Forty-one four-wheel drive’s and 150 people will venture into the Australian outback for seven days on Saturday as part of the Variety SA 4WD Adventure, raising funds for South Australian children’s charity, Variety SA.
The event begins on the March 20 in Kulgera and finishes at Arkaringa Station in the Painted Desert on the 26th.
Entrants will venture through the centre of Australia, visiting locations such as Uluru, Kings Canyon National Park, Boggy Hole, Lamberts Centre and the Painted Desert.
Variety SA CEO Mark McGill said the event would take entrants to “some of the most incredible places” in the centre of Australia.
“Supporters of Variety allow us on their property so you can go on tracks that you normally wouldn’t go on and stay at places the general public can’t stay,” Mr McGill said.
“We take chefs, the food is incredible. We take a shower and toilet block so everything is still catered for.”
In previous years the 4WD adventure has taken participants around Australia visiting the Flinders Ranges in 2019, across the Great Australian Bight in 2018 and through the Victorian High Country and Kosciuszko National Park in 2016.
This marks the 26th year the event has taken place.
It was cancelled 10 days out from the start date last year due to COVID-19 and the subsequent border lockdowns.
Mr McGill said it was “incredible” being able to host events again after a challenging 2020.
“It’s our bread and butter and it’s what we are known for and what we do very well,” Mr McGill said.
“The revenue is one thing but it’s also the engagement which is really important for our culture and our organisational culture.”
Tanya Stratton, an entrant in this year’s event, has been doing the 4WD Adventure since 2014 and will embark on her seventh event this year.
“We are all very excited it is finally happening, because last year obviously with COVID we missed out,” said Ms Stratton.
“It’s great we get to travel around Australia and have lots of fun but most importantly raise funds for disadvantaged children.”
Variety SA holds a special place in Ms Stratton’s heart having a nephew who struggled with a neurological disorder for 11 years.
“It really is a perfect fit for our family and for me,” she said.
Mr McGill is hoping to raise $600,000 from this event, which will go towards the charity’s $3 million-plus grants programmes it intends to deliver next year.
“The money raised in one year is spent on our grants programme the next year,” he said
In 2019 the event raised $588,000, and $741,000 in 2018.