South-west drivers plan on having a ball on their outback adventure to raise money for charity when they head off on the colourful Variety Bash this month.
While the trip raises funds for charity, the three south-west teams are hoping to get donations of footballs and netballs they can deliver to disadvantaged children on their journey.
For Grassmere's Cathy Anderson, it's an adventure she didn't think she would get to do following last year's event cancellation at the last minute after she had collected more than 500 books that had been donated by the community.
Armed with the stack of books, she set off on an alternate route in December to deliver them anyway and make good on the promise she'd made.
It was a life-changing experience for Ms Anderson and her travel companions.
She said it was such an emotional trip. "Just to see how disadvantaged the outer communities are, and they're not really that far out."
One school she visited only had about six books in the school. "That was hard on us. We didn't expect that."
While that trip meant sticking to main roads, she was keen to go off the beaten track for this year's event but her driving companion was unable to join her.
Just four weeks ago while she was chatting to someone in Spotlight about having to skip this year's journey, Tarrington's Jill Mibus happened to be within earshot.
"Cathy was talking in Spotlight about how she was going to miss out on the trip and I said: 'who wouldn't want to go?' Four weeks ago I had never laid eyes on her. Now I'm going," she said.
"I thought that would be such an adventure. Such an opportunity.
"Who wouldn't want to have a go? It was never on my bucket list. It was never something I thought I would ever do."
Their conversation that day has sparked a new friendship between the pair who have already done one trip to Melbourne and back. "We talked all the way there and all the way back," Cathy said.
This year's Variety Bash trip - the longest running and most iconic charity motoring event - starts in Melbourne on August 16 and finishes in Cairns. The journey goes via Beechworth, Cobar, Broken Hill, Marree, Birdville, Mount Isa, Adels Grove, Karumba and Atherton.
Reg Dumesny is also making the trip this year with his brother Bill, from Nullawarre, and other brother Max - who is well-known for his driving skills on the speedway track.
For the event, Mr Dumesny said he had purchased a HR Holden which had been used for previous Variety Bash trips.
Finding spare parts for the rare vehicle had a been a challenge, he said.
The teams have added QR codes to their cars to make it easier for people to donate to the cause.
There are three teams from the Warrnambool region entered in the bash, and they will be parked outside Gateway Plaza on Sunday, August 7 between 9am and 2pm.
It was never something I thought I would ever do- Jill Mibus
People can donate footballs and netballs there, at Silver Fox Cafe, or at The Standard office.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.