Monday 21 February 2011

Backpackers Get on Board for Mission Beach Clean Up, Thanks to Oz Experience

Oz Experience has gathered 30 volunteers to help clean up far-north Queensland's Mission Beach, with the first 18 set to leave Sydney Tues 22 Feb.

The hop-on, hop-off bus touring service set up the Rebuild Mission Beach Project and received a strong response to its call last week for backpackers and others to volunteer.

"There's a lot of work to be done to restore Mission Beach and help the local community get back on its feet. This project will contribute at least 1680 hours of volunteering to that effort, " Adventure Tours Australia Group Sales Director Greg Zammit said.

The volunteers will be leaving from Oz Experience, 804 George St, Sydney at 6am tomorrow (22 Feb), with more volunteers being collected in Byron Bay on 23 Feb and Cairns on 26 Feb. All volunteers are due to arrive in Mission Beach on Saturday 26 Feb.

Among the volunteers is Sophie Garnett, 21, from the UK. Having only been in Australia for two weeks, Sophie volunteered for the opportunity to see "a beautiful part of the world" while helping clean it up.

"It's obviously been devastating what's happened up there and I'm happy to do anything to help," she said, adding that she's planning to stay on after the clean up: "I've got nowhere to rush off to, so I'll stay as long as they'll have me."

Andrew Gibb, 21, from Scotland, has also been in Australia for just two weeks and, along with two friends, is looking forward to helping out: "We thought it would be a good way to see more of Australia and help out at the same time."

The volunteers will work for a minimum of 7 days, with work overseen by Boyd Scott from Scotty's Beach House. Afterwards, Oz Experience will transport them to Cairns and give them a complementary Oz Experience 'Oz EXpress Cobber Pass', which they can use to travel along the East Coast of Australia.

As well as the volunteers, Oz Experience wishes to thank Scotty Boyd and Scottys Beach House, Nomads Byron Bay, Fraser's On Rainbow, 1770 Backpackers and Base Airlie, Meso Creative for sponsoring 100 A3 posters, Red Bull for donating cases of Red Bull and Wake Up for sponsoring 60 work t-shirts for the volunteers.

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