Airlie last stop for Outback Trekkers
A PARADE of colourfully decorated yet caked-in-dirt rally cars flooded into Airlie Beach on Saturday afternoon as teams in the The Outback Car Trek pulled into their much-anticipated last stop on a 3200km journey.
The 85 vintage two-wheel drive cars and 27 support vehicles travelled from Tamworth to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The last leg was from Mt Coolon to Airlie Lagoon.
The rally takes a different route each year and this was the first time it had been to Airlie Beach.
Organiser Bill Patrick said the iconic Whitsunday destination provided good motivation to finish the event.
“We needed a place to feed 450 people but also somewhere to look forward to getting to,” he said.
Mr Patrick has been running the event for the past decade and has been participating since 1999.
“It gets in your blood, most of these guys have done the event for over 10 years,” he said.
The event is a major fundraiser for the RFDS and this year raised almost $1.4 million. The highest fundraiser, Team AV8’s David Hicks, contributed $160,000 to the cause.
“According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, most people donate more during this event than other people do during their entire lives,” Mr Patrick said.
BIG DOG: Team 9K9’s cars were decorated with brown fur and even a flapping dog's tongue.