RM Surveys Volunteers At 2018 Variety 4WD Challenge
RM Surveys is proud to support Variety 4WD Challenge for another year with Geoff and Gillian Robb once again volunteered as the forward party, also known as Route Rats! This important role marks out the route through tracks and roads so participants can find their way along the 7 day 4WD adventure.
Each day Geoff and Gillian set out two to three hours ahead of the participants and leaves directional arrows, tape and warning signs for the participants to follow. They then check everyone in at the end of the day, brief participants of the night accommodation and dinner arrangements and enjoy each night camping under the southern stars.
This year’s trip had everything from the Sounds of Silence sunset dinner, to entertaining the kids at Warakurna remote community…and of course, the breathtaking scenery of Uluru! Below are some of the highlights from the event.
OPENING NIGHT – York Hotel Kalgoorlie
A full house downstairs on a cold and windy night at The York and you could sense the anticipation from the energetic crowd of participants, OV’s and guests. With 30 first time 4WDers, wondering what they were up for, we handed out their pet rocks before the Magnificent 7 Highest Fundraisers were announced. Thank you to hosts John and Dayle Dickhart for the exclusive use of their wonderful hotel. A great night was had by all and the cocktail food was fabulous.
DAY 1 – Kalgoorlie to Laverton
We all met at Monty’s Restaurant for great coffee and breakfast, with host Jay Kemp. 19 4WD’s, 8 OV’s. – a total of 65 people with new friendships already forged. A few words and a gift from the Mayor John Bowler, and we convoyed up Hannan St, waiving off goodbye family and friends.
Following tracks through Gindalbee Station we made our way to Niagra Dam where Pete, John, Greg and the Kalgoorlie Variety crew had an incredible feast ready for us. Then to the Grand Kookynie Hotel with a wild horse standing in the doorway, a few country songs out the front with Libby Hammer, not long before we took off to Laverton.
The Laverton Community couldn’t do enough for us, with a traditional hāngi for dinner and 6 piece band Dakota filling the dance floor. We shared the evening with the LaverFest final celebrations and Golf Club awards night, which was great fun.
DAY 2 – Laverton to Warburton
The Laverton P&C were up early cooking breakfast before the kids turned up for some singing and fun with Libby Hammer. Participants showered the kids with gifts before we headed off on our 630km drive to Warburton via Rutters Grave. Surprise surprise – 4WD 50 needed repairs and after a fuel leak repair, took the direct route to Warburton.
OV55, OV33, OV4 also went straight up the Great Central Road to prepare our Kids Birthday Party theme night and cook up a seafood storm, including 70 crayfish hand caught by Stork and Barrel in Geraldton.
DAY 3 – Warburton to Lake Christopher
A warm welcome from Principal Scott Fatnowna at Warburton Primary for another wonderful and interactive show with Libby, the kids and special dancing performers Steve and Trish from 4WD 15. Our catering team, with help from 4WD 49, fed the entire school before we headed up the old Gunbarrel Highway, where we were granted special permission to camp at Lake Christopher.
Council Elders and Rangers from Nganyatjarra Lands met us for a camp oven dinner and singalong. Thanks to Steve Dalgleish Catering Geraldton for preparing the food.
DAY 4 – Warakurna to Yulara
After a perfect sunrise and breakfast we completed the last section of the Old Gunbarrel into Warakurna, where we crammed into the library for a hilarious show with the kids. 4WD 13 stole the show with their “Body Bongo Band” rendition, which is now number 1 on the ear worm hit parade, ahead of Crazy Hat Day.
The afternoon sun was shining on the Olgas as we approached from the West, and we finally had our first glimpse of Uluru. Our trusty mechanics in OV4 gave 4WD 50 some love and we limped into Yulara Resort, met by Where’s Wally at check-in for a free night.
DAY 5 – Yulara to Uluru
An impressive start to the morning as all 27 cars convoyed out to Uluru. A warm welcome and free entry to the park from the rangers as we made our way upstairs to the Ininti café, where traditional owner Hayden gave a welcome to country and informative talk about the local indigenous culture. Everyone took advantage of the free day to explore Uluru and The Olgas. Pat from 4WD 6056 even managed to crash his segway.
As the afternoon came around we all gathered in front of the resort in op shop white and waited for our buses to the “Sounds Of Silence” dinner – sponsored by Osborne Smash Repairs’ Michael Angi. Libby Hammer appeared on stilts in white splendour with full LED lights. Great photos with Variety crew and some stunned tourists! Our dinner host Robert was nervous as we got off the bus in high spirits. I don’t think he was quite prepared for Angels, Cricketers, Bowlers and Painters. Champagne and canapes were enjoyed on the dune overlooking Uluru and The Olgas. A superb meal, wines, a stargazing display and bonfire finished the night before a few partied on at Yulara.
DAY 6 – Curtin Springs to Glen Helen Lodge
We started the day with breakfast at Curtin Springs before heading into the Fink Gorge for a stunning few hours of 4Wding up the Fink River. We were given free entry into the historic Hermannsburg Village and local volunteers served home-made apple strudel and cream. We then made our way on the black top to Glen Helen Lodge for our Jazz Club and auction night. Thanks to Simon from Midland 4WD Centre for sourcing a great range of items which raised $5,495. Also to Ron Wise, 4WD 76 and Steven Murphy (and Steve’s Hotel) for your generous contribution. Libby Hammer finished the night off with some classy jazz classics and left the crowd calling for more.
DAY 7 – Glen Helen Lodge to Kings Canyon
Our final day together starts with helicopter rides over Glen Helen Gorge and bubble soccer with 4WD 58. A pleasant drive on the Mereenie Loop, a final fun stop to check the plumbing with 4WD 15 before arriving at Kings Canyon for our final dinner and awards night generously supported by NEO Metals.