Bound for Boulia, rally drivers hit the road
BULL dust, cattle and tough dirt tracks face 55 rally car drivers who started their long journey this morning, deep into Queensland's interior, from the Gladstone Yacht Club.
The entrants were participating in the annual Road Boss Rally, a charity ride raising funds for GIVIT.
GIVIT is a national not-for-profit, heavily involved in disaster response that matches donors with recipients.
The rally route heads west as far as Boulia, about 250km from the Northern Territory border, and will wind up in Tamworth on July 20.
Event organiser Jamie Lawson has worked hard to make the rally a seamless experience for the drivers.
"It's about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, once people get involved (in car rallies) they get addicted to the whole community," he said.
"We love the glitz and glamour of the start but everybody wants to get away from their phones and forget about life for a while."
About 250 people are participating in the rally, spread between 55 cars and made up of couples, fathers and daughters and teams of friends.
Former Calliope residents, Jeff McClintock and his wife Tanya were looking forward to the social side of the rally.
"It's a nice drive to a party every night but you get to see some beautiful country (too)," he said.
The McClintocks are travelling in their classic 1982 Holden Sandman panel van, complete with surfboards on the roof.
They have replaced the suspension and thoroughly checked the entire vehicle in preparation for the rally.
"We cracked the chassis going to Perth last year, so we had to strengthen all that," Mr McClintock said.
"It's amazing where that thing goes."
The couple now live in Eumundi, near Maroochydoore
They previously owned a truck business in Gladstone but with the help of the LNG boom they were able to retire earlier than expected.
The rally has so far raised $218,000 for GIVIT.