Day 0 and 1
– Dalby to Kilkivan
Well here we
go again for another year on the XXXXGold Variety Bash
2012, Dalby to Mackay. “Cotton to Cane”. All the fund
raising done, OV Fire serviced and packed ready to go.
It was a
leisurely drive up to Dalby with another Bash vehicle, the
Top Hat Lounge, a few days before the Bash started. We had
official duties to help Variety get ready for the start.
One of the duties is to help scrutineer the bash cars
before they are allowed to go. They need to be safe and
roadworthy before any of them get on the road. Another
duty was to show a little boy, with such a big heart, over
the fire truck and Blazer came to say hello. Once he saw
Blazer, he tried to get out of the wheel chair to get to
Blazer faster because Mum was going to slow. By his
reaction, he was impressed with OV Fire and Blazer. After
we had finished, we went to the Dalby Fire Station to meet
up with an old mate that was in charge, Brad Jeffs. He
showed us around the old station where they had a small
museum of the Fire Fighting history of the Dalby area.
At the start
line, Dalby put on a very cool morning for us, plenty of
ice and frost. It was good to catch up with old friends at
the start line, even if they looked a bit different than
last year. The main street was closed off for the start
and the bashers made heaps of noise when we left. Dalby
would of known we were there.
We had no
official duties for the day and during the morning we had
some school visits where we handed out Fire Education
material and McDonald cookies. The schools were, Kogan
State School, Burra Burri State School and Durong South
State School. There was another School which we were
suppose to go and visit but the whole of Brigalow State
School went out for the day. Was it something we said???
At Kogan school, Clive took a liking to a pet pig and now
he wants one.
We arrived at
a dam called Lake Boondoomba where the locals supplied a
very nice lunch. After lunch the local school of Proston
came down to see the bash and we were asked if we could
talk to the kids about Variety and Fire Safety. Lawrence
took the lesson and did a great job. After the lesson, all
the kids wanted to give Blazer a high five or a cuddle.
bash run was pretty easy and had two passport stops
(Passport stop – is a Hotel that will donate to Variety
when we stop and have a look at their establishment. These
are good to stop at, as most of the time they are an
iconic Hotel with plenty to look at ). One was at the
Hivesville Hotel which we had been to before on a previous
bash and the other was Kilkivan Hotel which is owned by
Fred Brophy (the travelling boxing ring). At this Hotel,
Variety carried out the Virgin Bashers initiation into the
Variety family. All the virgins stand in front of the
Hotel to get their photo taken but unknown to them there
is someone above them on the balcony with a bucket of cold
water, so when the countdown starts for the photo, one,
two and down comes the water. Clive was in the photo but I
think he was aware something was going on.
From here it
was a short drive into the night stop at Kilkivan Bush
Camp. We were all camping and sleeping in swags. We were
told the temperature was going to drop to around zero.
Once we knew this, I think the decision was made not to
drink too much that night so we didn’t have to get up in
the middle of the night, to go and you know what, in the
Day 2 –
Kilkivan to Agnes Waters
What a night
and a cold one at that. We were told it got down to -4 and
yes I had to get up and do you know what, Brrrrr. We all
had to get up before daylight as we had official duties
first up. The drive to the check point was rather cold as
you may be able to tell by the photos and I am calling it
snow in the fields as we drove by. I wish the mechanic of
OV Fire would fix the heater in the truck (one day!!!).
Once we got to
the check point we had to help set up the fun stop as
well. We supplied the water for the jelly crystals for the
jelly wrestling. One of the draw backs was the way we
stirred the crystals in the water, which was in a tank in
-4 degrees, and that was by hand. Once the fingers was
numb it wasn’t that bad. The jelly wrestling was a big
success and lucky for them the sun warmed it up first.
Due to some
break downs of bash cars that occurred in the morning run,
our check point went on for a long time and was instructed
to go direct to lunch at Monto State School.
OV Fire had
our first visitor, Megan from car “Five O’clock Somewhere”
who stayed with us until the end at Agnes Waters. We did
half the bash route and then went direct to the overnight
stay at Agnes Waters because we were running late.
wheeled “BENTLY” is said to be worth $200 000.
Day 3 –
Agnes Waters to Moura
OV Fire had
official duties today and that was a lunch time check-in
point at the Raglan Hotel. So we went direct up the
highway and through a lot of road works. As we pulled into
the position for the check point, some bash cars followed
us in and we asked them did they come direct, to which
they said no, they came the bash route. Those road works
did slow us down more than we thought. We quickly set up
as the cars were coming in. All the cars came in early for
the lunch time break so it was a quick check point.
navigate Jarvis” finally decided to navigate.
We left lunch
early to go and do our next official duty, which was to
run a road side random breath test on the bashers after a
passport stop at the Dululu Hotel. Once we set up for the
random breath test in a place called Banana, a few locals
set up position in the park beside us to watch the
procession of bash cars stopping to be tested. I can
report that there was no driver even close to the legal
limit which is what Variety wants. We are doing these
random tests just for an awareness to the bashers and we
are well accepted for doing this.
basher had gone past our random breath test, it was a
quick drive into our night stop at Moura.
Day 4 –
Moura to Roma
OV Fire had no
official duties and we had to follow the bash route and
help anyone that needed assistance.
was going through a gorgeous area called the Arcadia
Valley. It was an uneventful drive and gave us plenty of
time to take in the area. The only thing was a steep climb
up a range and was a slow drive up but the old girl
handled it well. Once at the top, there was a lookout that
looked over the whole Arcadia Valley, so the slow climb
was well worth it.
The lunch stop
was another nice drive to Injune where the Injune State
School provided lunch. Even though it was a Sunday, the
children of Injune had a great turn out to the School. I
think some of them wanted the Monday off because of this,
but I don’t think that was going to happen, sorry kids!!!
After a great
lunch it was another easy drive into Roma for the
overnight stop. The night was a theme night, “Back to the
80’s and Karaoke night”. One problem with the night was,
it was again sooooo cold and the outfits and the vocal
cords did not work in the cold.
Day 5 –
Roma to Tambo
We are now
half way and this morning was a bit fresh, around the zero
mark and again OV Fire had no official duties except to
help others where possible. We thought it was going to be
an easy day, but it was one of our busiest so far, but a
OV Fire had
another visitor, which she is becoming a regular each
year. It is Trish the official Variety photographer. It
was a laugh a minute with Trish for the morning run and we
arrived at a fun stop which was a candy store in the
middle of nowhere. The Variety clowns decided to play a
game where the players tie a balloon around their ankle
and try and pop all the others fist before theirs is
popped. It looks so funny when they are running around
trying to get each other but at the same time trying to
protect their balloon.
We left the
fun stop ahead of the bash field to set up at a creek
crossing. We set OV Fire up to pump water out of the creek
so we could wet all the bashers as they went past. We were
there for a few hours and had a great time. Blazer had a
visit from some friends, Bear and Panda.
The road from
this point, got really rough and at one part we came up to
a detour around a large hole in the road. The detour was
very sandy and boggy and everyone was getting stuck. It
was decision time, go around the hole and get bogged or
hit the hole at speed to get across it. The decision was
to hit the hole and pray for no damage. Clive was driving
and he hit the hole at the right speed and OV Fire then
became OV AIR. The whole truck was airborne and landed
perfectly. Everything in the cab went everywhere in slow
motion and hit the ceiling of the cab. Once we landed,
none of us could stop laughing and Trish was the worst.
When we looked up at all the people standing around, they
were all cheering and clapping. Once we got out of the
truck to check for damage, everyone said it looked amazing
the truck airborne but no one got a photo. They did say do
it again but we were not going to push our luck. We looked
over OV Fire for damage and couldn’t find any except we
may have put a small split in the water tank. Phew that
Lunch was at
the Augathella State School and we gave away some more
Fire Education and McDonald cookies. Some nice manners at
Lloydy had a
phone call for help from some friends in the Top Hat
Lounge. They needed a driver and being ladies day on the
Top Hat Lounge, how could Lloydy refuse. Someone has to
take one for the team. No, no I am sure I can do it. We
meet up with them at a passport stop, Ellangowan Hotel.
arrived, the girls had organised to take some local
children for a ride in the fire truck. How could we
refuse. The guys drove around the town of Augathella with
lights on and siren blaring. When the children got out the
smiles on their faces was priceless.
Now being the
driver of the Top Hat Lounge, it was my job to get the
girls out of the Hotel and into the bus. That was a bit of
a challenge in its self. It was starting to get a bit late
and we still had about 120km to go. The sun was going
down. It was a very funny drive into Tambo.
Tambo was the
night stop and it was at the Tambo race track. The nights
theme was “Fashions on the Fields” and yes Lloydy got
talked into wearing a dress for the night but no photo’s
Oh the things you find on the
Day 6 –
Tambo to Clermont
After a big
night in Tambo, we were on the road again to Clermont
through the Gemfield towns of Sapphire, Anakie, The
Willows and having lunch at Rubyvale. The drive was to
this point, the most scenic we have had.
OV Fire did
have official duties today but was not until after lunch,
so we could travel with the bash pack to lunch. We left 10
minutes early from the start to get up the road before the
pack starts to pass us, which usually slows us down as we
pull over and slow down a bit so they can pass. In the
previous year’s this happens not that far up the road
before the pack catches us, but today we were travelling a
good hour before two bash cars caught up and passed us. We
were thinking we took a wrong turn somewhere until this
point. Defiantly the bashers were taking it a lot easier
this year. We followed on top of a ridge for some time and
the scenery of the mountains in the distance was
breathtaking. The mountains looked as though they were
snow capped (again did we take a wrong turn and were
heading south?). We even located a well known Australian
icon, A drop Bear!!!
were so far in front, we thought we would tape up a grid
with no entry tape to slow the bashers down even more.
From a distance, we saw the cars pull up to the grid and
think what to do.
Once we got
into Rubyvale and was the second vehicle in (this has
never happened before) we sat down to have our lunch and
had a visit from some locals who liked to sit on our
heads. The crew of OV Fire even had time to go for a walk
around the town before we had to leave for our check
visitor for the afternoon run, Sam from the Top Hat Lounge
came with us and helped set up our check point. Blazer had
a visit from his mates, Bear and Panda. While the workers
did the check point, Blazer played with his mates and all
the bashers coming past.
Once we had
finished our check point we travelled into the mining town
of Clermont. We knew we must be at a mining town by what
was coming past us on the other side of the road. One was
so big, we actually had to get off the road to let it
Day 7 –
Clermont to Yeppoon
Today is the
longest run of the bash, nearly 600km drive to Yeppoon. We
had no official duties, so we could enjoy the leisurely
drive and help anyone that needed it.
spectacular drive through Central Queensland passing
through towns such as Capella, Comet, Blackwater and
stopping at Dingo State School for lunch. We passed a
place called Bedford Weir on the Mackenzie River which
looked great with the water flowing over it. This was a
definite stop and get out and have a look around moment. I
am pretty sure no bashers kept driving pass this without
stopping. One part of the bash route was a deep river
crossing which OV Fire had no trouble negotiating but many
of the bash cars didn’t.
We arrived at
Dingo State School were all the children was out to meet
us with a great big smile. OV Fire crew handed out
leaflets and talked about Fire Safety and not forgetting
the McDonald cookies.
When lunch was
completed, it was a drive straight up the highway through
Rockhampton and in the back way passed Emu Park to
Yeppoon. The drive along the water front from Emu Park and
Yeppoon at dusk was a great sight and the water looked so
Tonight we can
let go and relax as tomorrow is a Lay day and you can get
up when you want and do what you want for the day. No
Day 8 –
Yeppoon to Yeppoon
Today is a
day off from bashing, but Variety was opening a Liberty
Swing down at Emu Park so the crew of OV Fire decided to
go down and support Variety and to show our Virgin
Basher (Clive) what Variety does. It was such a great
turn out from a lot of bashers and made the day for a
lot of the local children. The Liberty Swing is not just
for the young but for all ages that has missed out on a
swing in their lives.
When we had
finished at the opening, we all drove into Rockhampton
to visit the QFRS Workshops and clean and prepare OV
Fire for the next section of the bash. A few minor
running repairs and the old girl was ready again.
Had a nice
relaxing lunch and then back to the resort for some
downtime. Well that’s what we thought, until we came
across a beach party. You know we have to be sociable...
Day 9 –
Yeppoon to Clairview
After a great
rest (yeh right) we were up early to do our official
duties but today was a bit different. Every time you’re up
early and on the road, you miss out on breakfast, but not
today. Today our official duty is the to do a check in and
check out at the breakfast stop 60km up the road at The
Caves State School. This made us first for breakfast which
is a first for us.
This was a
quick check point for us and we were away on a great drive
through some private properties. These were Glenavon
Station and Pinchester Station. The road or soon to be
track, became a little boggy but Clive kept his foot down
and powered through. Again we drove on a great track and
was just a beautiful area. Finally we came to a school,
Clarke Creek State School for our lunch time break. This
small school out in the bush, was so welcoming to the
bashers and all the bashers unloaded most of their free
give a way stuff as this was the last school visit of the
bash. The children had huge plastic bags choc a block full
of goodies. It was a great sight to see.
After lunch we
had a visitor on the truck, Georgie from the Variety
office. It was only a short 106km trip to our overnight
stop to get there, but had to negotiate a very, very steep
descent. Trev just took his time going down the CLIFF and
once down an easy drive into Clairview.
We were in
early enough to go for a walk on the beach at dusk and
take in the area. Tonight we were swagging it and set up
our camp. It was not going to be as cold as the first
night of the bash.
The top ten
fundraisers were announced and the top fundraiser for this
year raised a record breaking $259 000. What an effort!!!
Also announced was the total of the combined effort of all
fundraisers for this year, $1.43 million. What an effort
for all and well done for helping to raise much needed
funds for the sick and disadvantaged children of
Queensland. OV Fire got bumped out of the top ten but we
still raised a great amount of $22 000.
A big surprise
for the nights entertainment was Angry Anderson from Rose
Tattoo sung for us. Great night.
Day 10 –
Clairview to Mackay
After we had
a nice comfy night in the swags, it was our last day of
the bash for another year. Before we went anywhere, our
first duty today was to put out the camp fire. No task
is too big for OV Fire.
Today we had
to go direct to a mustering point for all the bash cars
to assemble before heading into Mackay to the finish. We
didn’t really want to go the bash route as the steep
hill we came down yesterday, we needed to go back up
today. So a nice easy drive to the mustering point was
All the bash
cars were in for lunch and then the call for them to get
moving to the finish line was given. The top ten
fundraisers led the procession of all the bash cars
into Mackay and over the finish line. Once across it was
time to reflect and say goodbyes.
night was a gala night and awards were given out to
bashers for various activities they did along the way.
And again to say goodbyes to all the Variety family that
you make along the way. It is good the bash is over for
another year but sad we leave some great friends for
The day after
Before the drive
home from Mackay, there was one more thing to do. One of the
bash teams has a fund raiser for Variety and that is “Konvoy 4
Kids” (No I didn’t spell Konvoy wrong). So OV Fire entered. An
old Variety Bash team mate Geoff was in Mackay and
joined/Drove OV Fire in the Konvoy 4 Kids.
There was about
140 trucks of all different shapes and sizes, left Sarina (a
town about 40km south of Mackay) in a procession all the way
into Mackay. The police led the way and all the intersections
were blocked off so we had a straight run. There was so many
people including a lot of children, lined the streets cheering
and waving. The trucks were blowing their horns all the way.
At the end there was a carnival for the children and all the
trucks lined up to be judged. It was great to be a part of
A nice safe drive
back to Brisbane and it was over for another year.
I would like to
thank the crew of OV Fire, their families, friends, supporters
and the sponsors which made this bash possible. With all this
help, we will make a difference to the sick and disadvantaged
children of Queensland.
Hope to see you