Local teams on the road for Mystery Box Rally

Kane and Emma Maslen are racing as team Jolly Roger in honour of Kane's father as this year's Mystery Box Rally takes place in Bundaberg.

Driven by a desire to help find a cure for cancer, three local teams have hit the road as this year’s Mystery Box Rally takes place in Bundaberg.

The five-day fundraising adventure started at Lions Park on Saturday and ends there again on Wednesday with thousands of kilometres covered in between.

The 295 participants are travelling in teams of two with each night’s stopover only unveiled to them at the start of each day.

The annual Mystery Box Rally is one of Australia’s largest independently run fundraisers for Cancer Council with a fundraising goal this year of $1 million. 

Elliott Heads residents Kane and Emma Maslen are taking part as Team Jolly Roger in honour of Kane’s father who they lost to cancer.

“It was probably a few years ago that Kane came across the Mystery Box Rally, he’s always been into cars and that kind of stuff but they always seemed like too much effort because they were too far away,” Emma said.

“We registered our interest because we thought maybe one day we would be able to do it.

“Kane’s dad Roger passed away about a year previously and that’s what kind of prompted us to move here.

“After we moved, we looked and said, ‘Oh my goodness, there’s one starting and finishing in Bundaberg'!

“It felt like Roger was giving us the push.

“He loved boats and had a little yacht and that kind of stuff and he had a bit of a mischievous spirit as well, so we thought of the Jolly Roger to fly the flag for him.”

Kane went about looking for a car that would fit the race specifications, being 25 years or older, roadworthy and with no 4WD or AWD capabilities.

“We’ll be driving over five days so hopefully the car will make it,” Kane said, admitting he was quietly confident.

“We’re excited to see where we’ll be going and it’ll be a chance to see parts of Australia that you don’t normally get to see, off the main roads and onto dirt roads.”

“We have been joking the whole time about how we don’t know which is going to break first – the user or the car!” Emma said.

Kane and Emma Maslen are excited to see where the road takes them as they take part in this year's Mystery Box Rally.

Box Rallies

The Mystery Box Rally is part of Box Rallies, a concept devised by James Freeman in 2009 after both his parents died of cancer within 12 months of each other.

Box Rallies is now the leading individual fundraiser for Cancer Council nationally generating over $39 million for cancer research and helping the lives of millions of Australians who are facing their own unknown journeys.

James said he was confident the teams would have an exceptional time with the rally taking place in Bundaberg.

“Mystery Box Rally is not a race, but a reward for fundraising efforts,” James said.

“All of our rallies are so much fun, but Mystery Box keeps delivering year after year with more and more people returning to participate.

“After a cold but amazing Mystery Box Rally in 2022 we are chasing the warmth with the announcement that the 2023 start and finish line is Bundaberg, Queensland.

“Bundaberg’s position between Mackay and Brisbane gives us a great area to travel for the rally with plenty of amazing bush tracks to explore and country/outback hospitality.

“We know that a lot of participants will enjoy everything Bundaberg has to offer, plus the days prior and post rally with some winter warmth.”