14 November 2023

Bittersweet end: Final Punsand Bay Melbourne Cup event a huge success

| Chisa Hasegawa
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four people at beach in colourful clothes

From left are Jack, Kahlia, Rod and Anne Colquhoun, who have hosted the Punsand Bay Melbourne Cup for the past six years. Photo: Cape York Camping Punsand Bay.

The beloved Punsand Bay Melbourne Cup ran for the last time on Tuesday (7 November) after six years of horse racing, fashion and celebration with the local community.

The event was run by the Colquhoun family each year to thank the local community at the end of tourist season, and this year saw one of the highest attendance numbers since its beginning.

Cape York Camping Punsand Bay general manager Kahlia Colquhoun said it was a difficult but necessary decision.

“Our family has put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into growing this event into more than we could have imagined,” she said.

“We are so grateful for the support and love we have received over the past six events.”

The final Punsand Bay Melbourne Cup also saw the addition of a fundraising auction for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, raising more than $8800.

“This is an amazing effort by all and another big thankyou to everyone’s contribution to this incredible service,” she said.

The Colquhouns will now be taking a step back to focus on family and the business.

“We’ll see in a few years if it’s something we want to do again,” Kahlia said.

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