I recently wrote Why I’m going to Australia. As soon as I land in Brisbane I’m headed to the Outback. Outback Queensland that is! My first experience in Australia will be in the rough and beautifully remote environment where only the strong survive. Speaking of survival, that has a lot to do with the reason I’m going to the Outback.
I’ll be participating in, and doing media coverage with RunawayJuno for an exciting event called the Outback Trailblazers, which is an 7-day fund-raising road rally across 2,000+ kilometers of Australian Outback. I’m ready to see this wide open country and meet the hardy folks who call this land home. Much of it is off-road and we’ll be doing lots of fun stuff along the way. Juno and I will be teaming up with Outback Queensland Tourism to virtually take you with us. You’ll be able to see daily updates on my Facebook page.
Proceeds from the Outback Trailblazer event will be supporting an organization called Angel Flight. Angel Flight provides flights to individuals free of charge in the Outback who need transport to hospitals. Why can’t they just drive to the hospital like regular people? Well, the Outback is an enormously huge place, with an incredibly small population desity. Hospitals can be hundreds of kilometers away. For emergencies, there is a system in place called the Royal Flying Doctors, who fly in for treatment and emergencies. But Royal Flying doctors do not provide flights or treatment to patients who are receiving care like chemotherapy.
In short, Angel Flight saves lives by providing an invaluable service and I am honored to participate in this event. Plus, I get to see what the Outback is like and share it with you!
A one-of-a-kind 4WD adventure showcasing Queensland’s awesome inland, wonders you can only discover with the help of our Outback Angels.
Saturday 18th April – Tee-off in Quilpie
Rendezvous in boulder opal country for RACQ scrutineering and registration. Meet fellow ‘Trailblazers’ during a spot of barefoot bowls and night golf.
Day 1: Sunday 19th April – Official start and an Outback Fair
The flag drops at Baldy Top Lookout and it’s off to Eromanga, Australia’s furthest town from the sea. Enjoy the Eromanga Outback Fair and BBQ lunch. Then venture further west to the Cooper for a special Creekside Civic Welcome to Barcoo country and our ‘getting to know you dinner’. Overnight Windorah.
Day 2: Monday 20th April – Beetoota to Birdsville and meet the high-flyers
Spectacular Deon’s Lookout, the last building standing in Australia’s smallest town, a giant Dreamtime Serpent and lunch at the famed Birdsville Bakery. Sipping at sunset on the Big Red sand dune at the edge of the Simpson Desert is a powerful prelude to the official 2015 Angel Flight dinner hosted by our Patron Tania Kernaghan. Overnight Birdsville.
Day 3: Tuesday 21st April – ABBA-solutely fabulous fun in two states
Brekky with the only four pupils at the Birdsville school, before vying for a ‘huge’ prize in our observation rally. You’re briefly bound for South Australia, in Pandie Pandie country and on the Birdsville Track. Then it’s a parade behind ‘Pricilla’ the bus, some ‘drag’ racing antics and a night of wild ABBAndon at the iconic Birdsville Pub. Overnight Birdsville.
Day 4: Wednesday 22nd April – Caves, customs, Kidman and a claypan
After a Dingo Caves breakfast, you’ll be asked to uphold a couple of very unusual Outback traditions. Kitchen appliances and footwear essential!! (That’ll keep you guessing). See what extreme drought did to Sir Sidney Kidman’s homestead, then chill out at the ‘desert oasis’. The world’s largest claypan, sunset fishing on a crystal lake and a bonza bush dinner. Overnight Bedourie.
Day 5: Thursday 23rd April – Par for the course. Lights, camel, action!
Better be early for bush golf on the Par 1 hole. $1000 cash for the first hole-in-one and forget birdies and eagles. There’s $100 for the first to get a goanna. This arvo, see the multi-award winning Min Min Encounter show before you head off in search of this mysterious light phenomenon. Later, enjoy dinner and a unique camel race in Australia’s camel racing capital. Overnight Boulia.
Day 6: Friday 24th April – All stations, Diamantina to dinosaur country
Enter a vast national park where the many braided channels of the Diamantina River converge at Diamantina Gates and the ranger occupies the old station homestead. Next stop Old Cork Station, then onto Carisbrooke Station, site of the 1942 emergency landing of a US warplane carrying Congressman (later President) Lyndon B Johnson. End of the line today is the dinosaur capital, Winton. Tonight, a very special Kernaghan Campfire Singalong dinner at Bladensburg National Park. Overnight Winton.
Day 7: Saturday 25th April – ANZAC DAY 100 yrs since Gallipoli Landing
A day…and night…you’ll never forget. Mark 100 years to the day since the Gallipoli landing at a truly moving dawn service, followed by breakfast at the RSL and Winton’s biggest ever Anzac Day March. Later, explore the town, meet the locals, and prepare for an exceptional farewell finale. You’ll be dancing where Matilda learned to waltz! Begin at the Waltzing Matilda Centre, the world’s only museum dedicated to a song and move to the North Gregory Hotel’s pianola, where Banjo Paterson’s classic was first sung in public. Finally, you’ll wind up at Winton’s Shire Hall for a huge Outback R&R party. Swing along as our big band belts out all the Glenn Miller classics, and tributes to The Andrew Sisters and Dame Vera Lynn. A swinging sensation to say farewell to Trailblazer 2015. Overnight Winton.