Skip to content

The Kidney Kar Rally Returns in 2022

KKR returns in 2022

5,040 KM fundraiser from Cairns to Dubbo August 10-20

Kidney Health Australia’s longest running event, the Kidney Kar Rally, is returning for its 33rd year next month, starting out in Cairns in Far North Queensland on August 10 and reaching Dubbo in New South Wales on August 20.

A field of 40 rally cars driven and designed by supporters of Kidney Health Australia will travel a total distance of 5,040 km to raise funds and awareness for Kidney Health Australia’s Kids and Youth Programs, which helps children and young people deal with the physical, emotional and psychological impacts of kidney disease.

V8 Supercar ace and 2021 Bathurst 1000 winner, Lee Holdsworth, and Harry Bates, the reigning Australian Rally Champion, have signed on with Kidney Health Australia as ambassadors for the event. Harry will join the rally on day one, driving the Biante sponsors car, with Lee dialling in to participants’ events along the journey to encourage the drivers.

Over three decades, the rally has raised more than $15 million for Kids and Youth Programs, and the target this year is to lift that tally by another $400,000.

Kidney Health Australia CEO, Chris Forbes, said everyone involved in the event is looking forward to its return after a two-year hiatus.

“We are thrilled to see the resumption of the Kidney Kar Rally. It is such a special event, and we can’t wait to get out on the road and travel through Queensland and northern New South Wales, connecting with local towns and wider communities to raise funds for kids and young people with kidney disease,” Mr Forbes said.

“Kids with kidney disease face enormous challenges in dealing with the physical impact of treatment, as well as the emotional toll of coping with a lifelong chronic disease. Childhood and adolescence are challenging enough without the burden of kidney disease. Tragically, it’s why onethird of young people lose their kidney transplant within three years of leaving paediatric renal care – and why we’re determined to do more to support them through these important developmental years.”

This year the Big Red Kidney Bus will accompany part of the rally, stopping in Cairns, Townsville, Gold Coast and Dubbo to perform free health checks, promoting a key objective of Kidney Health Australia: to raise awareness of kidney disease, the link between Diabetes and Heart Disease with Kidney disease, and the importance of early detection.

Mr Forbes said: “There will be lots of activity, fun and fundraising initiatives across the 11 days of the rally, including community events with local artists, food and kids entertainment, as well as the free health checks. On behalf of the Kidney community and rally participants, we encourage the general public to join us along the way.”

Event ambassador Lee Holdsworth has come onboard to help drive awareness of kidney disease and the devastating impact it has on the lives of children and their families affected by it.

“The Kidney Kar Rally is a great event for all participants, because it gives them a fantastic opportunity to test their rally skills, while also providing tremendous support to the families of kidney kids and youth affected by kidney disease,” Holdsworth said.

“With the rally covering over 5,000km this year, awareness will be raised far and wide, and hopefully with all the events and excitement around it we can raise a lot of money for the kids.”

Lee’s fellow ambassador, Harry Bates, will travel on the first day of the rally, driving the Biante rally car from Cairns to Townsville. He will then meet and greet fans on the Gold Coast on August 14.

“To be involved in this event is such an honour, and I’m really looking forward to getting on the road with the drivers and playing a part in raising money and awareness for kidney health,” he said.

“Kidney disease is a really serious disease and it places a tremendous physical and emotional burden on kids and youth and their families, so the Kidney Kar Rally is important in helping to shine a light on the disease and fund better treatments and support so these kids can have a better future.”

Biante Model Cars are the major Kidney Kar Rally sponsor in 2022, and owners Ken and Kath Downie are keen to meet the new teams and reunite with the drivers who have been so important in making
the event such a success over the years.

“We are very proud to have been involved in the rally since 2009,” said Ken.

“We love all the camaraderie – the Kidney Kar Rally participants are like a big extended family sharing the same purpose, to support the kids.”

Kath Downie said: “We do love supporting the rally because it’s such a worthy cause that deserves more attention and support. We look forward to this event every year to see the awareness and reach grow and build on the funds available to help the kids.”

• Every day, about 63 people in Australia die with kidney-related disease – more than breast cancer, prostate cancer and road accidents.
• People on dialysis spend on average 60hours a month strapped to a machine to stay alive.
• 1.7 million adults living in Australia are affected by kidney disease.
• 90% of kidney function can be lost without any symptoms – it is a silent killer.
• 1 in 3 Australian adults are at increased risk of kidney disease.
• 1.5 million people don’t know they are living with early signs of kidney disease.

7 August – Free Health Check at Muddy’s Event Lawn, Cairns Esplanade
10 August – Cairns Registration Day
11 August – Rally sets off from Cairns
11 August – Townsville + Free Health Checks at Strand Park, Townsville
12 August – Emerald
13 August – Chinchilla
14 August – Gold Coast + Free Health Checks and Kids & Youth Day at Sea World
15 August – Gold Coast (lay day)
16 August – Tenterfield (NSW)
17 August – Walgett
18 August – Bourke
19 August – Coonabarabran
20 August – Dubbo (finish) + Free Health Checks at Ollie Robins Oval, Dubbo

Inspired by the Kidney Kar Rally, Kidney Health Australia has launched a new school fundraising program called the Kidney Box Kar Challenge, where students build and design a box car, then showcase their creations to fellow students and parents. As part of the challenge, students learn about the importance of kidney health, what their kidneys do, and how to stay healthy. They also learn about children who are living with kidney disease and how they can support them through a gold coin donation.

Donations for the Kidney Kar Rally can be made via Kidney Health Australia’s website or the numerous fundraising initiatives taking place in each town during the rally.

For more information, and how to make a donation to Kidney Health Australia’s Kids and Youth Program, please visit

Share this article:

Articles you might be interested in

Scroll To Top