Rainbow Beach teams were responsible for a fun Fiji stop, Debra O’Donnell, Andrea Hayes and Maureen Mitchell demonstrate the hula dance (far left)
A 2015 XXXX Gold ‘Coral Seas to Island Breeze’ Variety Bash account by Debra O’Donnell
Well I have survived my first Variety Bash,and what an amazing time I had.
I did not go as a basher I went as an official (straight to the top for me), stunts and gags, we did the fun stops.
Set off very early on the morning of August 2 with Sam and Maureen Mitchell, Andrea and Dean Hayes, Dan McCormack, Damien Callander and my partner Gael Chudleigh.
Stopped for the night in Mackay and then on to Cairns the next day where the bash started.
What an array of cars and people I came across. I knew I was in for the time of my life and I was not disappointed. Lots of early morning starts, beautiful sunrises and lots of dirt roads and dust!
Our route took us through some great little towns like Chillagoe,Kidston,Hughenden, Barcaldine, Lake Maraboon, Emerald Mitchell,Taroom,Gayndah and our final night at Kingfisher Resort on Fraser Island.
Some of the memorable moments of this trip would be going through places like Mount Mulligan just north of Chillagoe, where the worst mining disaster occurred in Australia where all the men in the town were killed.
Visiting Muttaburra going to my first outback races, where my horse ran last (nothing changes),and seeing the flag pole in the middle of nowhere that is the dead centre of Queensland.
At Lake Maraboon (just out of Emerald) we had a layday as we were very tired by then. That night we were entertained by famous Aussie rock band Choir Boys.
We travelled through many cattle stations and and met some very generous people, who put on some lovely lunches and morning teas for us.It was such an eye-opener to see how hard life is for some of these people; I will never complain about a little rain again.
We visited schools with as little as four students. It was a very humbling and emotional experience to see the faces of the children and the families that Variety help.
This year Queensland Variety raised 1.1 million dollars for disadvantaged and special needs children and their families.
So I am home. Hardly any voice left, exhausted, and would I do this again? Definitely!