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A small desert town in Australia's remote outback was transformed into a nonstop two-day carnival as thousands of people traveled across the vast continent to watch the Birdsville horse races. Lonely Birdsville, on the edge of the Simpson Desert in Queensland state, some 1,900 kilometers northwest of Australia's largest city, Sydney, boasts a resident population of just over 100 people.But during the annual races – now in their 136th year – the isolated town hosts more than 6,000 racegoers who travel days and weeks on bumpy dirt roads or fly in on small private planes to watch what has been dubbed the "Melbourne Cup of the outback". With just one hotel in Birdsville, the vast majority of visitors sleep in caravans, or pitch tents outside the center of town.
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