Frequently Asked Questions
Doing something new always comes with a question or two! Here are out most frequently asked questions about the Variety Victoria bash.
What is the Variety Bash?
Australia’s largest and longest running charity motoring event – much imitated, never bettered!
The Variety Bash is not a race or a rally, a fun and social event, or in the words of the originator Dick Smith, ‘A drive in the outback with a few mates’. All in cars that are at least 30 years old (with an awesome theme!).
The Bash is a once in a lifetime chance to experience regional parts of Australia that you might otherwise not see, all in support of Variety – the Children’s Charity.
Throughout the Bash, participants visit local towns, stopping into schools and organisations to visit the kids. Those who participate get to see the direct impact of their fundraising efforts along the way, with a range of educational, health and mobility equipment provided to local schools and organisations en route.
The event is all about having fun in support of Aussie kids. There are always festivities along the way, from theme nights to entertainment or other activities and games on the road.
The route and destination change each year, and accordingly, the length. The full route is announced at a launch event each year, shortly after the finalisation of the previous Variety Bash. The Variety Bash has an exemplary safety record. All cars are tracked during the day by officials, who are in contact via HF radio and satellite phone with a central command post. The Variety Bash has a team of paramedics with full contact to RFDS and local authorities. All Bash vehicles are scrutinised prior to the event, and a team of Mobile Workshop mechanics attend the event to assist entrants with car problems.
What car can I take?
Vehicle models must be 30 years or older. Any car for the Variety Bash must have a body plate identifying it as being manufactured 30 years ago. Please note that some run on models will be accepted subject to approval by Variety Victoria.
What if my car breaks down?
We travel with several Mobile Workshop Teams, including a tow-truck, so help is never far away. The highly experienced mechanics are there to assist you and keep you moving and get you to the finish.
What does it cost?
Costs are divided between fundraising and event costs.
With 2 – 4 people per car, it’s easy to fundraise and we’re here to help! All donations go to Variety – the Children’s Charity – the Variety Bash is run by the charity FOR the charity.
First time entrants (Rookies) are required to fund raise a minimum of $5000 per car and returning entrants, $7000.
Each vehicle has the following fees:
- $800 entry fee
- $50 public liability insurance contribution
Meal costs, and a merchandise pack will be covered under an additional Provisions Levy. The Provisions Levy is advised one month prior to the event and is approximately $950 – $1,250 per person inc. GST, dependant on destination of the Variety Bash.
What about meals and accomodation?
As far as food goes, our trusty Motoring Events Manager arranges for a range local organisations and businesses to cater for our entrants. You will be well fed along the way and all meals and entertainment (including our legendary final night party) are covered by your provisions levy (note, this is separate to your entry fee). Dietary requirements will be catered for, just let us know your requirements when you fill out your medical form before the event kicks off.
As for accommodation, we let you know the best places to stay in town as soon as the overnight stops on our itinerary are announced. Accommodation options provided in each location will generally include hotel/motel, cabins, caravans, and campgrounds for those that choose to camp. Bed and Breakfasts and Air B&B properties may also be available in the area.
Do I have to have a theme or dress up?
Nope, that’s entirely up to you and your crew, however costumes and themes are highly encourage. We make stops at schools and community groups along the way, and bright cars and costumes are a hit with the kids. However you choose to participate, dress-ups or not, you’re welcome to join in the fun.
How many crew members can I take?
The minimum number to make up a Bash crew is two – a driver and a navigator – and the maximum is the legal capacity of the vehicle. Bear in mind the size of your Bash car and the amount of luggage you have on board when picking the size of your crew!
Do I have to have a Working With Children Check?
Yes! This one is a non-negotiable for all Variety Motoring Event entrants. No WWCC, no entry. And we will be checking. Both in the lead up and on the event, where you must carry the card with you at all times. If you haven’t already got a WWCC, it can be completed, however, please don’t delay as the do take a minimum of 6 weeks to process. Applications are free and easy to process online here.
What about baggage?
We know there's only so much you can fit in an old car with your crew, so we bring extra support.
A support truck travels with the Variety Bash to the overnight stops. Space on the truck is available to entrants at a small additional cost should you have any extra baggage to take with you on the event, such as camping gear, swags, bags etc. This does not include vehicle spare parts or tyres, these MUST be carried on the vehicle. Details of drop off location and costs will be advised in the months prior to the event.
How does the carbon offsetting work?
Again in 2023, all vehicles participating in Variety Victoria Motoring Events will be carbon offset. Provisions Levies will include a charge to carbon offset the vehicle for the duration of the journey (approx $5 per car). Following the event, a donation will be made by Variety to Carbon Positive Australia to cover all entrant and official vehicles involved in the event.
How do I fundraise?
The most common way to raise money is through fundraising events (such as dinners, trivia nights, golf days etc.). You can also get out in your community and shake tins, put skills to use in exchange for cash or even run sausage sizzles! Many crews also approach businesses to sponsor their car on the event. You can also find lots of tips to assist with fundraising in your dashboard once you register and the Variety team is always on deck to give you some ideas.
Where does the fundraising money go?
All money raised from the event goes to supporting kids who are sick, disadvantaged or have additional needs through Variety – the Children’s Charity Victoria. Variety Victoria are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and have been delivering vital support to kids across the country for more than 40 years. If you join the event, you’ll even get to see some very special grant presentations out on the road.
Can I use fundraising money to cover my event costs?
No. Fundraising dollars cannot be used to fund your participation costs in the Variety Bash. Fundraising cannot cover the registration fee, meals, accommodation or costs of your car. Individual accommodation, refreshments, merchandise, fuel costs, mechanical repairs, car shipping and other out of pockets charges are at your own expense, and should be considered in your budget when preparing for the event.