On The Road
Well dear readers, the revised Variety Bush Bash 2021 has been run and our intrepid crew from Car 1104, our beloved (not by all) DV has returned home safely, if not somewhat ignominiously, more on that later. The crew advise it was a great adventure and they have so many stories and “tall tales” to tell, along with all the facts on what they saw and what they did and who they met, we will have to spread the article over a few issues, it is well worth waiting for.
In this episode in the travels of Car 1104, we will just cover the facts
of the bash, ie. route and towns and any special highlights of the day.
Prior To Departure
DV aka: Car 1104 was checked and checked again, the troublesome
air con was finally working and all supplies and essential items were
loaded aboard, one final check and they were ready for the road,
goodbyes were said and the crew wished well by all at the Lions Club.
Day 1 – Thurs 4/11/21 Departure – Logan Village to Charleville
• At the crack of dawn DV slid out from her shed, breathed in the fresh
morning air, tooted her horn and hit the bitumen, the crew were full
of enthusiasm, if not still half a sleep.
• BUT 120klm out of Brissie, the bonnet was up, DV had problems,
Bob the Wizard mechanic diagnosed a fuel problem of some sort,
performed some kind of magic and DV started and they causally
drove onto Charleville (photos of Car 1104 only 120klm out from
home were the most widely distributed on the bash, somewhat of an
embarrassment to the crew).
• Thank goodness they got some help in Charleville and reckoned
they could make it to Longreach and really check things out, the
Lions and others in Charleville made them feel at home and looked
after them as clubs do.
Day 2 – Friday 5/11/21 – Charleville to Longreach (hopefully)
• Left Charleville with some interpretation with regards the fixing of
fuel problem, drove DV very carefully and spoke to her nicely.
• The crew decided to take the scenic route to Longreach via Quilpie,
Jundah and Stonehenge it turns out Lion Brad was from these parts,
so they stopped at the first stone circle they saw and said a few
chants and headed for Longreach via the nearest pub that sold a
good olde MEAD!!!
• Highlight of the day Phil reckons was the Quilpie Pie shop, to die for??
• Fuel problems again, Bob says it’s a vapour lock prob, the boys say
they have not sniffed anything!!! Bob gets it going and they crawl into
• Great reception in Longreach along with some ribbing re the 120k
problems, Lions and others put on a great spread and everyone
goes to bed with a contented tummy.
Day 3 – Saturday 6/11/21 at Longreach
• Bash now not to commence until Sunday, so all day spent working
on the car fuel problem and they also discovered they needed to fit
a new exhaust manifold, long hard and hot day, finished at 3pm, just
in time for Happy Hour, a cold beer went down well!!!
• That evening a good feed was put on by the organisers and the crew
felt a lot better as they hit the sack.
Before the bash commences we should explain the Bush Bash
Rules and Procedures so that some of the comments make sense.
• The day is divided into AM and PM drives
• Wherever possible the routes avoid main roads and the bitumen,
using minor roads and private tracks so that there will be no
interference to normal road traffic.
• Lunch each day is provided by local communities, usually at the
local school and catered for by the school P&C or other community
organisation and the competitors will provide gifts etc. to the schools,
Variety will have special gifts for the needy children along the way.
• Each car has a designated navigator for the day and they attend a
morning briefing where the day’s route is discussed and any special
requirements are advised, also any warnings re possible hazards are
advised. Each route is timed to be able to be achieved by all cars
travelling safely and if any problems they will be followed up. By control.
• 3 Rules apply 1) It’s not a race; 2) don’t follow the car in front, they
may have different instructions and they may be LOST!!; 3) NO
DRINK DRIVING the designated driver must be alcohol free.
Day 4 – Sunday 7/11/21 Day 1 of Bash – Longreach to Jericho
• The day started with a hearty breakfast put on by the Thompson
River Lions Club and was served under the wings of a Boeing 747
in the Qantas Museum, a great experience to start the Bash.
• AM leg 274 klm to Barcaldine for lunch PM leg 129klm to Jericho
• Bash started and soon on the dirt, so on with the Green dust light
and the flashing amber, this is the real thing, can’t see a bloody
• 7klm into the PM leg we get flashed to stop and are advised our boot
is open and spare keys are dangling in the lock, oops that could
have been embarrassing, no boot lid and no spare keys.
• We get to Jericho start putting up marquee and a violent storm hits,
the showground starts to flood, so we up the marquee to higher
ground, after all that we enjoy a good meal and have a few bevvies,
so all is well, if not a bit soggy as we turn in for the night.
Day 5 – Monday 8/11/21 Bash Day 2 Jericho to Emerald via Mistake Creek
• Up to a full on brekkie and raring to go, days briefing, lots of rain
effected dirt roads and more rain predicted, be careful .Bearing that
in mind Lion Phil who had done the Police advanced driving course
was designated driver for the day, yes he has the makings of a good
rally driver the others reckon.
• All went well and arrived at Mistake Creek SS, 12 PUPILS & 1
TEACHER, cute, all the children are presented with a bicycle by
Variety Club, beaming faces everywhere, and this was our first
example of what Variety do at the coalface, a highlight of the trip.
• PM leg found a lot of dodgy roads, driver Phil had to keep stopping
so that Brad could go into local watering holes to enquire about the
road ahead, over a pot of beer, a likely story you say!!!
• Finally got to Emerald without any major problems apart from Brad’s
bladder, great campsite at showgrounds, no storms thank goodness,
again local clubs laid on a great meal and entertainment for all, a
good, dry night’s sleep was had by all.
Day 6 – Tuesday 9/11/21 Bash Day 3 Emerald to Biloela via Bluff SS and Duaringa SS
• A BIG Hearty breakfast then on the road, todays briefing – again
some bad roads and more rain on its way, so be careful.
• Brad is designated driver so no visiting watering holes!! Today he
says, luckily President Wayne is navigator so we had someone who
knew how to read a map and instructions should be a productive
• School visit at Bluff SS again very small school but had a great
Community onto Duaringa SS for a lovely lunch and some
presentations by Variety Club, great to see and be part off.
• PM brought a few tricky water moments and also some good”
Fun Stops” to cheer one up, the sky became very threatening
and Murphy’s Law the alternator belt broke and we spent 15 mins
watching those black clouds get closer whilst the belt was fixed, just
got under way when the heavens opened up.
• Rain did not stop as we approached Biloela so decision was made
to stay at the Commercial Hotel for the night, as against getting
drowned at the campsite, a lot of other crews did the same, wise
• The publican Pete and his staff were wonderful and looked after
everybody magnificently a great night was had by all and they did
not get wet.
Day 7 – Wednesday 10/11/21 Bash Day 4 – Biloela to Eidsvold (Rockybar Station – Overnight)
• Left Biloela after brekkie, days briefing, HOT AND HUMID, possible
rain and storms and a lot of roads not passable, not biding well the
crew thought (oh how true that would be).
• Plans had to be changed early on as most dirt roads not drivable, so
cars had to stick to the bitumen, first stop Thangool SS for a quick
visit and Variety Club presentations.
• Hit the road again on a dirt road that was just drivable but soon found
ourselves up Shi-Creek in a gully on a dangerous sharp bend with
the bonnet up again and yes you guessed a fuel problem again.
• What a day, fuel problem continued,stop and start, it seemed
every car in the Bash went past us and then the Bash AW Vehicle
(Auxiliary workshop) came along and they were able to get us going
again, having not seen any other cars for ages we thought we may
be lost, but they assured us we were not.
• We eventually caught up with the rest of the Bash cars all stopped by
a recently flooded bridge, with the local council supposedly getting it
cleared, no hurry chaps!!!!
• It was very hot and just waiting for the bridge to be cleared was hot
work, so the crew decided to get out the roof shade to get it cooler,
but a chap in another car was taken ill with severe dehydration and
heat stroke, so the Medics used our shade as a treatment area till
the ambulance arrived and took the chap to Monto Hospital, he was
ok in the end.
• One good thing as everyone was parked up, Phil went around selling
raffle tickets to everyone, good idea that man.
• Bridge was finally opened and we got to Abercorn SS just after 2pm
for a late lunch, all crews were a bit hot and tired so all took a good
rest before hitting the road for the PM leg.
• Stopped at Eidsvold for fuel and supplies (amber type) then headed
for the iconic RM Williams family owned Rockybar station, it is a
magnificent property and we felt privileged to stay there.
• In the evening a great dinner was laid on and then a concert with
Lincoln How and the Madmen (bush bashers??) and then a surprise
guest no other than James Blundell who jammed with them and the
great Vic Pascoe as well, what a night, plenty of good company wine
and port but at 11pm a big storm decided to interrupt proceedings,
another soggy night but most enjoyable. Today was a big day with
lots of lows but finished with a great HIGH.
Day 8 – Thursday 11/11/21 Bash Day 5 – Eidsvold – Kilkivan
• Up nice and early and packing stuff onto truck still damp but not
soaking, great brekkie as ever, at briefing weather becoming a
bigger problem, most routes will have to be changed due to road
• Got to the bitumen from Rockybar Station without too many problems,
we headed to Eidsvold and then onto Mundubbera, where we had
a rest up, we attended the Remembrance Day service at the towns
Cenotaph at 11:00 hrs and then raised a glass to the “Diggers”.
• We then headed to Gayndah and lunched at the Commercial Hotel
(Q: Why are so many Country Towns Hotels called the Commercial?)
lovely country pub lunch and lots of people raising a glass to the
Towns folk who were in or have been in the Armed forces and wars.
• We decided to bypass the scheduled stop at Wondai and head
straight to Kilkivan via Tansey to check a few things on DV and air
some gear whilst it had stopped raining for once.
• That night at Kilkivan we had a great experience the famous:
Brophy’s Boxing Tent show was in town and provided some great
entertainment, without anyone getting too hurt, tick off one of Phil’s
bucket list items. As much as the boys tried to get Brad up into the
ring with all his usual” Bravado”, yeh no worries, on this occasion
he declined the challenge!!! Unfortunately the night finished badly
another storm hit and we had to hold down the marquee and tents to
stop them blowing away, another soggy bed time.
Day 9 – Friday 12/11/21 Bash Day 6 – Final Leg Kilkivan to Fraser Island
• Up early and packed up all our very damp gear, rather dampish
smells pervades car 1104 and everyone else’s vehicles, all this wet
weather camping is all very character building, someone was heard
to say out loud, the replies from 100 odd car occupants are not
• It’s the last day of the Bash and we are all fired up and ready to go, it
has rained all night and is still pouring down, it’s all BITUMEN today
the briefing says to loud cheers, I think everyone was over MUD,
MUD and more Mud, so off we go, we managed to get lost in Gympie
but got back on track through Maryborough and into Hervey Bay.
• Lunch today was at the Sandy Straight SS our last school visit for the
bash, Variety Club did their usual gifting and all Bashers gave a big
cheer to them, still pouring down, very soggy Bashers!!!
• After a lovely lunch all the Bash cars drove up to the town oval and
parked up in a nice formation, a lovely site to see through the rain!!,
we were then bussed to River Heads and then boarded the barge
to Kingfisher Bay Resort, it was a treat to get out of wet clothes and
have a nice shower and put on warm dry clothes. Today as I now
recollect we did not have a breakdown, yippee.
• The awards presentation and closing function were very well done,
the buffet was delicious and could have fed the 5,000 so no empty
tummies tonight and with a 5 hour drinks package all Bashers were
feeling a lot better by the end of the night and yes it was still raining,
but no soggy bedtimes tonight, hooray was heard as bedroom
doors closed for the night.
Day 10 – Saturday 13/11/21 – Day of Rest in Hervey Bay
• We all caught up with Andy who was in the club at the Village and
now lives in Hervey Bay, good catch up talking about old times etc.
etc. and a few coldies (not driving). Packed up Car 1104 ready for
the homeward trip on Sunday.
Day 11 – Sunday 14/11/21 Homeward Bound
• After farewelling Andy and Sally we headed out of town and headed
south hoping for a nice leisurely drive home and that the rain
would finally stop, well the rain kept pouring and halfway between
Maryborough and Gympie the gearbox in DV decided it had enough
and expired on us.
• A big thank you to the RACQ breakdown people, 1104 was loaded
onto a truck and we all got into a courtesy car and finally completed
the journey, HOME at last, yippee, what a trip, started with a
breakdown and finished on the back of an RACQ truck, Car 1104
you certainly tested the crew in more ways than one can imagine.
Competing in the Variety Bush Bash was an experience none of us will
ever forget, we got to see the best of human kindness in action and
it restored ones faith in mankind, after all the usual bad news we see
and hear everyday.
We saw the country in all its glory, doing the backroads shows you a
completely different aspect on things and country towns they are just
so different to the big city surrounds we are used to and the people
are so friendly, as Lions were knocked out by all the help we received
along the way.
The Variety Club organisation is amazing, we cannot praise what they
do highly enough, we saw firsthand the money that is raised being
used directly for the children who need it, in places where normal
charity or welfare systems may not always be in operation, our club will
certainly look at donating to the cause.
With over 100 cars in the BASH this year Variety raised over $1.1m
net profit, given what a year this has been, that is a fantastic amount of
money to assist the needy children in our society.
Examples We Saw On The Trip
• New pushbikes to the children at Mistake Creek School, you should
have seen the smiles on their faces.
• A brace support system for a handicapped child in Biloela, it will
enable the child to move easier and grow with it.
• Games packages for the kids at Abercorn School, it will help them
learn and keep them occupied in a town without too many amenities
That is just a small sample of what Variety do, like Lions they strive to
help anybody who needs help.
The Lions Club of Logan Village is very proud to have participated
in the Variety Bush Bash 2021 and helped raise money for a worthy
cause and we will be signing up for 2022.
A big big thank you again to all who helped the Club get Car 1104
on the road and into the bash!
President: Wayne; Secretary: Brad; Hall Co-ordinator: Phil; and Club
Founding Member: Bob; and of course Car 1104, our DV, WHO DID
PLAY UP A BIT, but as she says what do you expect from an old Lady!!
Let loose in the Bush! Lions We Serve!