As the hot sun pelted down Bundaberg's Jenny Sorensen pushed on to become the first solo woman to drive almost 5000 kilometres from Brisbane to Broome in her vintage vehicle.
The vast open outback of Australia was the scene for most of the 25-day journey, which has left the 75-year-old local with fond but challenging memories.
The Veteran Car Club of Queensland, in conjunction with the Heritage Motorcycle Club of Western Australia, had 20 veteran motorcycles and 24 cars take part in this year’s trip.
On Thursday only five of the cars crossed the finish line without having the assistance of a tow vehicle.
Two of those cars were driven by Bundaberg women.
If Jenny’s 1915 Saxon had an odometer it would have read 4752 kilometres travelled for the trip as the first solo female driver in the Brisbane to Broome Rally.
Jenny’s sister-in-law Anne-Marie Sorensen, with driving assistance from her husband, also pulled into Broome in her 1914 Saxon.
Described as a gruelling trip, Jenny said it was definitely an emotional journey that gave her time to appreciate life itself.
“Being a woman and having other women alongside you for the trip was the emotional part for me,” Jenny said.
“My mother climbed Uluru when she was 75, and so I decided this is the adventure I would have at 75.
“In the early days there were a few hiccups – we had a couple of ‘boils’, which was worrying as the radiators got really hot.
“My second boil was when I was shooting along doing 80km/h and others couldn’t keep up.
“I was watching the gauge and it was all fine, it didn’t go up, until smoke started coming from the floorboards.
“Thankfully it didn’t do any damage and my husband, who was in our support car behind, helped me take the bonnet off to keep her cool.”
Jenny said there were times when she thought twice about what she was doing and wondered if she’d make it in her car that was more than a century old.
“Most days it was 30 degrees plus, and in the old cars the only air con is natural air con.
“The hardest thing was the massive headaches I would get by going through those conditions.
“There were moments when I wanted to throw in the towel.
“The sun was pelting down and the winds – there was a lot of cross wind and you really had to keep your eyes on the road to make sure the car would stay on the road.”
Leaving Caboolture on Sunday 17 July Jenny said she was rugged up for winter conditions, but this soon changed, just as the scenery did.
“There were these beautiful big, magic rocks that would then turn into plateaus – it was amazing to witness,” she said.
“You don’t realise what a diverse country we live in.
“It gave me a lot of time to think about life.
“I have no regrets and I am actually really chuffed with myself.
“There were other girls that drove too, just not all the way by themselves. So, I think of the girl power and say ‘yay to the girls’.”
Bundaberg Vintage Vehicle Club members who successfully travelled 4667km across the country for the 2022 Brisbane to Broome Rally included Anne-Marie and Ron Sorenson, John, Pam and Peter Handley, Rob and Kim Nicolson and Jenny and Chris Sorenson.
The rally raised money and awareness for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Blue Tree Project which is a collaborative initiative to raise mental health awareness and wellbeing in the country areas.