SHITBOX Rally 2016 will be taking a new route through the valleys, mountains and open plains to discover for the first time ever in the rally’s history, Bass Strait and Tasmania.
Four hundred and fifty participants will take in the rugged and challenging landscapes of Australia, all to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.
The rally route, first organised by Adelaide’s James Freeman in 2010 after losing both his parents to cancer, changes every year. Last year participants tackled the Birdsville Track on its way to North Queensland, while this year teams will kick off their adventure from Australia’s sugar capital, tropical Mackay in mid-north Queensland, touring south through the Australian outback, several states and small country towns to eventually arrive in Hobart, southern Tasmania a week later.
Alongside quintessential Australian sights, the rally in 2016 will also include two new milestones for the event – a ‘Shipbox Rally’ leg, that is, for the first time ever in the rally’s history teams will be crossing the tumultuous seas of Bass Strait by ferry; and for the first time, Tasmania and its unique wilderness will provide a backdrop of lush fields and alpine forests in contrast to the dirty and dusty outback roads Shitbox Rally often passes through. For James Freeman, founder of the rallies, the Tasmanian wilderness with its untamed beauty has long been calling.
“This is the 7th year of Shitbox Rally with another route that crosses the country. I have seen more of Australia than most and I know I have only scratched the surface. Even with six years behind us, this year will still be unique with all new stopovers plus travelling through the Victorian high country, the crossing of Bass Straight and the drive through Tasmania. It is promising to be another spectacular year and I can’t wait to get back to my second home – the remote outback roads of this sunburnt country,” James Freeman said.
Starting in Mackay on May 7, the 200 shitboxes will travel 3500km down the length of Australia to Blackall QLD (proud-owner of the historic Blackall Woolscour the only fully intact steam-powered wool washing plant left in Australia),Thargomindah QLD (on the edge of far western Queensland’s desert areas and home to Australia’s first hydro-electricity scheme), Tilpa NSW (on the banks of the Darling River, famous for its true outback Tilpa Pub and infamous for its bushranger heritage), Cootamundra NSW (birthplace of cricket’s greatest batsman, Sir Donald Bradman), Dargo VIC (one of Victoria’s most remote towns, in the high country of the Alpine National Park), the modern, sunny bayside suburb of Port Melbourne VIC, and overnight to Devonport TAS, Tasmania’s busy coastal city and the gateway to some of the state’s best natural treasures including Cradle Mountain, before crossing the finish line in the state’s capital, Hobart.
Key dates for this year’s route include:
May 7: Departing from Mackay, Queensland and arriving in Blackall, Queensland
May 8: Arriving in Thargomindah, Queensland
May 9: Arriving in Tilpa, NSW
May 10: Arriving in Cootamundra, NSW
May 11: Arriving in Dargo, Victoria
May 12: Arriving in Port Melbourne, Victoria
May 13: Arriving in Devonport, Tasmania via the ‘Spirit of Tasmania’
Arriving in Hobart, Tasmania.
To learn more about the rally please visit www.shitboxrally.com.au
About Shitbox Rally
Shitbox Rally is not a race but rather a challenge to achieve the unthinkable: to drive cars worth $1000 or less across Australia via some of its most arduous roads — all to raise money for cancer research. The rally was founded in 2009 by James Freeman after both of his parents died from cancer within 12 months of each other as a way of raising money and awareness in the fight against cancer – a disease that now affects so many people. Over the past four years, Shitbox Rally has raised over $6.1 million for cancer research, making the rally the largest independent fundraiser for the Cancer Council.
The rally is a reward for all the fundraising the dedicated participants do to help find a cure for cancer and it’s a chance to meet like-minded people and see our vast and beautiful country in a totally unique way. To qualify to be in Shitbox Rally, supporters must have raised a minimum of $4000.
This year marks the 17th Shitbox Rally. Previous rally routes include 2015 Canberra to Townsville via the Birdsville Track, 2014 Perth to Darwin via the Gibb River Road, 2013 Adelaide to Fremantle via Uluru, 2012 Melbourne to Cairns via Innamincka, 2011 Brisbane to Darwin via the Savannah Way and 2010 Sydney to Alice Springs via the Oodnadatta Track.For more details please visit www.shitboxrally.com.au.
Shitbox Rally is expanding globally with the first international destination confirmed as New Zealand, in February 2016. To register for 2016 Shitbox Rally New Zealand, or to find out more information, visit www.shitboxrally.co.nz.
An additional $798,000 has also been raised for Cancer Council Australia over the past three years of Mystery Box Rally, a similar concept also created by James Freeman. Known as Shitbox Rally’s mad baby brother, Mystery Box is more of a boutique rally with fewer teams, a shorter distance and less days travelling. Unlike Shitbox Rally, this rally takes care of finding the cars and each location is a mystery, adding to the excitement and adventure of the drive. For more information please visit www.mystery-box.com.au.