There are many words that can be used to describe Australia, and personally I think one of the most important words is “fun”! So it’s no surpise that tucked away in a small regional town in NSW is a fun day that has traditions reaching back over 2 decades – The Beechwood Billycart Classic.
Beechwood is a small town located about a half an hour drive from the bustling tourist destination of Port Macquarie in NSW. Surrounded by farmland rich in history and amazing mountain ranges with pockets of gorgeous rainforests, Beechwood has a country charm and peaceful feel that allows you to breathe deep and take in the surrounding beauty. Boasting a country pub (that is popular for meals on a Friday night), post office and cute general store that’s been around since 1888 you get a feeling that life is good in these parts and escaping the fast pace of life in larger towns and cities is something that locals love. That, and as with most country towns, they know how to have fun.
What is the Beechwood Billycart Classic?
Dating back to the first Billycart Classic in 1980, this yearly event is a 5km billycart race in which the fastest carts reach up to 100km an hour. The track, which is a local country road which is closed off for the duration of the race, leads racers down Mount Pappinbarra, and encompasses twists and turns that are sure to get the heart pumping. The event takes place in October or November each year (website details can be found below)
This event is unique, because due to the nature of the course, not only does it contain fast, windy road, but it also contains dips and flats which means that each billycart must be occupied by not only a driver, but also a “pusher” to assist the cart along to have any chance at completing the course of obtaining the fastest times to win.
For even more fun, there is a kids course which sees teams of children with their own special child length course down the main street of Beechwood. Much shorter, but still as much fun, there is much enthusiasm from both driver and pusher as they cross the line. (One team didn’t have any brakes this year and the poor kids were a bit shocked as they took off past the barrier, but all ended well with them zooming past parked cars and around the corner, stopping safely).
The course finishes in the centre of Beechwood amongst a street lined with onlookers, right out the front of the local pub where you’ll be entertained by live music in the beer garden and cold refreshments on what is generally a hot day historically.
2011 was the 32nd Beechwood Billycart Classic.
Is it Good For Families?
We all know that kids (well, most kids) love billycarts and they truly do get a thrill out of seeing a range of cart styles from the most basic ones, sporting bicycle wheels, to elaborately engineered pro carts that look somewhat space age. There is horse riding, market stalls, a billy boiling competition, jumping castle and live music in the pub beer garden. This year there was even mower racing which was a fun event in it’s own right! Our kids especially enjoyed watching the kids race.
What is it Like Racing 5km’s Down a Country Mountain?
Why I’m so glad you asked. Country roads are notorious for being bumpy, plagued with potholes and an absolutely different experience to driving in cities or on highways, and this course is no different. Filled with character, this course tests the fitness of each “pusher” and the driving skill of each driver to see who can come up fastest when they roll across the finish line.
To check out photos of the event you can see my photo blog here: Billycart Racing Photos or there is a gallery at the end of this post.
You can find the details for each year’s race on the Beechwood Billycart Classic website you can also view the action as it happens from a camera mounted to one of the carts in 2010 in the video I’m posting below. Enjoy!
Beechwood Billycart Classic Photo Gallery
The 2011 race results were as follows:
Pro Class – 1 What Tha Luke Cantrell and Paul Kucer; 2 Lowrider Mark Ennor and Phil Baker; 3 Dark Horse Robert Johnson and Stephen Johnson.
Open Class – 1 BDM Heavy Vehicles Ben Moylan and Shane Gresham; 2 The Love Cart Tom Sherd and Ashleigh Bird; 3 On Fire Barrie Phillpott and Matthew Phillpott.
4 Wheeler – 1 Pom To The Max Ian Wright and David Miante; 2 M’Bah Express Colin Louwen and Craig Louwen.
Ladies crew – Wii Not Fit Rhianon Rogers and Rachael Clarke.
Veteran crew – Dark Horse Robert Johnson and Stephen Johnson.
Youngest crew – The Love Cart Tom Sherd and Ashleigh Bird.
Most Novel Cart – The Carroll Brothers in This Space For Rent.
Best presented cart – Sandi Phillpott and Anne-Marie Campbell in The Breast Express.
Hard Luck Award – Lexus with Shaen Swaysland and Dan Cross at the controls.
- What: Beechwood Billycart Classic – Billycart racing adults & kids
- Where: Beechwood NSW (Mid North Coast – Near Wauchope) – See Map Below
- When: Oct/Nov every year since 1980 – check website for yearly dates
- Cost: Free to attend, paid activities include horseriding, kids entertainment and market stalls. A food stall is available as well as the pub for food and drinks
- Family Friendly?: Yes, a great day out for a different kind of fun.