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Champions of the desert

2016 Simpson Desert Trekkers face extreme conditions (Medium)

22 July 2016

Champions of the desert

Our intrepid 2016 trekkers have conquered the desert! Experiencing extreme heat, isolation and too many blisters to count, this was a journey to be remembered.

Each day in the desert was challenging, with basic living conditions and no toilets or showers. The weather was not on the trekker’s side this year – with temperatures of up to 42 degrees and an impending storm forcing them to cut the trek short. Their arrival back in Birdsville came with some surprise visits from loved ones and the not to be missed annual Birdsville Rodeo!

2016 Simpson Desert Trekkers face extreme conditions (Medium)

Pictured: 2016 Simpson Desert Trekkers face extreme conditions

While the trek was tough, ‘Matt the Medic’ said the first day had been tougher than any he had encountered during his 13 times completing the Kokoda Trail in PNG. But it still pales in comparison to the ongoing reality faced by the 7,000 young Aussies living in aged care.

Andrew Lofthouse (Channel 9), Tim Blackwell (Nova), Jane Stafford (Suncorp), Tim Martin (Youngcare resident) and Sylvia Jeffreys (Channel 9) enjoy Black Tie Bingo

Pictured: Andrew Lofthouse (Channel 9), Tim Blackwell (Nova), Jane Stafford (Suncorp), Tim Martin (Youngcare resident) and Sylvia Jeffreys (Channel 9) enjoy Black Tie Bingo

The trekkers did an amazing job with fundraising in the lead up to the desert – with everything from trivia nights, croquet and Black Tie Bingo to making and selling handmade cards. Over $652,000 was raised smashing the original fundraising target!

Danielle Arlott (HSF), Michelle Davie, Courtney Phelps and Nicki Ogaard-Stephans (Youngcare) packing the rations for the trek

Pictured: Danielle Arlott (HSF), Michelle Davie, Courtney Phelps and Nicki Ogaard-Stephans (Youngcare) packing the rations for the trek

An added dynamic was Channel Nine capturing the trek in an hour long documentary. 8 Days in the Desert aired nationally on Channel Nine and was proudly presented by Youngcare’s Foundation Partner, Suncorp Insurance.

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