Carnarvon Visitor Centre

Catch you at the Gassy Dash!

Gascoyne Dash Itinerary

The Lowdown, Coral Coast Helicopters Kickstarters Gascoyne Dash Weekend

When is it?

Thursday April 18 to Sunday April 21

What is it? 

It’s a desert race like no other, with a national reputation for toughness, right here in the heart of the Gascoyne. With the starting line in Carnarvon, motorsport enthusiasts flock from around the country to compete and enjoy the spirit of this awesome event. Spectators and competitors alike will witness cars and bikes going up against each other to determine who will be ultimately crowned King of the River.

Tackling some of Australia’s harshest terrain – think dusty, rocky and desert conditions – for the past 19 years the Dash weekend pits the Aussie outback against drivers and riders who traverse a point-to-point course across the Gascoyne’s uniquely varied landscape.

It’s a tough, long, unrelenting two-day challenge over 500km and has been compared to the Finke Desert Race, the iconic annual off-road motorsport event for cars, buggies, trophy trucks, SXS, bikes and quads out of Alice Springs. 

The Gascoyne River, which for months of the year is dry and sandy, serves as the race track for much of the Dash. In the early days of the event however, when the Gascoyne River was flooded, boats ‘dashed’ across; these days, the river rarely flows so cars and bikes have replaced boats.

Seen as the ultimate challenge for cars and bikes alike, the cross-country course pushes man and machine to the limit. For many who take part, finishing the race is achievement enough; for others, the ultimate prize of King of the River is their goal. For all, the after party is almost as famous as the Dash itself.

Did you know? Kickstarters Gascoyne Dash was created in memory of local hero Neville Brandstater, who drowned in the Lyndon River in 1995.

Gascoyne Dash 2018 – Image Credit: Connie Fletcher Photography

Where can I stay?  

Carnarvon is the ideal base if you’ve made the journey to watch or compete in the Dash. There are heaps of options for a comfortable stay while in town: there are seven caravan camps (the most anywhere on the Coral Coast), as well as motels, hotels, self-contained holiday apartments and luxury spa chalets. Whether you love a boutique, small park or want something with all the bells and whistles close to town or a little further afield, pay a visit to the Visitor Centre and they’ll match you with your perfect vacation spot.


Capricorn Holiday Park is offering a special weekend package for the duration of the Dash. Enjoy Friday Happy Hour, pizzas and footy on the huge new 65inch big screen. Happy Hour hits again on Sunday and beef and gravy rolls will be served. Gas Dash competitors can stay on a powered site for four nights and only pay for three. . Please mention the Gas Dash when booking (for competitors only). Book now: (08) 9941 8153

Wintersun Caravan and Tourist Park is offering specials exclusive to park guests. Enjoy Sunday morning pancakes from 8.30am, only $6 a head, the kids will enjoy the Sunday morning Easter egg hunt. Adults will be entertained by AFL on the big screen while mum relaxes by the pool, and for those with kids, they will stay entertained with fact-finding activities around the park and movie matinees every afternoon. Gas Dash competitors and guests to the region can stay on a powered site for five nights and only pay for four. If your not equipped for camping, enjoy chalet accommodation and stay seven nights and only pay for six. G’day rewards apply (10%) for Top Parks and Discovery Holiday Park members. Book now: (08) 9941 8150

What’s the go?

The fun starts off on Thursday April 18 as scrutiny and registration begins from 2.30pm and a public display of vehicles from 4pm in front of the Gascoyne Hotel on Carnarvon’s famous elegant Fascine.

This will give everybody a chance to size up the competition and for spectators, to pick their favourites to watch throughout the race.

Bring a picnic and enjoy the atmosphere – and beautiful blue autumnal skies – in the heart of Carnarvon, or fill up with a pub feed at the Gascoyne Hotel.

On Friday April 19, scrutiny and registration continues from 6.30am with a time trial for seeding (Prologue) set to start at noon at Carnarvon Speedway. All welcome to see for the first time what the cars, bikes and quads can do on Carnarvon’s track.

It’s Good Fridayso enjoy some fish at one of Carnarvon’s local eateries or hotels. Fish and chips on the Fascine is practically a weekend tradition so make sure you join the locals once the time trials are done and dusted.

The race kicks off on Saturday April 20, beginning at 8am from Carnarvon to Gascoyne Junction from Carnarvon Speedway. Head down to Carnarvon Speedway and, with plenty of fuel, camping gear and supplies, head east towards Gasocyne Junction to watch the action unfold. The Race Club road is signposted over the weekend to be sure no-one misses the turn– you’ll find on the Carnarvon Mullewa Road approximately 155km east of Carnarvon WA and 10km west of Gascoyne Junction. The road from Carnarvon to Gascoyne Junction is now fully bitumen.

Camp overnight at Junction Race Club and enjoy an evening of live music from local band Black Jacks, showers and toilets for just $10. There will be a bar and food on offer too, the perfect way to kick back after a day of tough racing.

It’s the final day of the dash, and on Sunday morning, the race leaves Gascoyne Junction for Carnarvon at 8am, finishing at Carnarvon Speedway. Make sure you’re back in Carnarvon in time to see the first lot of cars and bikes arriving back into town at about 10am.

As the dust settles, the winners are announced at the Woolshed from 6pm. Celebrate a unique weekend with dinner at the Gascoyne Hotel, Carnarvon Motel, Port Hotel, Carnarvon Hotel or Sails Restaurant at the Best Western. 

Gascoyne Dash 2018 – Image Credit: Connie Fletcher Photography


Extend your stay and don’t miss…

Why not take time out from the dirt and dusty track and head to Carnarvon’s attraction?

The Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum is celebrating the 50thanniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings this year and is a must-see part of any stay in the area. It’s open every day from 9am to 4pm.

The Carnarvon Heritage Precincts new One Mile Jetty Centre provides fascinating insight into one of Carnarvon’s most iconic structures. Although currently closed to the public, One Mile Jetty has a long, fascinating history that’s explained brilliantly at the nearby centre. There’s Sunsets Cafe here too, serving delicious ice-cream and other dishes featuring local ingredients.

A trip to Carnarvon isn’t complete without a trip to the Blowholes, located 75km north of Carnarvon. Pack a picnic and bring snorkelling gear and get ready for an awe-inspiring sight. Head 1km south of the Blowholes and you’ll  discover a calm coral-filled lagoon with fish and shells in abundance.

Fast facts: There are a few extraordinary competitors who have won the Gas Dash more than once. Known as Dash Legends, these ultimate drivers have won at least three Kickstarters Gascoyne Dash events in either the car or bike divisions, or both.

21 Robinson Street, CARNARVON WA 6701

Phone: (08) 9941 1146

Fax: (08) 9941 1149


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