Top 9 Most Popular Sports in Australia You Need to Know05/17/2022
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Australian football, rugby league, and cricket are some of the most popular sports in Australia. You think you’ve seen them all, but Australia still has much to offer other than those sports leagues. List of australian unique sports are not only mind-blowing; they’re bizarre yet entertaining. Races involving various animals and used materials are popular ways to keep the traditions alive.
The list of unusual sports in Australia would make you think again. Or, you might want to try them once in your lifetime. Ready, set, go!
At the heart of the eccentricity that defines Australian sporting culture lies the Dunny Derby, an event as unique as its name suggests. The term ‘Dunny’ colloquially refers to an outdoor, portable toilet, but here, it undergoes a transformation like no other. Outfitted with wheels and a strategically placed handle at the helm, it morphs into a racing vessel. The race itself is a spectacle of teamwork and adrenaline, with a daring ‘jockey’ perched atop the ‘throne,’ propelled forward by two dedicated pushers and steadied by two handlers at the reins, sprinting down a 200-meter track fraught with challenges.
This unorthodox race takes center stage at the biennial Outback Festival in Winton, Queensland, a testament to the audacious spirit that characterizes the region. It’s not merely a race; it’s a cultural extravaganza where locals and travelers alike converge in the spirit of celebration, turning the otherwise humble ‘dunny’ into a vehicle for both competition and camaraderie. The atmosphere crackles with energy as hundreds gather to partake in this one-of-a-kind event, marking it as an indelible chapter in the annals of Australia’s unique sporting traditions.
Forget javelin throw; Aussies have Tuna Toss!
Tuna Toss is the highlight of the world-famous Tunarama Festival, an annual event held in Port Lincoln, South Australia, in late January. The participants threw a 10 kg rubber tuna to see who was the farthest. A real, fresh tuna was used originally, but in 2008 the committee changed it.
This race became one of the list of Australian unique sports since it was inspired by the traditional method of unloading the fishing boats in 1980. Fishermen moved the large fish from the boats to the trucks by tossing them. The first and the second winners are granted the $1,000 and $500 prizes.
Beer Can Regatta
Row, row, row your beer-can boat!
The boats were originally made out of used beer cans since Darwin, where the race took place and started, was one of the topmost beer consumption in the world. The idea was to clean up beer cans littering Darwin’s streets and recycle them. The first race was held on the 16th of June 1974 at the Mindil Beach, Darwin.
The promoter allowed all kinds of cans to be used as the material to make it a more family-friendly event. This annual festival includes concerts, sandcastles, and a thong-throwing contest, with around 22,000 people reportedly attending the event.
No Goanna Lizards were harmed during this contest!
This competition is similar to a tug-of-war using the neck instead of hands, imitating the Goanna’s pose, more likely to Yoga cobra posture. The leather belt is placed around the players’ neck with their hands behind a white line. Players used their upper body strength to pull their competitors across the line.
This one of the unique sports in Australia has been running annually since 1985 in Wooli, New South Wales. The event attracted thousands of visitors and was aimed at various genders and age.
Pig Racing and Diving
They’re adorable, and they’re running fast until they get wet!
Prepare to be enthralled as you witness a spectacle like no other: four meticulously trained pigs thundering down a compact track, their hooves pounding in rhythmic unison. With astonishing agility, they hurdle off an incline, soaring through the air, and then, with a splash that resonates through the crowd, they dive into a waiting pool. This mesmerizing display is none other than Pig Racing and Diving, an extraordinary sporting event that has become an integral part of the illustrious Sydney Royal Easter Show. The harmony of athleticism and showmanship exhibited by these porcine athletes is nothing short of a marvel, leaving spectators in awe of the sheer talent and coordination on display. It’s an experience that transcends the boundaries of conventional sports, offering a unique and unforgettable blend of entertainment and athleticism.
The Windorah International Yabby Races are held in the western corner of Queensland. Yabby is a blue-claw, freshwater crustacean usually found in dams. Ten yabbies are labeled from 1 to 10 and placed in the middle of a ring. Whoever’s claw hits the outside ring first will win. As one of Australia’s uncommon, unique sports for years, you should know that it’s not just about race.
Before the race, yabbies were auctioned off to the highest bidder, and the money went towards the ultimate prize and charities. The winners would get trophies named after the locals who were famous in the county for doing something stupid.
It’s like croquet and golf but do it facing backward!
The rule is easy: the players need to swing the wooden mallet between their legs and strike the thick rubber ring to its goal with their faces away. Each player has 24 opportunities to shoot a strike. Originally, Trugo was for elderly players over 60 only or retirees. But when the number of players dwindled, the clubs started accepting younger players.
The history of Trugo can’t be separated from the old railway workers. In the late 1920s, a railwayman named Tom Grieves was quite bored on his day and used his mallet to strike rubber rings, which were used as shock absorbers inside the railway buffers. Decades later, people are still playing Trugo as one of the unique sports in Australia that can never be found elsewhere.
Henley on Todd Regatta
Boat racing on the dry sands!
Embark on a whimsical adventure by marking your calendar for the 20th of August 2022, when the enchanting spectacle known as the Henley on Todd Regatta unfolds in the heart of Alice Springs, Australia. In this arid expanse of the Todd River’s bed, an event like no other comes to life. Picture this: participants dash along the racecourse, clutching boat frames in a scene reminiscent of the beloved Flintstones cartoon! This regatta, a blend of imagination and exhilarating competition, stands as a pinnacle of Australian sporting eccentricity. Its sandy terrain, set against the backdrop of Alice Springs’ rugged beauty, provides a fitting stage for this unique, iconic event. It’s an experience that defies convention and beckons all with a taste for the extraordinary.
Rule number one: don’t fall asleep!
It isn’t a therapy for your insomnia. It is a real competition, one of Australia’s unique sports that would need all of your focus. The deadly serious sport of sheep counting was started in 2006. Players need to count around 400 sheep accurately. They weren’t allowed to count aloud or speak to other competitors. The winner is the one who made the most accurate estimation of the real number of sheep.
Nude Olympics (Pilwarren Maslin Beach Nude Games)
The last on the list of Australian unique sports. This must-attend, one-of-a-kind annual event has been held in Maslin Beach, South Australia, since the 1980s. The event consists of a frisbee competition, a three-legged race, and Miss Maslin Beach. Each year, hundreds of nudists are expected to join the Nude Games.
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