Variety - the Children’s Charity SA is an ‘umbrella’ children’s charity. It is a professionally run, international organisation dedicated to inspiring hope and enriching the lives of children in need under the age of 18. 95% of all money raised in South Australia is allocated to projects within the state.
Variety helps all children; both directly and through numerous other service providers. Absolutely ANYONE can apply for funds, from an individual to an already widely know charity like Royal Flying Doctors Service or Novita and major facilities like Flinders Medical Centre and Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
what's great is that the Variety SA Bash is the entrant's reward for a year spent fundraising for the children of SA who really need it.
Held annually, the Variety SA Bash is an eight day drive in the country designed to put the fun in fundraising.
This year the bash raised a record breaking $2.64 million (net!) and presenting more than $500,000 worth of grants to regional SA along the way! - a fantastic effort which could not be acheieved without the help of volunteers, sponors and the general public who get behind this great event.
Our very own Stuart Peddle has been part of the Variety SA Bash Mobile Workshop team for over 10 years and this year he joined the Ultratune vehicle MW9. The vehicle is a 70 series V8 diesel land cruiser wagon kitted out with all the required tools from Ultratune and REDARC dual battery system.
This is a new mobile workshop consisting of mechanics from Ultratune, where he assisted them to learn the ropes of being an MW.
Stuart gives us a break down of what happened on each day.
Day 1 - Start Line in Port Lincoln
Port Lincoln really turned it on for the start of the bash, not only with perfect weather, but with heaps of locals out to see us off.
There are 9 MW vehicles with a great team of highly skilled and experienced mechanics that keep the bash vehicles going throughout the event. The MW vehicles are mainly land cruisers, 70 series, 80 series, 100 series, and 200 series. Also part of the crew is an early 70’s International ex-firetruck, affectionately known as “The Duck Truck”. The MWs have a great time joining in on the Bash activities whilst ensuring that the Bashers have fun and the vehicles can make it to the final destination.
Lunch stop at Coffin Bay – such a beautiful place! An Oyster boat pulled up on the beach and was shucking Oysters straight off the boat – it doesn’t get any fresher!
Throughout the event there are fun stops between the days destinations so the Bashers can enjoy remote locations, often in national parks or private stations, that people normally don’t get access to. At the fun stops there are unique foods, entertainment, games and fun had by all.
Day 2 - Arno Bay
Sunrise over Arno Bay.
Out on the tracks.
With recent rain on the Eyre Peninsula some challenging recoveries were all part of the fun. The MWs teamed up to ensure all the Bashers got through the sticky spots.
Day 3/4- Smoky Bay
Travelling around the Eyre Peninsula for the first few days of the Bash was simply spectacular. Mesmerising sunsets, beautiful beaches, wonderful people and hospitality – what more could you ask for!
Smoky Bay is simply stunning. As was the case for MW9 this year, some good fun out on the tracks doing repairs meant some late nights for us, and the sunsets we stopped up to enjoy made the after dark arrivals in to night stop all the more worth it.
Areas of the Eyre Peninsula are known for sandy terrain which meant more fun for the MWs, lending a hand to the duck truck. Good times with another team effort, and of course plenty of camper fire banter followed this one.
North Well station is a great property near Kingoonya, and the resident peacock was very curious. We found it hanging out for a lift!
Kingoonya hotel is an Iconic outback pub, and one I always love to stop at. Have a chat with the few locals, and you always run into other travellers too.
Day 7 - Port Augusta
The salt lakes on stations heading down into Port Augusta were brilliant expanses where as sweep vehicle for the day we enjoyed the silence and serenity of these areas. Sweep duties are undertaken by an MW, taking turns each day. We run at the very back of the field and ensure that all vehicles have safely made it through, station gates are left as required by the owners, any signage and markers are collected, and no basher is left behind.
Sweep duties are undertaken by an MW, taking turns each day. We run at the very back of the field and ensure that all vehicles have safely made it through, station gates are left as required by the owners, any signage and markers are collected, and no basher is left behind.
Sunset at Port Augusta
Day 8 - Clare
Lineup at Port Augusta for the final leg into Clare. After a long week on the road, the final night party is on in Clare where the fundraising total will be announced!
The SA Variety Bash was a great success again this year and we had an absolute blast. We travelled through great national park and private station tracks, meeting plenty of colourful characters along the way.
All the Bash cars made it to Clare, meaning a job well done by all MWs. One of the highlights for me would have to be North Well station where the hospitality, food and roaring camp fire made for a fantastic night.
Also worth mention was the use of a good old outback station workshop where we were able to do some repairs before partying into the night.
The wonderful seafood and epic views of the Eyre Peninsula is also well up there on the long list of highlights. Here’s looking forward to the 2017 Bash where we start in Mount Barker and finish in Mount Gambier.