This year, 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.
450 participants will take in the rugged and challenging landscapes of Australia, all to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. The route for the rally, 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 6 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,” said James Freeman.
Starting in Mackay on May 7th, the 200 shitboxes will travel 3,500km 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:
7th May: Departing from Mackay, Queensland and arriving in Blackall, Queensland
8th May: Arriving in Thargomindah, Queensland
9th May: Arriving in Tilpa, NSW
10th May: Arriving in Cootamundra, NSW
11th May: Arriving in Dargo, Victoria
12th May: Arriving in Port Melbourne, Victoria
13th May: 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