Thursday, August 31, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Full Throttle This Weekend

Helmets are on, engines are revving, and the dusty ground is about to shake when over 400 bikes, buggies, and trophy trucks take on the Don River Dash next weekend.

Now in its 5th year, this popular offroad race is now commonly considered to be in the top three races of its kind in Australia, alongside the Finke and the Hattah.

One of the nation’s best and toughest competitions, The Dash is the brainchild of motorsport royalty, Talbot Cox and Michael Marson.

Supported by the Whitsunday Regional Council, local industry and tourism organisations, the Don River Dash also entices visitors to the region, boosting the local economy.

Mayor Julie Hall said Council is proud to provide assistance to Bowen’s Don River Dash, now one of the most anticipated events on the annual calendar.

“The Don River Dash is the pinnacle of off-road racing in our region, and it has continued to grow in popularity since the first event in 2019,” Mayor Hall said.

“It puts Bowen and the Whitsundays on the map and importantly, gives our region a major economic boost throughout the three-day event.”  

Over 5000 spectators are expected to pack the sidelines and the whole community will be buzzing with life over the weekend.

This year, the event will also be live streamed, so spectators both nationally and internationally can view the action.

It is hoped this will further establish the Whitsundays as a premier off-road racing destination and assist in attracting sponsors and competitors from around the world.

Jason Stewart, Race Team Director and Owner for STE Racing, said the Don River Dash was one of the three main races on the event calendar once they recruited Callum Norton to ride for the team.

“It’s up there with the best off-road/desert races, we are super excited and can’t wait” he said.

STE Team Rider, Callum Norton, placed 2nd in 2022 and said he is thrilled to be returning for another lap in 2023.

"I’m super excited to be heading back to Bowen for the 2023 Don River Dash,” he said.

“This will be my second time competing in the event, after finishing 2nd outright last year.

“I loved the event in 2022, everyone involved were super welcoming and all working hard to give the riders, drivers, and spectators the best experience they could.

“The racetrack is one of my favourites in the country. It’s fast, sandy, rough, and great fun to race on!

“Entries look awesome again this year, so I think it’s going to be massive two days with some of the country’s best desert, off-road and motocross riders going at it for the top spot!”

The event will begin on Friday, September 8 at the Bowen Showgrounds from 5pm.

Over the weekend, spectators zones will be set up along the Don River, offering the best views of the race and all the excitement. For locations and more details head to

WHAT: Don River Dash

WHERE: Bowen Showgrounds, 25 Mt Nutt Road, Bowen

WHEN: 8-10 September 2023

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