers

Maximum – 12 travellers

CANCELLATION DUE TO COVID-19: If the air safari is cancelled due to Covid-19 Government imposed border restrictions, you have the option to receive a full refund or transfer your reservation to a future departure date. If you have to cancel your participation on an air safari due to your inability to enter NSW due to Government imposed travel restrictions, or you reside in a ‘locked down hotspot’, no refund is available; however 70% of the value of your confirmed air safari can be allocated toward a future air safari departure.


Travel by privately chartered aircraft with a maximum of 12 people | Tour and lunch at Back of Bourke Exhibition | Traditional pub dining in Tibooburra and Innamincka | Welcome drink at the iconic Birdsville Hotel on the day of the Birdsville Cup + lunch | Spectacular aerial views of Outback NSW and Cameron Corner where the 3 Sates of NSW, Queensland & South Australia meet | Five course dining in The Zin House in Mudgee with paired wines selected by chief winemaker David Lowe |


Travel is in a privately chartered Cessna Grand Caravan turboprop aircraft. Capable of landing on gravel and remote airfields, where other aircraft cannot, the Cessna Grand Caravan is a fast, reliable machine ideal for flying in the Australian Outback. The aircraft is operated by our trusted partners Outback by Air who hold an Air Operators Certificate issued by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). All highly experienced Outback by Air pilots carry a Commercial Pilots License. The Cessna Grand Caravan is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and impressive safety features. The interior is comfortable, climate controlled and has large windows, making inflight viewing a joy.



The Owners - Phil Hines & Glenn McGrath

Phil (pictured in plane) has been flying since 1990 and holds licences for both fixed wing and rotary aircraft as well as a commercial helicopter licence. He has flown multi engine charters, scheduled Regular Public Transport flights, and also has agricultural ratings in both aeroplane and helicopters. Outback and bush flying has been a big part of his aviation history and he has placed second in the Royal Flying Doctor Service Outback Air Race - twice! There’s barely a patch of our great land he hasn’t seen from the air. Safe to say he knows his stuff. On top of all that he’s just a bloody good bloke – a cheerful ‘salt of the Earth’ type from a farming background with plenty of tales to tell. A great host!

Glenn McGrath (Partner) - Former international cricketer star and McGrath Foundation co-founder and president, Glenn McGrath is born and bred in country NSW and has always had a passion for the Australian Outback. By joining the team at Outback by Air, Glenn can combine his passion for flying and travel throughout The Australian Outback. He believes the iconic destinations we offer on our trips should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Outback By Air tours are operated by two experienced pilots who are there to take care of your entire journey through the Outback. From flying you to your destinations, to providing commentary, to taking you on ground tours, the crew provide the highest level of safety and customer service.

The team includes Phil Hines, Andrew Hines, Natalie Tierney, James Branch and Joseph Hallam. The crew have a combined total of over 50,000 flying hours and extensive experience flying throughout the Outback and across the globe, having flown a large range of aircraft and worked at major Airlines. They pride themselves on providing a professional, safe and enjoyable experience for the guests.

Exellent and wonderful, reaching way above expectations.

Elizabeth Mackintosh

Julia you did a fantastic job - everything was first class. Well organised, efficient and stress free. We all agreed it was the best holiday we've ever had. Cant wait to travel with CSC again.

Milford family

We are so happy we put our trust in CSC, we had an amazing adventure and would recommend them to anyone.

Kim & Brad Balance

The trip exceeded my expectations and was the best family holiday I have ever had. Our children simply loved it and now I know more about African wildlife than they do about our own farm animals.

Rowntree family

Classic Safari are the people who genuinely know other culture and offer incredible insight to perfectly meet your expectations.

Melanie McMillan & Iain Jones

We loved it all. Our son wants to go back tomorrow. We would ALL go back again!

Laurence & Remi Cunningham

An amazing experience - the best family holiday we have ever had. We were extremely impressed by the meticulous attention to our itinerary. I can't speak highly enough of all the elements of this exciting journey!

Sheryl & Robert Taylor

Thank you for making our trip to Africa so spectacular. The attention to detail really made it special. It really was the trip of a lifetime.

Paul Cozzi

Very knowledgeable and patient. Our trip was all that we hoped for. Wonderful!

Jane & Robert Happell

Everything was perfect! Advice and information on destinations and activities hit everything I had hoped to experience. I contacted the Classic Safari Company upon recommendation and have now, in turn, recommended to others.

Tim Bradley

You can't improve on perfection. I had my best birthday and holiday with my family celebrating my 80th birthday in Africa. Everything that Julia organised was perfect and the whole trip was a highlight!

Buckingham Family

The trip of a lifetime, couldn't have dreamt of a better adventure if I tried.

Emma Jeffcoat

Absolutely everything was first class & so well organised.

Simon & Jackie Adams

Classic Safari Company has done it again! A unique experience that ticked all the boxes - wildlife, culture and dining experience. A dream come true!

Ros Wheeler

Their experience and knowledge of Africa is evident and we couldn't have been happier with the total package. This has given us a taste for Africa - now we are ready for more.

Andrew & Pip Stevens

If you want the most sensational experience in Africa let Julia and the staff at Classic Safari Co plan it for you! Their knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm for their job means your every wish will be fulfilled.

Miriam & Joseph Harrison

Classic Safari is the place to go to for "top end" adventure travel.

Ron & Alison Guthrie

Classic Safari Company were brilliant - 10/10

Di & Kingsley Yates

The Classic Safari Company is the best I have dealt with. Extremely knowledgeable & professional, friendly, patient & understanding of first timers to Africa.

Annette Whiley

It certainly was the best trip we have EVER had. The experiences were mind blowing.  We want everyone we know to experience Africa - the animals, the people - magical.

Jo-anne & Dean Mifsud

Would do it all again and not change a moment. Best holiday ever!

The McGowan Tribe

An absolutely fantastic travel company - every one of the many trips they have organised for us over 22 years have been faultless and fabulous.

Judith & Roger Williams

begin your journey now

Take advantage of our highly personalised advice, inspiration and experience