Thrilling journey across four states awaits participants in Outback Car Trek 2024

Date published

31 May 2024

Participants in this year’s Outback Car Trek (OCT) will soon embark on a thrilling journey across four states in an epic charity car rally all to raise much-needed funds for the Australia’s most reputable charity, the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

Commencing in 1990, the charity car rally raises vital funds for the RFDS and since its inception has raised in excess of $33,500,000, and organisers are excitedly counting down the days until the annual fundraiser makes its return in 2024.

This year’s Trek begins with the annual Cut-A-Rama launch event in Bendigo on Saturday 1 June, where participants cut and colour their hair in return for thousands of dollars in donations.

Outback Car Trek 2024

On Sunday 2 June, Trekkers will set off on the 8-day adventure from Bendigo, heading northwest to Mildura.  Next, they’ll move on to Burra and Innaminka in South Australia, before making their way to the New South Wales/Queensland border town of Hungerford, and finish at the idyllic Main Beach on the Gold Coast on Sunday 9 June.

The Trek doesn’t just raise vital funds for the RFDS; it also contributes to the local economy of the communities it passes through. On an average day of the Trek about $75,000 is spent in a town or locality on food, fuel, mechanical repairs and, where available, accommodation. Over a Trek, about $100,000 is spent by Trekkers assisting community groups through raffle ticket sales or supporting a community project or school.

Outback Car Trek organiser Bill Patrick said preparations were going well with everyone itching for adventure that awaits.

“The 2024 Trek will continue its 34-year long tradition of raising money to help the RFDS provide the finest medical care to the farthest corner,” Bill said.

“Trekkers have worked tirelessly for 12 months to raise funds that will see vital medical services provided to all who live, work and travel in remote locations.”

For RFDSSE Flight Nurse, Lydia Newton, and Retrieval Medical Officer, Jonathan Storrar, this will be both their first time participating in the OCT.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the incredible Australian scenery, all while helping to raise the profile of the Flying Doctor."

Lydia Newton
Trek Car crossing water

“Thanks to the OCT and those taking part, the Royal Flying Doctor Service can continue to deliver vital healthcare to the most remote corners of this vast country," Newton said.

RFDS South Eastern Section CEO Greg Sam thanked the Trekkers ahead of their journey for continuously supporting the Flying Doctor."We are so appreciative of the Trekkers and their support crew’s ongoing efforts to raise vital funds for the RFDS. Trekkers also support these rural towns by providing a boost to the local economy,” Greg said.“When Trekkers stop into these rural and remote communities, they see first-hand how important the Flying Doctor is in these places. Because if it wasn’t for us, many would have to travel thousands of kilometres just to receive primary healthcare.

“We’re also a lifeline to those living and working on the land by providing 24/7 aeromedical emergency retrieval to those who are seriously ill or injured and in need of urgent medical attention."