The Great Escape has been running for 16 years, kicking off the first rally in 2002!

The Cystic Fibrosis Great Escape is CFA’s premier fundraising event, attracting cars from around Australia to participate in 10 challenging days travelling through unique and iconic locations within Australia! 

In the past fifteen years the rally has been running we have visited Bourke, Dubbo, Shepparton, Port Arthur, Hobart, Mudgee, Rainbow Beach, Nelson Bay, Orange, Merimbula, Port Douglas, Undara Lava Tubes, Great Keppel Island, world heritage listed Fraser Island, the Red Centre and Ayres Rock, the Birdsville Races, the Whitsunday’s, the magnificent Great Ocean Road, Burke & Wills Dig Tree, Batemans Bay and Kangaroo Island, to name a few.

The rally and its long history attracts 40 plus cars each year with over 150 participants.  The Great Escape has forged a unique identity within the rally industry whilst raising funds and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis (CF).

Relive the memories and times gone by below!

The Great Escape 2016!

The 2016 Daily Track schedule 

Day 1:  Monday August 29th 2016 - Dubbo to Bourke via Quambone
In 2002, the inaugural Great Escape commenced in Dubbo.  This year on the 15th Anniversary of this incredible event we are off to where it all began.  Over the last 15 years we have travelled along many dusty roads, visited iconic locations and discovered some great places all over Australia.  In 2016, the rally will pass through some new towns and revisit an old favourite, The Birdsville Races. 

Just making the starting line is a big effort in itself.  There are many months invested in preparing the cars as well as fundraising in support of Cystic Fibrosis Australia. Now that all the organisation is complete, it’s now up to The Great Escape to deliver the best “track” and the excitement of the adventure that is synonymous with the rally.

There are many dedicated and committed participants who return every year to the Great Escape.  This year we are excited to have some new people undertaking the trek from Dubbo to Noosa.

Dubbo and the region is rich in landscapes, stunning sunsets, great winery’s and award winning experiences and world class attractions.  The Western Plains Zoo and the Old Dubbo Goal are a couple of iconic and historical sites.  Participants will be able to step back in time and experience the fascinating history of daring escapes and life in prison during the 1800’s. 

After departing Dubbo, the Great Escape will head out onto the western plains, through forest and national parks heading towards Quambone before passing through Carinda.  In 1980 David Bowie performed at the Carinda pub and made the video of his single ‘LETS DANCE’.  From Carinda, teams will travel to Bourke which is the first overnight stop.   As the saying goes” the teams are now entering the Outback”.

Established in 1861, Bourke was settled on the banks of the Darling River. The town has played a very important part in history including both land and maritime history.  The region is also part of The Kidman Way. 

Day 2:  Tuesday August 30th 2016 – Bourke to Kallara Station (Tilpa) via Louth
After departing Bourke, the Great Escape will head through the National Park heading towards the river.  Teams will track alongside the river till they divert into the little village of Louth.  Louth is famous for its races and pub.

Lunch will be hosted at ‘Shindys Inn’ where a local community group has been engaged to feed the cohort.   Henry Lawson worked around the area and wrote many of his shearing shed stories and poems in these surroundings.  It was Henry Lawson who said “ If you know Bourke and the region you know Australia”.  Louth is down river from Bourke and there was once a punt to cross the river.  The punt has been replaced with a bridge which will be used by the rally as the depart for Tilpa.  

The teams will rest at Kallara Station near Tilpa. Kallara Station is 150 years old and has 32 kilometres of Darling River frontage.  In 1877 the first bore in Australia was successfully drilled here.

Day 3: Wednesday August 31st 2016 – Tilpa to Tibooburra via Wanaaring
After a hearty breakfast at Kallara station, teams will forge through a couple of creek crossings.  It’s a challenging track with humps and a few cattle grids so teams will need to be cautious.  Heading towards Tongo there will be some flat country and mostly large properties on the first day of the Wacko.

Over a century ago, the vast plains of this north west corner of country NSW were invaded by thousands of people who had come to make their fortunes.  The arid and inhospitable gold fields are now referred to as Tibooburra. Prospectors were attracted to the area by the Granite boulders or “tors” – the rocks that gave Tibooburra its Aboriginal name meaning heap of rocks.  These out-crops are over 410 million years old and supposedly rich in copper and gold.

Day 4:  Thursday September 1st 2016 – Tibooburra to Cooper Park via Cameron Corner 
The morning starts off with a Wacko on a very rocky gravel road through the Sturt National Park with lots more creek crossings.

There is 168 kilometres for the morning run into Cameron Corner before teams enjoy lunch. Cameron Corner is where you can celebrate New Year three times in one night.   The wacky pub/restaurant/motel/petrol station/roadhouse is located in Queensland with a South Australian phone number and NSW postcode. Annually, revellers come to Cameron Corner, the junction of the NSW, SA, Qld borders to countdown to midnight three times in the space of an hour. 

In 1844, Charles Sturt set off to find an inland sea.  He travelled with 15 men, 11 horses, 200 sheep, 3 bullock’s drays, 2 sheep dogs, 4 kangaroo dogs and a boat and boat carriage. There were lots of small towns in the area, some like Milparinka which had 4 hotels and all the standard services such as a Cobb & Co depot.  All that has now gone and it is a ghost town.

Day 5:  Friday September 2nd 2016 – Cooper Park to Birdsville via Innamincka
The Great Escape will depart Cooper Park and head to Birdsville and the famous Birdsville Races.  The track is a short transport from Cooper Park to Innamincka Village.  After Innamincka, the cars will experience a long, hard rocky road through Innamincka Regional Reserve and areas such as Cordillo Downs.  This home to Australia’s Largest Sheering Shed.  Further along the track in the Strzelecki Desert the participants will drive past the ruins of Cadelga before arriving in Birdsville.

Day 6: Saturday September 3rd 2016 – The Birdsville Races.
Many of the teams will be revelling in a day at the iconic Australian Birdsville Races.

Day 7:  Sunday September 4th 2016 – Birdsville to Bedourie via Big Red
Teams farewell Birdsville and travel along the Bedourie track.

Bedourie means “dust storm” and is well known for the Bedourie Camp Oven.  The oven was developed by a local back in the 1920’s and has since been used by 1000’s of Aussies who travel and drove cattle from the top of Australia to the markets in the south.

Bedourie is situated on the edge of the Simpson Desert and in the heart of the Channel Country in south western Queensland. This modern town is headquarters to the vast Diamantina Shire which covers 6.3% of the state of Queensland.

Day 8:  Monday September 5th 2016 – Bedourie to Taraka via Windorah
Departing early, the Great Escape will head east towards Windorah where they will stop for lunch.   The roads in this area are average gravel roads with lots of cattle grids and bridges. From Windorah the cars will divert off the main road into Nature Drive for another Wacko referred to as “Dead Horse”. After the Wacko there is a short transport with another long Wacko leading the teams into the community of Yaraka for dinner.

Day 9: Tuesday September 6th 2016 – Yaraka to Injune via Caldervale Station (Out of Tambo)
Breakfast will be served at the top of Mt Slowcombe where the teams will have the opportunity to watch the sun come up over the eastern side of the countryside.

After breakfast the cars will experience a variety of course conditions including farm tracks on private properties.  This region has experienced allot of unseasonal rain over the past few months which is great for the famers but may affect some of the directional driving conditions.

A highlight in Tambo will be a local business called Tambo’s Teddies who make a great range of teddy’s in various designs and assorted outfits.  The Australian Government presented a Tambo Teddy to the Royals when Prince George was born. 

Back in 1992 wool prices had crashed, the district was in the grip of a drought and the community of Tambo were challenged to come up with a new industry to sustain the economy of this little town. The idea was that Tambo could assist the wool industry, encourage tourists and create employment by making unique teddy bears from wool pelts and stuff them with wool. Tambo Teddies went on sale in February 1993.

From Tambo, the rally heads out through local farming country and large cattle stations. Caldervale is a large station with a stock holding of up to 35000 head of cattle and will be the lunch stop for all the participants.

After lunch, the cars head further onto the property and through a few more private properties on the way to Injune.

Injune is the largest Cypress Pine harvesting area in Australia, approximately 40,000 cubic metres.  Cypress Sawlog is harvested annually from Injune and Taroom.  Cypress pine is a native species that it is termite resistant and fire sensitive.  

Day 10:  Wednesday September 7th 2016 – Injune to Murgon via Auburn River Old School Community Centre
After a visit to the Injune State School the teams head to Taroom. There is a short transport to a long gravel Wacko road between Injune to Taroom. The teams will experience lots of cattle grids, creeks, the odd stock on the roads in addition to mining vehicles. 

From Taroom, the rally heads out towards Cockatoo, then south east to the lovely farming area of Auburn River where lunch will be served at the old Auburn School which is now run by a local community group. From the School House, the cars will head to Monogorilby through some more forest and into logging areas before passing into the Allies Greek area.  Allies Creek Village was a timber town with a saw mill but now is only a logger’s village. The afternoon will see a long transport into Proston, Hinesville before arriving at Murgon.

Murgon is fortunate to have a wide diversity of rural pursuits complemented by a robust industrial sector.  A cluster of wine producing vineyards, along with olives, peanuts and cotton are industries that support the town.

Day 11:  Thursday September 8th 2016 – Murgon to Noosa via Bunnings
Murgon State School P&C will feed the teams breakfast before they head off to the final destination of the rally, Noosa on the Sunshine Coast.  The rally will travel via the National Park and State Forest and into the small towns of Kenilworth near Eumundi and into Noosa.  The cars will muster in the Bunnings car park before the final street parade through Noosa.

The Great Escape street parade will depart from Bunnings and head into the into Sunshine Beach State School Oval for lunch catered by the school P&C. 

A celebratory dinner will be hosted at the Tewantin Noosa Golf Club. Awards will be presented to the teams who participated and a cheque will be presented to CFA, CEO Nettie Burke for all the funds raised in the lead up to the event.

Cystic Fibrosis Australia would like to thank all the cars and teams who participated in the 15th Annual Great Escape Car Rally raising much needed awareness and vital funds for Cystic Fibrosis.

In the Media

Read the latest on the Great Escape in our newsletters.

The Great Escape 2015!

In the Media

The Great Escape has received some great media coverage along the way...

Newsletters

 

The Great Escape Car Rally 2014

Here are some highlights of the fun, frivolity and candid moments of the Great Escape 2014.

In the media