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Fraser Island Adds A Little Variety To Fundraiser

Variety Car 27 reporting for duty on the world's largest sand island Variety Car 27 reporting for duty on the world's largest sand island © The lads from Variety Car 27

FRASER ISLAND: What do you get when you pack an accountant, a plumber, a caterer, retirees, small business owners and an air-conditioning mechanic into four-wheel-drives and send them off on a 2400 kilometre shenanigan-filled journey?

You get the Variety Victoria 4WD Trek 2015 – that's what.

This annual fundraising event kicked off a week ago in the small Victorian border town of Wodonga and headed up through Central NSW to Newcastle and the Hunter area. Armidale, Casino, Noosa, the Cooloola Coast and Fraser Island rounded out the itinerary with the trek set to wrap in Maleny tomorrow night.

Variety trekkies come from all walks of life, with ages ranging from early twenties to the mid-seventies, but all share a common goal – the desire to make a positive difference in the lives of sick, disadvantaged and special needs children.

According to Operations Manager and Logistics Guru, Wayne Daisley, organising a seven-day trek – and including the world's largest sand island - is no mean feat, but that's half the fun.

"We don't drive as the crow flies – there's a lot of zig-zagging and plenty of shenanigans along the way," he said.

At this point he suppresses a chuckle and confesses that the victors - in a student and trekkie vs principal and teachers games session at Esk Primary School - were the kids.

"Needless to say, the poor teachers got very wet," he said.

The trekkies arrived on Fraser Island on Tuesday, in a 15-strong 4WD convoy, and have based themselves at Eurong Beach Resort for the duration. And, whilst Mother Nature has chucked up some unseasonably warm weather to welcome them, the crew spent yesterday exploring the eastern beach attractions and manoeuvring their way around a beach obstacle course at Waddy Point - to win much-needed cash for their car fundraising totals.

Fun and games aside, there's also a serious side to the event and this year's participants have raised around $75,000, which will be distributed to Victorian kids in need, via Variety Grant Program. The Wodonga Special School – the starting point for this year's trek – also received a three thousand dollar grant from the group to buy new gym equipment.

The first variety bash, back in 1985, was started by entrepreneur Dick Smith and the spirit of that first bash remains – it's not a race, it's a fundraising rally and holidaymakers on Fraser Island, and along the route, are encouraged to do their bit to raise the 'rally tally', as every little bit helps.

When it comes to Variety, Fraser Island is the number one pick this year with both Kingfisher Bay and Eurong Beach Resorts set to welcome participants from the XXXX Gold 'Coral Seas To Island Breeze' Variety Bash in August and the Variety 4WD Explorer Reunion Weekend in October.

For more information visit Variety - the children's charity website.

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