Great success for the 2023 Outback Car Trek

Outback Car Trek 2023 supports RFDS

Date published

21 Aug 2023

After 12 days and more than 5,700 kilometres the 2023 Outback Car Trek reached the finish line, raising more than $1.1 million for the Royal Flying Doctor Service in the process.

More than 100 cars and 250 participants made the journey from Geraldton, Western Australia to Darwin, Northern Territory, all in the name of providing much needed funding for the RFDS to provide care to rural and remote communities.

Outback Car Trek 2023

The Trek concluded on Sunday, June 11 with a final dinner held at Darwin Casino, and the Trekkers showed their generosity by raising $97,500 at an auction, with the big-ticket items proving to be two sculptures from the Back Track Youth program, fetching $31,000 and $30,000 respectively and an RFDS experience bringing $9,000.

The RFDS supports the Trek by providing medical staff who travel along to assist with any injuries or illnesses that occur.

This year with the longer trek, two teams went along. The first half of the Trek was covered by Doctor Andrew Lesnewski and flight nurse Robin Franklin, with the second week involving Doctor Kiri Oates and flight nurse Michael Cook.

Dr Lesnewski started with the RFDS in 2021. Having conducted emergency retrievals in outback NSW for the last two years, he embraced the opportunity to see more of Australia but in a more relaxed setting.

Asked about his time on the Trek, Dr Lesnewski said they were long days of travelling but the constantly changing scenery made them exciting.

In addition to the experience on the road, the good doctor was just as impressed with the Trek participants, who are passionate about supporting the RFDS.

Doctor Andrew Lesnewski

“The people on the Trek are a bunch of genuine, down‑to‑earth people who enjoy driving heavily modified old cars along isolated dirt tracks," Dr Lesnewski said.

"They also recognise the essential work RFDS does in providing high quality medical care to rural and remote communities. A lot of the participants have stories about how RFDS has helped them, their family members or somebody they know."

We’re so grateful to everyone who took part in the 2023 Outback Car Trek and we’re already excited for 2024!