Records were smashed all round at Deniliquin this year, confirming the town’s status as the ute capital of Australia.

Story by Freda Nicholls and Photos by Freda Nicholls and John Kruger

Now in its seventh year, the Deniliquin World Record Ute Muster has resoundingly smashed its 2004 world record of 4012 utes, with 6172 lining up for the count. ‘All roads lead to Deni’ was this year’s muster motto, and the roads were full of colourful ute convoys in the days leading up to the muster as around 20,000 people descended on the town for the two-day celebration of utes and country life. “We heard a rumour that the nearby town of Narrandera ran out of petrol,” organiser Kate Pitt says with a smile. “Utes came from all over Australia just to be a part of Deni. It really is something special; just the best people come to the ute muster. You can just feel it – everyone is so welcoming, everyone owns it.”
The muster was action-packed from start to finish. The army was there in force, with a display of some of the latest hardware and their popular army personnel carrier ute crush, which made short work of some old utes that had definitely seen better days. Concerts ran throughout the day and night with artists ranging from the country sounds of Lee Kernaghan and The Sunny Cowgirls to Paul Kelly and the Boon Companions. Other entertainment included woodchopping, monster tractor-pull competitions, lawnmower racing, aerial acrobatics, bush poetry, whipcracking demonstrations, the ute museum and a spectacular $10,000 bull ride.

This story excerpt is from Issue #44

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2006