Australian Camp Oven Festival

Want a true taste of Australian heritage and outback traditions?

Then join the thousands who descend upon the little Queensland town of Millmerran for the biennial Australian Camp Oven Festival.

Every two years, Millmerran hosts a celebration of the kind of bush cooking that’s kept stockman in the saddle for generations.

We’re talking mouth-watering stews, curries, dampers and desserts.

In the hands of a skilled cook, the humble camp oven can create culinary magic – and, at the ACOF, the competition is as fierce as the flames from the campfire.

Over two days, all ages and skill levels slug it out in their chosen category – from cast-iron champions (experts) to drover’s apprentices (rookies).

But even if you can’t wield a spoon or spatula, there’s plenty to keep you busy at the festival – everything from cooking demonstrations to sheep shearing; didgeridoo painting to billy boiling.

A family favourite is the damper throwing contest – a great one for the kids – along with whip cracking; butter making; chainsaw carving and bush poet performances.

A long list of live entertainment keeps the main stage rocking across the weekend.

The Australian Camp Oven Festival is a feast of old-time country skills and the chance to tuck into traditional bush tucker.  Bring the caravan or canvas and make a weekend of it: camping is available on-site for the full week leading up to the festival.

Millmerran is a little over 2 and a half hours’ drive west of Brisbane.

By Carole Horne