MORE than 300 trekkers arrived at Hamilton Island on Saturday in the final leg of the 21st annual Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Outback Car Trek.
The convoy of more than 100 pre-1971 cars covered almost 4,000km of Australia’s most rugged and remote terrain as they made their way across three states – all in the name of charity.
After raising $15 million for the RFDS in the past 15 years, this years trek is expected to raise close to $1.5 million which will go towards the purchase of a new aircraft for the service.
Trek organiser Bill Patrick believes the trek is a very important event that helps to assist rural communities.
“The funds raised by the Outback Trek go to the RFDS to help deliver emergency aeromedical and essential health care to communities in rural, regional and remote Australia,” Mr Patrick said.
“While we’ll be out in the Australian Outback for seven days, the Flying Doctor is out there 24 hours, seven days a week.
“The communities we’ll be visiting rely on the medical services provided by the Flying Doctor and that’s why the Trek is so important; we’re helping the RFDS take the care to where it’s needed the most.”
The Trek kicked off in Hay, New South Whales on Sunday June 6 with vehicles travelling north through South Australia and Queensland before the journey came to an end in the Whitsundays.
The 2010 trekkers travelled through Broken Hill in far western New South Wales and Copley in South Australia before making their way through Stonehenge, Barcaldine and Ravenswood in Queensland, an average of 530km per day.
Veteran trekker of 21 years, John Verhelst said there were three reasons why people got involved in the trek.
“We do it one, to have fun; two to see the great Australian outback and three to raise money for the RFDS,” Mr Verhelst said.
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