Combining the iconic ocker Aussie stockman, impressive acrobatics, a collection of adorable and talented animals and a storyline set to tug at the heart strings, the Gold Coast’s Australian Outback Spectacular is an evening out you won’t want to miss.
Upon our arrival at the AOS hall off the highway, fellow guests awaiting the opening of the doors joined us. With large school and tour groups to young families and elderly couples, it was clear to see that AOS caters to a range of ages. After being greeted by the friendly plaid-wearing staff members we were handed our iconic AOS straw hats and ushered in for a group photo.
The first part of the evening was much like being at a real life country party, with live music from a talented young man, a fully stocked bar, gift shop and seating areas the evening was off to a good start. Perhaps the major highlight of the area was the animals flanking the hall. There were horses, a talented border collie named Digger and five more Christmas-themed border collies patiently waiting to be ogled by the crowd. The best part about these animals was that you were able to have your photo snapped with them. You can have your photo taken with any and all of the animals for no upfront fee, all you need to do is show the photographer your ticket and the printed photos will be brought to you with the option of purchasing towards the end of the show.
Enjoying live covers of some classic Aussie tunes such as Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band, Give Me a Home Among the Gumtrees, and the Aussie rendition of Jingle Bells. Looking around the room filled with straw hats we could see kids and adults dancing, friends talking and drinks being poured. We were then ushered into the main concert hall to take our seats for the show to begin.
Greeted by our servers for the evening, our drink orders were taken and entrée was served. The drinks available throughout the performance included water, soft drinks, beer and wine, allowing you to order as many as you like. Entrée for the evening was a steaming bowl of pumpkin soup with croutons, and it surely satisfied.
The show began with a bang, Indigenous shadows were projected into the smoke as an introductory music video played to get everyone in the mood. We were then introduced to our talented stockmen and women for the evening and their beautiful horses. Three main Aussie characters that told the beloved stories throughout the evening ran the entirety of the show. Taking us on a journey to learn about the light horse and the role the Australian soldiers played in the war, with impressive tricks and tales in between. We were able to witness impressive horse acrobatics as the men and women performed tricks on the horses as they sped around the arena.
The crowd ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ as the doors opened and two men standing up on two horses each emerged from the smoke. They raced around the stage, jumped over burning logs and weaved between kerosene lamps. Then two men became one and two horses became four as the brave stockman took the reins of all four horses and preceded to gallop around the obstacles and jump over the fire logs, it is truly an sight that has to be seen.
Dinner was served with applause as the friendly servers delivered our hot meals straight to us. With the option of steak, chicken or vegetarian the cooks in the kitchen know how to prepare a delicious meal. If need be, they can also cater to special dietary requirements such as dairy free and gluten free.
The rest of the evening was filled with some classic jokes, challenges against the blue and red teams and audience participation from some of the younger attendees.
A performance to write home about, The Salute to the Light Horse touches on the brave men and women that risked their lives for our country as they journeyed from the Australian outback to all the way to Beersheba back in 1917. Telling the tale of a young Irish-Australian family whose three sons went off only to never return, you could feel the heartache and emotion of the story by the telling performances from the cast. Combine that with a moving performance of the Last Post played to perfection by one of the stockmen.
Other highlights for the evening included the circus set which saw oddly dressed clowns, acrobats and aerial artists grace the stage, as they paid homage to the legendary girl from Queensland; May Wirth, and the Wirth Family Circus. The show also pays homage to Red Dog, a classic Australian icon, with a light-hearted scene with a singing and dancing Holden-driving Aussie.
Australian Outback Spectacular’s latest show, Salute to the Light Horse, ticks all the right boxes. Combining humour, emotion, anticipation and education, it is a great evening out for the whole family to enjoy.
The show runs every Tuesday to Saturday night and Sundays with a matinee performance. The Salute to the Light Horse will be performed until December 31st 2017, be sure to book your tickets online to avoid missing out.
Where: Entertainment Drive, Oxenford QLD 4210
When: Tuesday to Saturday night + Sunday Matinee until 30 December 2017
Price: $69.99 – $109.99