Dirt ‘n’ Dust Run

The Dirt ‘n’ Dust Run is organised by the Rotary Club of South Bunbury. The five-day car challenge takes participants on some of WA’s most dirty and dusty roads. It is not a race, but prizes are awarded for such things as how hopeless a car is and how much the participants embrace the spirit of the event.

The cars that register cannot be valued at more than AU$1,500. Four Wheel and All Wheel drive vehicles are not permitted. The organisers advise that there are plenty of cars on carguide.com.au and gumtree.com.au for $1,500 or less that have some registration remaining. They also encourage participants to get creative and turn up in something that is truly memorable! This will make the experience much more rewarding when you are 200 kilometres from anywhere and trying to fix a split water pipe with pliers and string. These descriptions are reminiscent of Peter Carey’s book A Long Way from Home about a car trial over roads no car will ever quite survive!

Teams consist of two people per car and each team needs to raise a minimum of $2,000 to participate in the run. Each team member also has to pay $600, which covers meals and camping expenses. Participants have to bring their own tent, sleeping bag, mattress or swag. The club provides plenty of fundraising ideas to help each entrant raise the necessary funds. Over the years, many contestants have contributed much more than the minimum.

The 2021 run was a huge success. With the help of the teams and sponsors more than $60,000 was raised, with proceeds donated to Australian Rotary Health for assistance in mental health research. The rally also aims to create awareness of suicide prevention, along with many other Rotary community projects. Altogether, a total of $150,000 has been raised over the three Dirt ‘n’ Dust events, providing much needed funding for mental health and community programs.