BIG RED-BOUND : Tinana's Tony and Nancy Bates on their way to the Bed Red Bash in the off-road adventurer they affectionately refer to as Isabel.
BIG RED-BOUND : Tinana's Tony and Nancy Bates on their way to the Bed Red Bash in the off-road adventurer they affectionately refer to as Isabel. Contributed

OUTBACK ADVENTURE: Why familiar Coast faces are desert-bound

WHEN she's not busy building war memorials and putting Maryborough on the map, Nancy Bates can be found exploring the country with husband Tony.

The Tinana couple has ventured more than 1611km to the Simpson Desert where she will volunteer at Australia's most remote music festival - the Birdsville Bid Red Bash.

They join a contingent of Fraser Coast locals including Hervey Bay's Debbie and Graham Carr, Jeni Scott from Burrum Heads and Maryborough's Wayne Broom.

Starting Tuesday, the Royal Flying Doctor Service charity extravaganza attracts a crowd close to 10,000 for a program of live Australian music and outback activities.

Nancy, who will take up her post in the event's road marshalling team after a 40-year career as a newspaper editor and journalist, and Tony are travelling in their custom-made off-road adventurer Isabel.

"We like the outback and have been to Big Red before," she said.

"We thought it would be fun to see it as a concert setting.

"We usually camp on our lonesome at the Paroo River so it will be a bit of a novelty to camp with 10,000 people."



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