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The Australian Safari, one of the world’s most challenging cross-country rallies, will be held next year from August 24 to September 1.

Since it began in 1985, the Australian Safari has attracted many of motor racing’s legendary talents keen to test themselves against the most rugged and ancient landscape on the planet. It can rightly be called the ‘Dakar’ of the southern hemisphere and, like that epic adventure, it caters for participants in cars, bikes and quads.

The Australian Safari has two distinct entry categories – a Competition category and an Adventure Tour category and although the start, finish and much of the route is identical, it gives competitors a choice of whether to go flat out or just for the fun of it.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the Safari, the event will explore the vast expanses of Western Australia, an area the size of Western Europe and three and a half times the size of Texas.

The 9-day Safari will take place across approximately 5,500 kilometres of Outback Australia. The event starts at Kununurra in the Kimberley region of northern Western Australia in an environment that has remained basically unchanged for millions of years. The rally will continue south through Fitzroy Crossing to the pearling town of Broome on the coast. Hugging the coast, the route will take competitors further south to Port Hedland, the site of the huge mining export centre.

Four days after leaving the start, crews will leave Port Hedland for inland Western Australia and Mount Newman. Continuing further south, remaining competitors will travel to Leonora and through the Western Australian goldfields to Kalgoorlie for an overnight stop.

Using many of the roads and tracks in the sand country south of Kalgoorlie, the final days of the 2007 Safari will see competitors battling the elements through wheat country and the river country in the Avon Valley around Northam. The event will finish on the shores of the Indian Ocean at Perth on September 1 where the event’s successful finishers will mount the podium.

The Competition category will comprise both International and National events, both following the same route. Competitors have a choice of categories ranging from Autos to Motos.

The Adventure Tour will cater for normal road-going 4WD’s and motorcycles. Entry fees range from $6,200 for the International or National Autos, through $3,275 for International/National Moto, $3,900 for Adventure Tour 4WD, to $2,450 for Adventure Tour Moto.

A comprehensive information pack is available from the organizers, Octagon, by contacting the Event Secretary, Jackie Parry on (03) 9685 3500, or jackie.parry@octagon.com

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