The bash is an annual fundraising event for Variety, the children’s charity that in 2017 involves 115 vehicles and more than 300 colourful characters from across Queensland in a ten-day drive from the Sunshine Coast to the Whitsundays, via the outback. Day One sees the colourful convoy depart Caloundra to tourists drives in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, before heading off-road via Murgon and Warra to an overnight stop in Chinchilla.
On Day Two the convoy makes its way across the Surat Basin, visiting Kogan and Moonie, before a night of camping at the iconic Nindigully Hotel, outside Thallon. Pub owner Burnsey tells the story of how a previous Variety Bash several years ago donated funds for a cricket oval, which helped a young kid called James Peirson develop a love for the game. That boy Jimmy is now wicketkeeper for the Queensland Bulls.
Day Three and the Bashers keep heading west through St George and Dirranbandi before officially entering the Queensland Outback. Dry and dusty conditions and some loose gravel are taking their toll on vehicles that are all only two-wheel drive, and all over 30 years old. Thank goodness for the mechanical support of the mobile workshops, and some tinkering under bonnets overnight in Charleville.
Day Four is a drive beyond the black stump, to Blackall. One of the highlights is a lunch stop in the tiny town of Adavale, population just fifteen. Adavale was the setting for the story “Kings in Grass Castles” about pioneers who opened this part of Australia to sheep and cattle.
If YOU would like to explore new territory, then get involved in a Variety Bash. There are all sorts of information online to get you started. As they say, “ya gotta do it”