It may have been April first when the 2022 Mini Bash convoy met at Parkview Kitchen to kick off the weekend but the 86 participants filling out the bistro were no joke. Rookies alongside long-time Variety supporters and families who have been Bashing for generations all gathered to get to know one another over schnitzels and schooners. Nick and the team at Parkview made sure we were well looked after.
Bright and early after another excellent feed at Parkview Kitchen, we hit the road from Newcastle heading north-west through the spectacular scenery of the Upper Hunter Valley. Bash Cars, 4WD’s, sedans, station wagons and utes all made their way through paddock-lined dirt tracks and water crossings (action shots below). Cars as varied as a 1967 Dodge Phoenix to a couple of Lexus’ and an X-Type Jaguar navigated their way through New England.
Reaching our lunchtime destination, we took a well-earned break at Linga Longa Inn in Gundy where we were able to “Linga” a little “Longa” and enjoy the countryside views as the kids stretched their legs. Our seasoned Bashers regaled our first-time entrants with tales of Bashes past over a delicious lunch provided by Basher and manager of the inn, Dan Bennett and his team.
Next, we ventured on to our party stop at Burning Mountain where the Van der Vliet family from Car 44 and 44B provided an amazing array of afternoon tea delights. Around a dozen kids came on the road with their families, witnessing some country areas not normally seen. Many of them even tried their hand at following Bash route notes as their car’s navigator.
After our party stop, we headed towards the horse capital of Australia, Scone. It was here we settled in for the night and enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Scone RSL. Michael Hollingsworth and his team at the RSL are big supporters of Variety and sponsor three separate cars annually in the NSW Bash.
On Sunday morning we enjoyed a lovely breakfast hosted by the Thoroughbred Hotel in Scone (sponsors of the Hot Wheels NSW Bash Car) before taking to remote gravel roads and windy hills once more to see parts of NSW you would otherwise never experience. We were blessed with beautiful weather – the sun was shining, the water crossings nicely flowing, the cows on the side of the road were friendly – we couldn’t have had a better weekend.
An incredible weekend was rounded out by a final lunch together back at Parkview Kitchen where a bunch of mates, old and new could share in the laughs and soak up the atmosphere that is a Variety motoring event.
Our Regional Motoring Events Manager, Vic Sheil and Dave Fisher, who mapped out the trip did an amazing job of finding some great roads to give our new Bash community members a taste of what we get up to on a Bash. The trip saw a number of seasoned Bashers from both the NSW Bash and the B to B Bash, as well as a group of new members of the Variety Bash family. Veteran Bashers looked after our rookies throughout the weekend and shared their knowledge and stories at every chance.
This year was the 12th Variety Mini Bash run by the Variety Regional Motoring Events team and the event has raised over $55,000 for kids in need since its inception.
Mini Bash Awards
Spirit of the Mini Bash
The Tawse family in Car 71, a lovingly restored 1971 Toyota Crown. Led by Basher Tony who brings a lot of fun and laughs to the Bash, wife Yvette and kids Emily, Jessica and Jasmine got into the spirit dressing as “Kings & Queens in the Crown”.
Mug of the Mini Bash
Paul Campbell from Car 71A in his tough Ford Ranger. New to Bashing, Paul was invited by King Tony Tawse to come and experience what it’s like to be on the Bash. King Tony even let Paul have a celebrity stint behind the wheel of his beloved Car 71, the mighty Toyota Crown. Paul was awarded Mug for leaving the Crown driverless as he decided to retrieve his water bottle from his own car a few cars back in the queue while waiting for a train to pass near Aberdeen. No sooner had he reached his Ranger, the train was through, the gates went up and a line of Bash Cars were left waiting at the railway crossing while Paul made a mad dash back to the Bash Car.
Mug of the Mini Bash Honourable Mentions
Amanda van der Vliet in Car 44B for dutifully switching on and off her dust lights without realising husband Ant had removed them from the roof of the car, and drenching photographer Justin at a water crossing.
B to B Hall of Famer June Coleman in Car 321 for deciding a cardboard box was a great spot to store her bag of ice and for repeatedly hitting water crossings too fast and needing OV7 to fix her filter each time.
Liam Wallace in Car 42 for refusing to listen to his navigator, younger brother Braeden, when being instructed to make a right turn before a bridge, under the watchful eyes of OV3 who kindly informed them they were going the wrong way over the radio.
To our main event sponsor, Nick and the team at Parkview Kitchen.
And a special thank you to:
Justin Worboys Photography who donated his time and skills to capture all the best moments over the weekend.
Will Wallace and family from Upper Hunter Auto Electrical. Will supported and managed our logistics in Scone, and provided mechanical support on the event.
Wayne Adnum and Barb Dee for providing mechanical support on the event.
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