PICTURESQUE: 'Star Man' astronomer James Barclay from the Kingaroy Observatory will be leading the Guided Tour of the Galaxy at Big Skies tonight.
PICTURESQUE: 'Star Man' astronomer James Barclay from the Kingaroy Observatory will be leading the Guided Tour of the Galaxy at Big Skies tonight.

Tourists begin their Big Skies experience

THE inaugural Big Skies 2018 Festival was off to a great start with thousands flocking to the Western Downs for the 106th Dalby Picnic Races, with more than 3,000 racegoers decked out in their finery.

Dalby and surrounds have been awash with excitement with many staying in the area for the Big Skies Day on the Plain rock concert this Saturday.

Held at Jimbour Station, with a backdrop of this historical stone mansion Jimbour House, the festival is set to complement a swag of events earning the Western Downs a reputation as a travel destination.

Caravanners and campers have already started arriving, with many set up at the station ground already in anticipation of the jam-packed program of events.

Western Downs Regional Council mayor Paul McVeigh said the economic boost and a fun week of events was kicked off by the Dalby Saleyards tour on Wednesday this week.

"The buzz is fantastic, there's tremendous vibe in the whole community and just from a business point of view, our moteliers are already fully booked out,” he said.

"I think everyone's really looking forward to the Day On The Plain rock concert out at Jimbour House - a spectacular place - we're really looking forward to a sensational weekend.

"And with such a lot of people staying on after the Picnic Races and with the crowd that is rolling in already, we are expecting good numbers for the week - the sky is the limit!”

Friday night will be one for the whole family with 'Star Man' astronomer James Barclay from the Kingaroy Observatory leading the Guided Tour of the Galaxy.

A knowledgeable astronomer and engaging showman, James will point out constellations in our famous Big Skies on the Western Downs, complete with a laser pointer so powerful it has to be registered with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

With plenty of campers settling in for an outdoor adventure in Big Skies country, the Camp Oven Experience will be popular amongst travellers this Thursday and Friday night.

And of course everyone is gearing up for the centrepiece of Big Skies, the Day on the Plain rock concert, with some of the biggest names in Australian rock gracing the Jimbour Amphitheatre.

For those staying Saturday night out at Jimbour Station the skies will be filled with a visual treat the very next morning, as around 13 hot air balloons launch above the historic mansion.

Hot Air Balloon rides are still available to book at the Big Skies website. For information and tickets visit www.bigskies2018.com


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