Nation’s largest gathering of harnessed draught animals at authentic heritage event

Planning is underway for the nation’s largest gathering of harnessed draught animals, The Good Old Days Festival, at Barellan in southern NSW on September 30-October 1, 2023.

The committee is putting together a full program of authentic heritage events, a Furphy Festival, camp oven dinner under the stars with entertainment by country band, The Silverline, a Clydie Art Trail and three-day glamping packages.

Visitors will be able to see horse, bullock, camel, donkey, mules and goats in harness, an Australian Light Horse display, camel races, blade shearing, butter churning, working dogs, blacksmith, log snigging, rope turning, sheaf tossing, old fashioned children’s games, bush poetry, scone making, market stalls and the grand parade.

Barellan Working Clydesdale Committee member Bruce Bandy, and Aleks Berzins, of Exeter, will drive a team of over 20 heavy horses pulling a wool wagon around the arena.

They will be joined in the arena by cameleers Rod Sansom, Salt Ash, NSW, and Chris Hill, Uluru, NT, with their camel teams, bullockies Ron McKinnon, and Darcy Quinn, Nowra, NSW, and their teams, a donkey team driven by Emily Parrott, Anna Bay, NSW, and Barellan farmer David Irvin with his vintage tractor pulling a Furphy water cart train.

The Good Old Days Festival set a single day attendance record of over 7000 visitors last year, with cooks churning out 1800 scones and 70 dozen pies, and people of all ages left gobsmacked by the sight of 23 heavy horses harnessed to a fully laden wool wagon.

A highlight this year will be the Perpetual Teamsters Trophy presented by Tim Peel, Borambola, NSW, and being a model of a Bennett wagon crafted by Allan Langfield, Wagga Wagga. Judged by Fred Broso and Ian Dahlenburg, the trophy is awarded on a rotational basis to a different species of draught animal each year and acknowledges their contribution to the building of the nation.

This year the bullock teams will compete for the trophy.

The popular new additions to the program last year will be back – Meet the Teamster with bullocky Ron McKinnon and cameleer Rod Samson, and an obstacle course for heavy horses and their handlers.

Barellan Working Clydesdales Committee secretary Fiona Kibble said the festival volunteers were excited to be planning for an event which will see the most experienced teamsters in the country assemble at Barellan to showcase horses, camels, donkeys, mules, and goats hauling wagons, binders, headers, ploughs, carts, buggies, sleds, sulkies and a mallee roller.

“We are working hard to increase the visitor experience with an enhanced program to underpin what is the Narrandera Shire’s biggest tourism event,” Ms Kibble said.

“Last year we had over 400 caravanners and campers, and successfully debuted additional onsite accommodation of glamping packages for our visitors.

“This year we look forward to welcoming visitors from all corners of the country in what is a huge economic injection for our small town and regional economy.”

The major sponsors for 2023 are QPL Rural-McGrath Riverina.

Tickets for admission, camping, camp oven dinner, and glamping packages can be booked online at

Authentically celebrating our nation's pioneer heritage in:








Good Old Days Festival


Mobile: Fiona Kibble 0447 736 856

ABN: 98 238 287 221