the sign on display at millmerran promoting the australian camp oven festival

Season your camp ovens, stoke your campfires and practice your camp oven cooking as the iconic Australian Camp Oven Festival is kicking off in October.

It’s Australia’s longest-running camp oven cooking event, first debuted back in 1999, the festival was the brainchild of outback icons Gary Fogarty and Ned Winter.

What started out as a friendly camp oven cooking competition between a couple of teams and has now become one of the most popular camp oven cooking festivals in Australia, and theres a good reason for that.

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2021 Australian Camp Oven Festival Millmerran | The Camp Oven Cook
The popular damper throwing competition. – Mick Viller 2018

The Australian camp oven festival will be held from the 1st to the 3rd October 2021 and includes a diverse range of heritage-inspired activities, damper throwing competitions, live music, market stalls, bush poetry, camp oven cooking demonstrations, and camp oven cooking competitions!

The festival will attract 1000’s of visitors travelling from all over Australia to attend the 2021 Australian Camp Oven Festival, it takes place at the local showgrounds in the regional township of Millmerran. Millmerran is an 82-kilometre drive west of Toowoomba, Queensland.

aerial shot of the 2018 Australian camp oven festival.
Aerial photo of the 2018 Camp Oven Festival – Image | ACOF 2018

The best way to experience the Australian Camp Oven Festival is to drive there via the Gore Highway, the Warrego Highway or the New England Highway, and camp onsite at the Showgrounds or stay in town at one of the local accommodation options.

While you don’t need to get involved in the competition side of the festival, it would be good to see more people having a go, there’s a competition level for all skill levels and even one for the kids, with awesome cash prizes up for grabs.

Watch The Video

What to expect at the festival

While the event details have yet to be finalised, i have spoken to Katrina from the festival organising team and she has told me that it will be similar to previous events, however, due to covid19, there will be some changes made adhere to Government guidelines.

Notice: The following Information is an example based on previous festivals and will be updated as more details are released by the event committee.

Festival Entertainment

In years gone by there’s been no shortage of entertainment to enjoy, the festival features two stages of entertainment; the main stage features bush poetry and an array of music throughout the weekend, and the second stage features daily camp oven cooking demonstrations by seasoned camp oven professionals.

  • Bush poetry
  • Live bands
  • Heratige demonstrations
  • Heritage Displays
  • Kids entertainment
  • Camp Oven Cooking Demonstrations

Entertainment photos

Here is a bunch of photos from previous years to give you a good idea of what to expect at the 2021 Australian camp oven festival, more information on the entertainment will be updated when the show releases their program.

Heritage Displays

Here is a bunch of photos from previous years to give you a good idea of what to expect at the festival, more information on the displays will be updated when the show releases their program.

Australian Camp Oven Festival Competitions

If you fancy your self a good camp oven cook, an expert billy boiler or you have a good throwing arm you can enter the fun competitions or just enjoy watching from the sidelines.

  • Camp oven cooking competition
  • Damper Throwing Competition
  • Billy boiling competition
  • Sewing Competition

Camp Oven Ally Photo Gallery

The camp oven ally is where all the camp oven cooking competition action happens, make sure you spend plenty of time spectating the teams, as its a great way to see how different all the setups are, who would of thought that a simple cast iron pot can be used so differently by everyone.

Judging Tent Photos

The judging tent is where all the judging happens and is also where a lot of the entries are showcased.

Billy Boiling Competition

How good are you at boiling a billy? heres a great way to show case your skills and maby win a prize, and its fun just to watch too!

Damper Throwing Competition

The event definitely draws so many spectators watch to see who can throw a damper the furtherest distance, have you got what it takes?

Australian Camp Oven Festival Food and Shopping

If you fancy a feast of camp oven tucker you can purchase food from the festivals camp oven kitchen run by Michael Patch. There is also other food and drink vendors present and an abundance of market stalls to browse through.

  • Market Stalls
  • Food and drink vans
  • Camp Oven Cooking Food Stall
  • Licensed Bar Area

Camp oven festival catering stand

Feeling hungry? This is the best place to eat some tucker cooked in a camp oven, and even great to watch how the pros do it too!

Market stall photos


2021 Event Details

  • When: 1st – 3rd of October 2021
  • Place: Millmerran Show Grounds
  • Address: Millmerran-Cecil Plains Road, Millmerran QLD 4357

2021 Adult Ticket Pricing

  • Weekend Pass – $45 Online | $50 at the Gate
  • Saturday Pass – $27 Online | $30 at the Gate
  • Sunday Pass – $18 Online | $20 at the Gate

NoteChildren 17 and under are free.

2021 Onsite Camping Pricing

  • Powered sites (regular 12×16) – $160
  • Powered sites (large 12X7) – $170
  • Unpowered sites – $70

My Final Thoughts

Over the past four festivals, I have seen the festival evolve and grow to what it is today, Just Remember that while It’s called a “camp oven festival”, it has evolved into more of an Australian History Festival with a side serving of camp oven cooking.

Don’t get me wrong this is far from being a bad thing as it’s providing so much to see and do, and camp oven cooking is very much a part of our aussie history. And for the next festival, i would like to see more emphasis on centring it around Camp Oven cooking as the focal point.

Mick, What would you like to see at the next camp oven festival?

  • More camp oven collections – We have so many collectors of camp ovens that i would love to see them all put on a display, just like everyone turning up with their vintage car to a car show.
  • More Camp Oven Cooking Competitors – I would love to see more teams, beginners and kids entering the competitions, to help encourage more beginners that i think the Festival needs to provide a basic area with shade, tables, a communal wash-up area and a communal fire pit for coals, i do believe this would definitely see more beginners getting involved.
  • More variety of camp ovens and equipment for sale – While there is a big market stall area, there is never stalls selling products like camp ovens, recipe books, lid lifters, heatproof gloves that complement the show, other than the festival. I would like to see a more diverse range of sellers just like you would see at a caravan or four Wheel drive show.
  • More Variety of Camp Oven demonstrations – I would love to see a more diverse range of camp oven cooking demonstrations and even a hands-on teaching area would be good also.

Mick, Do you recommend attending the festival?

Absolutely yes, the festival is definitely worth a visit and there is always so much to see and do to keep you busy all weekend and to make the most out of the festival, I would definitely recommend you to camp at the festival.

For more details about the camp oven festival visit their website here

Frequently asked questions

What does my entry fee cover?

Your ticket covers everything inside of the festival gates, excluding camping, food and drinks and merchandise from the retailers. Some of these things are the main stage entertainment and demonstrations by various camp oven experts, vintage displays. Note: Some onsite competitions will have a small entry fee. More information here

Is there potable water onsite? 

Yes, all water onsite and is treated town water and is safe to drink. 

Can you have a campfire at your campsite?

No – for your safety and as part of the insurance cover we cannot allow fires in undesignated areas.
You may use heat beads at your site as long as it is in an enclosed device e.g. an Oz pig, portable firepit. Someone must be in attendance while the heat beads are going in case of a fire.

Can you taste the camp oven competition food?

No, however if you would like a feed of camp oven food you can purchase this from the camp oven catering tent.

Are there toilets and showers?

Yes, there a number of toilets and showers available across the site. We continue to improve the facilities but please remember that our camping grounds are used only a few times a year. You can bring your own portable toilet and there is a dump point In town.

Do you have to camp to attend?

no, we welcome day tripers as you just need to purchase a ticket, the busiest day being the Saturday.

How long can you camp for?

Festival Camping is one flat fee Campsites are available from Monday 26th September to Tuesday 4th October and your camping fee allows you to stay for as many nights as you like during that time. More information here

Can anybody enter the cooking competitions?

Yes, you sure can, the Festival several categories for all experience levels. The levels are – Championship, Intermediate, Drovers Apprentices (for youth under 18) and our Beginner category.  More Information here

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