ROAD TRIPPERS: Harley Wilson, Wayne Malone, John Tourish and Leigh Turnbull before they departed for the 2019 Variety 4WD Adventure. The 14-day trip starts in Mission Beach and ends in Darwin.
ROAD TRIPPERS: Harley Wilson, Wayne Malone, John Tourish and Leigh Turnbull before they departed for the 2019 Variety 4WD Adventure. The 14-day trip starts in Mission Beach and ends in Darwin. Maddelin McCosker

Publican driving to raise $850k for children's charity

OVER 20 years, Leigh Turnbull has raised almost $850,000 for children's charity Variety through their Bash and 4WD events.

This year, he hopes to hit that target during the 14-day ARB Variety 4WD Adventure.

Along with friends John Tourish, the former owner of the Criterion Hotel before Leigh and his wife Caroline, who has been taking part in Variety events since 1988, just one year after they began, and Harley Wilson, a local Rockhampton GP who will be taking part in his fourth Variety event.

Different to the Variety Bash event, the 4WD Adventure sees groups of people, usually three or more, travel the unbeaten track in more modern 4WD vehicles to raise money for special and disadvantaged children.

READ: CQ businessman: Let's put responsibility before entitlement

READ: There's no bull in this charity bush bash

Starting with 76 cars at Mission Beach, around 300 people, including mechanics and officials, will be making the trek from Far North Queensland to Darwin.

The 4WD Adventure is likely to raise half a million dollars for Variety.

"We are helping people and at the same time we are with friends and we are going somewhere we've never been to before,” Leigh said.

John had thoughts in the same vein, saying while the obvious drawcard is the charitable side of the event, it was the adventure that attracted him to the event and kept him coming back year after year.

"I went along to the first one, at first because of the safety factor, and it is very safe the way it is all set up,” he said.

"But what I got out of it was the fact that we are raising funds by having fun with a group of friends.

"Like a lot of charity events, this one is about having a bit of fun while doing a good deed.”

Looking forward to stopping in the different locations along the way, all three of the men said they were eager to see parts of the country they'd not seen before.

Leaving Rockhampton around 8am Sunday morning, the men will be driving to Mission Beach and arriving before the convoy is expected to leave on Tuesday and arrive at their final destination on July 2.

Between Mission Beach and Darwin, the convoy will be stopping at Woodleigh Station, Cobbold Gorge, Karumba Point, Hells Gate Roadhouse, Lorella Springs, Mataranka, Mainoru Store, Nhulunbuy, Homelands, Mainoru Store, Katherine, and Jabiru.