2017 Outback Car Trek

When

4-10 Jun 2017

Where

Starts in Griffith and ends in Port Macquarie.

Who

Mr Bill Patrick

The Outback Car Trek is an annual event that raises funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The Trek is an event for older 2WD cars, and all of the cars are specially prepared to cope with the fun of Outback and remote dirt road driving.

About the Trek
The 2017 trek will be the 28th Anniversary of the Outback Car Trek. Over 28 years the trekkers have raised in excess of $25.5 million for the RFDS!

This year the Trek will start in Griffith on 4 June and end in Port Macquarie on 10 June.

The Trek is all about:
• Having fun
• Seeing parts of Australia that most people only dream about visiting
• Contributing socially and financially to the towns visited
• Raising vital funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service

Itinerary

The Trek will travel 3,500 kilometres from Griffith to Port Macquarie. Along the way trekkers will travel through some of the most sparsely populated and remote country that NSW and Queensland has to offer.

Day 1: Griffith to White Cliffs – Sunday 4 June
The fertile rice, grape and citrus growing lands of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area will quickly disappear from your rear vision mirror as you track north-west across the increasingly dry lands that surround the Willandra and Darling River systems. We cross the Darling River at Wilcannia, arriving at the opal fields of White Cliffs in plenty of time for our evening meal.

Day 2: White Cliffs to Tibooburra – Monday 5 June
We continue our north-westerly path when we leave White Cliffs, and we will drop into an RFDS Clinic on our travels this morning. We then head to Milparinka for lunch, and then out towards the South Australian border on our way into Tibooburra for the night.

Day 3: Tibooburra to Hungerford – Tuesday 6 June
We spend most of today in Queensland, driving along little used tracks and roads to cross the wide open cattle grazing properties that dominate south western Queensland, before turning south for the short distance to Hungerford, on the world famous Dog Fence.

Day 4: Hungerford to Lightning Ridge – Wednesday 7 June
Back into NSW first thing this morning, we now start to travel in an easterly direction, dropping in to Enngonia Public School for morning tea with the kids, before taking lunch at Brewarrina. After we leave Brewarrina we spend some time in the Grawin Opal Fields, on our way into Lightning Ridge, our resting place and the location of our Trek Auction Night.

Day 5: Lightning Ridge to Dirranbandi – Thursday 8 June
It is not very far as the crow flies between "The Ridge" & "Dirran", however our travels take us initially away from Dirranbandi, and back into Queensland. On the 2016 Trek the rains and floodwaters prevented us from crossing the Culgoa Floodplains National Park, so we are coming back in 2017 to give it another go, albeit in a different direction, before a leisurely drive after lunch into Dirranbandi.

Day 6: Dirranbandi to Armidale – Friday 9 June
The roads today change markedly, with broad acre cotton and cereal grain farms replacing the stony gibber deserts of the past few days. During the first few hours we pick our way between enormous above ground dams and the cotton & wheat fields they irrigate, and slowly climb over the foothills of Mt Jerrybang and Cap and Bonnet Mountain, south of Gravesend. After lunch we continue to climb to over 1,000 metres, before dropping into Armidale, at the top of the Great Dividing Range.

Day 7: Armidale to Port Macquarie – Saturday 10 June
Saturday is the last day of Trek 2017, and we start our journey towards the coast. Due to their proximity to the seaboard, last days generally have more sealed roads than the other 6 days of the Trek, however this morning we travel along some of the most exciting driving roads, across some of the most picturesque countryside, that the state of NSW has to offer. The finishing line at Port Macquarie is located at the junction of the Hastings River and the Pacific Ocean, providing a memorable end to a wonderful week of driving (and raising money) for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.