History of the Bash



The Variety Bash started in 1985, when entrepreneur and adventurer Dick Smith took a group of intrepid motorists from Bourke NSW to Bourketown Queensland in old cars, raising $250,000 for charity along the way.

Dick had friends from all walks of life – from multi-millionaires to battlers – and the event was his idea of a great equalizer. Touted as “a drive in the outback with a few mates”, Dick made sure everyone was on a level playing field – all cars had to be over 30 years old and non-performance modified, a sentiment the Variety Bash retains today.

The Bash is not a race, rally or speed trial. The single most significant rule of the Bash is to relax and enjoy the Australian Outback and help raise funds for kids in need!


Since that first event, over 104,000 km have been travelled on the Variety VIC Bash and over $22 million has been raised, changing the lives of thousands of children across Australia.

The Variety Bash is about giving back to local communities that welcome and accomodate us along the way. The Variety Bash can inject up to $35,000 into a town that we stop at along the route, and even more when we stay the night! These funds allow local businesses to not only stay alive, but thrive.

As well as spending on local tourism, food, fuel and accomodation, the grants we hand out along the way also help regional kids to have more accessibility, improve their education and have brighter futures. The Variety Bash is an experience you'll never forget. Join us, for a chance to have a blast, make some new mates and help shape the future for Aussie kids in need.