Newcastle Variety Bash is Ready to Hit the Road
For a week in May the roads of Northern and Western New South Wales will be filled with colourful old cars filled with even more colourful drivers and passengers as part of the Newcastle Variety Bash.
The original Variety 'B to B' Bash from Bourke in Far West New South Wales to Burketown in Northern Queensland, was started in 1985, when businessman and philanthropist Dick Smith decided to 'take a few mates for a drive in the Outback' and at the same time raise money for charity.
The Newcastle Variety Bash, which has been running for 22 years, is a seven day adventure through New South Wales. This year's itinerary is a loop through the north of the state. Leaving Newcastle the cars will travel west to Coolah and Dubbo before heading up to Carinda and Bourke. The Bash will travel on to Walgett, Moree, Manilla, Armidale then across to Bobin and Port Macquarie before heading home to Newcastle via Gloucester and Muswellbrook.
The Bash is not a race or a rally, and speed is not a criteria. The road rules are followed, and safety is paramount, but otherwise the only rule is to have fun. Bribery of officials is encouraged, pranks and practical jokes are rife and the biggest crime on the Bash is to take it all too seriously.
What is important is that entrants get into the spirit of the bash. Participants raise money through fundraising and sponsorship so Variety Newcastle can then take them on an adventure to take that hard earned money off them. All proceeds go towards Variety's programs that help children in our region with special needs. Along the way, the Bash also visits local schools, distributing much needed equipment as well as providing a welcome break from the regular school day.
In 2012 the Newcastle Variety Bash reached its highest sum ever, raising more than $580,000. This year's event is looking very promising to break that record with an unprecedented 80 vehicles entering.
Bash Cars must be pre-1974 two-wheel drive vehicles. They must be well-maintained, registered and roadworthy to enter, and mobile workshops travel with the group, crewed by people with expertise to provide support for all the cars.
The 2013 Bash will set off from Newcastle Foreshore on 19 May, returning 25 May.